Hearing the Voice of God – Part 10

God speaks, as well, through COMMON SENSE.

“O Lord, listen to my prayers; give me the common sense you promised” (Psalm 119:169 LB)

The first time you go hiking and camping in the snow, you are told that certain things you do out in the wilderness are “simply common sense.” You may not be sure what this means the first time you go winter camping, but you will soon realize that keeping your socks dry is “common sense.” After one experience of wet socks and the consequences of frozen socks, the next time, your experience tells you that it is just common sense to keep your feet dry!

It I amazing to me that so many people seem to think that all their common sense must vanish in order for them to be really spiritual. It is often just the opposite. God gave us common sense as a gift from Him. I like to call it “common sense wisdom.”  

Common sense is an ability to look at things straightforwardly. This kind of common sense is mostly based on our experiences and not on our knowledge. In other words, our previous experiences add up to knowing intuitively what makes sense in a certain situation. As we accumulate more wisdom throughout life, we can automatically sense what to do in a certain situation because it is based on our past experiences. We can use our own sound judgment to make a decision.

Wisdom goes hand-in-hand with common sense. Straight thinking is the result of both experience and wisdom. The Bible emphasizes that we should ask for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Our God desires to give us wisdom if we only ask and believe; He will give it to us.

The book of Proverbs is a great source for common sense. I encourage you to read at least a few verses of Proverbs or Psalms regularly. The book of Psalms encourages us, builds us up, and helps us express our innermost feelings. Proverbs, with its common sense wisdom, shows us how to stay out of trouble. 

Slowly read through the following Scriptures on common sense from the books of Psalms and Proverbs. These verses tell us it is possible for you and me to accumulate godly common sense wisdom.

The man who knows right from wrong and has good judgment and common sense is happier than the man who is immensely rich! For such wisdom is far more valuable than precious jewels. Nothing else compares with it. (Proverbs 3:13 LB)

Have two goals: wisdom—that is, knowing and doing right—and common sense. Don’t let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy and bring you honour and respect. (Proverbs 3:21-22 LB)

“Learn to be wise,” he said, “and develop good judgment and common sense! I cannot overemphasize this point” (Proverbs 4:5 LB)

Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And with your wisdom, develop common sense and good judgment. (Proverbs 4:7 LB)

Men with common sense are admired as counsellors (Proverbs 10:13a)

A godly man gives good advice, but a rebel is destroyed by lack of common sense (Proverbs 10:21 LB)

A mocker never finds the wisdom he claims he is looking for, yet it comes easily to the man with common sense. (Proverbs 14:6 LB)

Wisdom is enshrined in the hearts of men of common sense, but it must shout loudly before fools will hear it. (Proverbs 14:33 LB)

The wise man is known by his common sense, and a pleasant teacher is the best. (Proverbs 16:21 LB)

Lord, deal with me in loving-kindness, and teach me, your servant, to obey; for I am your servant; therefore give me common sense to apply your rules to everything I do. (Psalm 119:124-125 LB)

Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favour with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. (Proverbs 3:3-4 LB)

A rebuke to a man of common sense is more effective than a hundred lashes on the back of a rebel. (Proverbs 17:10 LB)

The man who strays away from common sense will end up dead! (Proverbs 21:16 LB)

Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. (Proverbs 24:3 LB)

If people would listen to the common sense wisdom that comes from God, they could spare themselves a lot of trouble. Common sense has a remarkable capacity to interpret our current situation in light of our history and God’s Word. As we hear God speak to us, we can make a godly decision rather than a bad one. 

Paul, the apostle, told the Corinthians Christians that they should learn to judge the small matters among themselves now, because at the end of this age, the resurrected saints will help to judge the world and even angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). As Christians, we can learn to exercise good and wise judgment or common sense right now, in this life. Common sense allows us to make evaluations and assessments according to God’s wisdom. God has given us a sound mind.

When we walk in the Spirit, we are in tune with God’s voice and can make common sense decisions according to God’s will and wisdom. In Acts, the Jerusalem church leaders made a decision by saying, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28). God entrusts us as His children to use our common sense as we seek the Spirit’s guidance. The audible voice of God or a prophecy or a dream or a vision is not needed when common sense wisdom is already telling us what to do.

Not everything that seems like common sense will be the voice of God speaking, however. We need to use wisdom and discernment as well the wisdom that comes from a multitude of counsellors (see Part 9). 

There are times when God speaks and it will go against what you think is common sense. I am sure the widow in 1 Kings 17 had second thoughts about giving her last flour and oil to Elijah. It just did not make sense to make a meal for Elijah when she and her sons were about to starve. But Elijah told the widow that God had spoken, and the flour and the oil would not run dry. Their obedience to the Lord’s voice caused a supernatural miracle of abundance.

God’s voice seemed the opposite of common sense in another biblical story in 2 Kings 5. The prophet Elisha told Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan river seven times and he would be healed of leprosy. Common sense might tell you that washing yourself in a dirty river would not be good for your health. Additionally, common sense would tell you that if you dipped in one time and were not cured, six more times wouldn’t do it either. But Naaman chose to trust that God was speaking through the prophet even though bit did not make sense. He kept dipping himself seven times until he was healed.

When we do get a “rhema” message from God, we need to use common sense wisdom in the choices we make to walk that ‘rhema” into reality. I have also found that if God doesn’t speak to me specifically it does not mean He is not leading me. There are some issues about which God already trusts me and you to know what is right or wrong and the way we should go. We don’t need a “specific word” from God; however, we must always stay open to waiting on Him to see if there is a need for Him to intervene in the way we are planning to go or in the choices we are making.

God tells us to do the seeking, and He does the speaking. We can be assured that He is the Spirit of wisdom and He will not lead us to do things or make decisions that are unwise.