We are looking at the dominate voices we hear on a regular basis…
1> Your own inner voice
2> Other people’s voices
3> The devil’s voice
4> God’s voice…
As a Christian, the voice that you strive to learn to hear and obey is the voice of God speaking to your spirit. He wants to speak to you!
Psalm 46:10 invites us to “be still and know that I am God.” It is so important to take the time to be quiet and listen to the Lord speak. If we meet with a close friend and do all the talking without listening, the relationship is one-sided. In our prayers to the Lord, we should talk, but we must also learn to listen.
God is constantly speaking to us, but like listening to the radio, we must tune in to the right frequency to hear Him. Radio, television, and cell phone signals are around us in the atmosphere continually, but we need the proper receiver to hear these signals or see the pictures projected properly to our TV set. We must place ourselves in a listening posture to hear God’s voice.
Samuel, a young boy who later became a mighty prophet in the Bible, learned as a small boy to hear and recognize the Lord’s voice; but it was a process (1 Samuel 3:1-12). He didn’t even recognize it was the Lord when God first spoke to him.
In the beginning, the voice sounded like Eli’s (the priest in the temple of that time). Perhaps God first spoke to Samuel in a voice that was familiar to him so that he would not be frightened. I believe God often speaks through a voice that we will recognize. Sometimes it may sound like a voice that you will recognize. Sometimes it may sound like your own voice or even your own thoughts, while at other times God may speak through someone you know. If it is God’s voice, even if it is unclear at first, it will always lead to His peace inside you.
Just like Samuel, you too have to learn to discern if you are hearing the Lord’s voice to another voice. Don’t worry if you feel like a modern-day Samuel who does not recognize God’s voice right away; you will learn in time! Listening and hearing His voice accurately takes time and requires discernment.
Discernment comes with practice. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train ourselves to recognize the voice of God above all the various other voices. “Solid food is for the mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong” (Hebrews 5:14 CEV). It is by practicing that we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our own voice, the voice of others, or the devil.
Discernment comes with practice. You have to constantly evaluate beliefs, feelings, other people, the media and your own inner life in light of God’s Word. Over time, you train your senses to do it almost by reflex.
Ask God to communicate to you during your prayer times with Him and throughout the day. You will learn more and more to discern the difference between your voice, others’ voices, the voice of the enemy, and the voice of the Holy Spirit. You will learn to hear the voice of God and obey Him. Remember, listening is an art.