I read a devotional by Father’s Heart Ministry on August 27th 2017 that got me thinking.
The Father says today; listen to My still, small voice. Your answers do not come from man. Seek the Spirit of Counsel that flows from My throne. My voice speaks constantly in the inner recesses of your spirit. My voice speaks constantly and never stops. As the light of the sun goes forth in every direction at once throughout ages and eons of time, it is My light that is shining down and bringing every good gift in your life.
I have been asking myself what that means and how do I apply it. In the last few weeks I have found it increasingly difficult to do things the usual way because I want more. I want deeper! I want clearer! You know that niggling desire for something different from the norm? That one! So I began asking myself, how does one REALLY know the voice of God?
Scripture is interesting because I find that God doesn’t have a standard way of speaking to people. He doesn’t have a standard operating procedure, a modus operandi and even speaks to the same person in different ways. When I look around me, the same is true; God speaks to each one differently in ways that are relatable to each.
Moses was born Israelite but raised in Pharaohs palace as the son of the princess, exposed to Egyptian culture and wisdom until one day he learnt about his true heritage. He tried to connect with his people but they didn’t recognise him and he ended up in the back side of the desert. This was all part of God’s plan.
Moses encountered God at the burning bush; can you imagine a bush on fire that is not consumed? Can you imagine hearing a voice out of the fire say, ‘Take off your sandals for you are standing on holy ground?’ This encounter led to a life lived following the voice of God and producing the fulfilment of the word of God.
Joseph connected with God through a series of dreams to start followed by favour then interpretations for other’s dreams that came true. The instructions He received and lived out led to the salvation of Egypt and Israel according to God’s plan.
Ruth the Moabitess, had a witness in her spirit that she needed to remain with Naomi no matter what and she followed it. Her obedience led to her being a model of obedience, favour and salvation and a place in the genealogy of Christ.
Saul later Paul was going about his business heading to arrest some followers of Christ when he saw and was blinded by a bright light. He had a life changing conversation with God that shifted him from persecutor to apostle to the gentiles; a total change of direction.
Ananias was doing his thing when he had a dream and contended with God about the cleanliness of food before God explained that he needed to go and meet the man who was the greatest threat to his survival; Saul. Once he understood God’s perspective, he obeyed unconditionally.
The beauty of these encounters is that each person continued walking with God into a deeper relationship afterwards. They didn’t have one time conversations and success, rather they had life changing encounters.
I am a little fascinated by Ruth. Her story is full of surprises and blessings but Naomi is a consistent source of teaching and understanding. Yet beyond that, I believe she wasn’t just an obedient young lady who followed instruction. She developed a relationship with this God of Israel who chose her and it gave her balance and strength.
Even though there is no record of her personal conversations with God, I believe that she had a deep relationship with Him. I think of the hours she spent gleaning silently in the fields; could she have spent the time in deep contemplation asking God questions about her life and the teachings received from Naomi that eventually drew her into a deeper understanding of Him? I think so.
In several conversations in the past few weeks, people asked how to know the voice of God and I realised, indeed His voice remains ‘the still small voice.’ He doesn’t always shout, though he can if He chooses. Yet I have found that one doesn’t automatically hear His voice; that’s a fact. If we all heard Him clearly like the people mentioned above our lives would be different; more productive and a greater honour to Him and therefore the world would be different.
- Hearing God is learned. Hearing Him takes time.
- Hearing God is a combination of being still in his presence, reading scripture, listening to exposition of His word, worship and conversations with His people.
- Hearing God comes with practise and consistency.
- Hearing God comes with a deep desire for Him that translates into a deeper relationship with Him.
- Hearing God comes at a price; there are things we will have to give up to know Him more
I am willing to pay the price of drawing closer to Him that I may understand Him deeper; are you?