May 21, 2024

Knowing God’s Voice Comes from a Relationship With Him

cris photoshoped by djemJesus said, “The Sheep hear my voice and they know me.”  But how does someone who has never heard God audibly know that voice?

With all the distractions, formulas, and Christian help books on the market teaching you how to pray, how to read your Bible, and “What worked for me!”, how does one know that that is how God will speak to them?

God will uniquely communicate with you

How God will speak to you may or will be different than how He speaks to someone else.  The important thing to remember is that He will speak to those that are His.

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” – John 8:47

This Scripture is both a blessing and a warning.  The blessing is that if you’re one of God’s children, He will speak to you.  You will hear Him.  Your relationship with God is of utmost importance to Him, and He will do His part to communicate with you.

The warning is that if you’re not a child of His, then you cannot expect to hear from Him.  And if you believe you are a child of His, and do not hear Him, you may not have come into a saving relationship with Him at all.

Which way is the way God speaks today?

  1. God will give me a miraculous sign. Then I will know God has spoken to me.
  2. Out of an intimate relationship with God, I will come to recognize God’s voice.
  3. When I learn and follow the correct formula, I will hear God speaking.
  4. I can open the Bible, pick out a verse that I want to use, and claim that I have a word from God for my circumstance.

If you answered 2, then you got the question right.

Unfortunately, many believers think or act like 4 is the correct answer.  They pick a portion of God’s scripture, claim a truth from the Word and believe that it is God’s Word for their circumstance.

God can use the Word that way, but often we’re just feeding a low expectation of God—one that has me in the driver’s seat and God as the passenger.

God is NOT my copilot.

Be careful saying that you have a Word from the Lord

If you’ve heard from the Lord—terrific!  Just know that if you’ve heard from Him about something, you must continue in that direction until it comes to pass.  In the case of Abram, God told him to go to a land and it was 25 years before that promise came to pass.

If God’s told you that you are to go to become a pastor, called you to the mission field, or laid some other burden or plan on your heart, you’re tasked with not giving up.  You must continue to do what the Lord has required of you until He says otherwise.

And be careful saying that you have a Word from the Lord when you do not.  There was a word for these people in the Old Testament—they were called “False Prophets.”

Anyone remember what the punishment for a false prophet was?

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10 thoughts on “Knowing God’s Voice Comes from a Relationship With Him

  1. 2 things, and maybe I’m being a little fundamentalist here, but hear me out (I am a Baptist attending a Spirit-filled church, after all).

    1. While I agree the concept of 4 is wrong (cherry-picking verses to “hear” what you want to hear), one CANNOT discount the importance of KNOWING the Word of God. When we enter into an intimate relationship with Him and are growing greatly in our walk, the enemy increases his attacks against us. We might hear something and think it is from God (like the mega-pastor who heard a voice tell him there was no such thing as hell???). Whatever we hear must line up with what is in the Bible – God won’t change His position. John says to test ALL spirits, not just evil ones. God and the Bible will stand up for themselves (maybe I’m getting off track of the point of the post…)

    2. I especially like your point about staying the course when you hear from God. I think this tells a lot of our impatience as a society. We hear from the Lord, and then when it doesn’t happen immediately we want to discredit it. It’s important for us to remember Abraham & Moses – part of the waiting might just be part of our preparation.

    Rachels last blog post..Lies Wives Believe

  2. And PS again, I just read your comment from my question about the Purpose Driven Life. I’m surprised you (being more fundamentalist) haven’t read it because every single church I have been in (which were all fundamentalist churches) before the one I am currently attending has done the curriculum. I don’t know a whole lot about Rick Warren; maybe his intentions were good. I just feel like it’s trying too hard to make workers instead of worshipers. In your free time (ha!) maybe you could read it. I’d love to get your thoughts on it.

  3. @Rachel: I can understand why you’re saying what you’re saying. We need to know the Word of God. We need to be in the Word because that’s 1 of the 4 ways Christ speaks to us today. So I’m not trying to discount Bible reading.

    What I was trying to get at is that if we relegate our relationship to picking up a Bible, cherry picking a verse or passage, and having it end there as we go about our merry way– God has become a commodity that I can control and limit to when I want Him.

    I wouldn’t go to my wife, listen to her talk for 10 minutes, talk to her for 5 minutes, and then walk away saying that I have an intimate relationship with her. Intimacy comes from living a life where I read the Word, I pray, and I live my life being with Him.

    Does that help #1?

    #2. You’re right– we’re pretty much microwave Christians. “If God can’t tell me what He wants and tell me now, then I’m not really interested.” It goes along with #1. God wants to build a relationship that’s a practical one. He wants to be a part of my life, not as just one of my tasks. We’re too task based.

    Purpose Driven Life? I don’t think that we have the same definition for “fundamentalist”. 🙂 No, I’m not all the way over in the Phelps camp or anything like that. I’m a Regular Baptist.

    That being said, we’re skeptical on Purpose Driven movement (there’s one of those churches right down the block) and one of the reasons is precisely what you said– that it makes workers rather than worshipers. In terms of the last two Bible based series I’ve written, it goes against having a relationship and makes having numbers or some other purpose a goal.

    In any case, I should refrain from commenting until I’ve read the book, or at least read more about it.

    And that will only come after I remember all the other posts/series you and AG wanted me to write!

  4. Yes, that does help with #1 quite a bit. I am just very cautious about people saying that they’ve heard from God and what they’ve heard doesn’t line up with the Bible. True intimacy with God will prevent that problem.

    OK, I guess my definition of fundamentalist may have been off (I’m usually called one by my left-leaning Christian-hating aunt). My home church, which was Southern Baptist, had just started the PDL when I got married. Thankfully I moved to where my hubby was living so I didn’t get into it too long. We attended 2 different churches in the city we lived in before here – both churches did the PDL curriculum while we were in attendance. It seemed everywhere we turned it was being driven down our throats. I wondered if it was a convention thing and the SBC was telling churches to do the curriculum. I just associated it with fundamentalist because so many Southern Baptist churches were doing it.

    Rachels last blog post..The Simple Woman’s Daybook – Take 1

  5. @Rachel: Because “I’ve had an experience” never makes someone’s experience right. It’s what the Bible says about that experience. How does it square with the Bible?

    Glad to be back on the same page.

    Southern Baptists aren’t typically thought of as fundamental, but definitely not liberal. I find that PDL is much more popular down south, and in SB churches than others. In my area, the SB church is the Purpose Driven one. The Conservative Baptist church that I attended and the Regular Baptist one I now attend won’t touch the stuff with a ten foot poll.

    Isn’t Rick Warren a pastor of a Southern Baptist Church?

  6. I can say without a doubt that I know my Father’s voice when He speaks to me, how? Through my spirit.

    I remember one time I was reading a scripture in the bible and I kept on reading over and over again and in frustration I said, “Father, I don’t know what you are trying to say here?”

    The next day, my pastor’s wife taught and that same exact scripture and explained it perfectly for me to understand. She had noticed my face was in shock and I had told her later on what had gone on. God answered my prayer or rather question.

    I have so many other examples, but I do know this, the spirit is a quiet and gentle voice and does not force anything.

    Leticias last blog post..A very sad day for me…

  7. @Leticia: God uses His Word, Prayer, Circumstances and the Church to get us His message– and often time for me it’s a sudden understanding or leading where I see something in a different light then I saw it before.

    What’s neat is that since we know that God always initiates, He has moved in us to cause us to want Him more!

    What a great God we serve!

  8. @Leticia: The neat thing is that He can work despite our failings. I’m reminded of Moses in Exodus 4 and the fact that Moses came up with all these reasons he couldn’t do what God asked Him to. Yet God was able to get him to move past it, and was able to do a mighty work.

    The question for us is, how much work does God have to do in us to get us usable by Him?

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