God’s voice can come from any number of places. In a recent conversation with one of Overflow’s student-leaders, we discussed how she and I have heard God’s call to service in our lives in the past. Understanding how God has shared His will with you in the past can help you to know how to hear His voice in the future. He knows you well and knows how you best hear His voice, so He taps into your soul in a way that makes sense to you.
It is kind of like hearing an amazing song on the radio. Once you have heard it on a station, you listen for it everywhere. But not all stations play the same songs, so you might not hear it on another station for a while, if ever. When you go back to the original station on which you heard the song, however, the likelihood of hearing it again increases. Those DJs are already aware of the song. They have already added it to their set list. Likewise, knowing the “station” where you have heard the voice of God in the past can make it easier to hear His voice in the present and the future.
It is important to remember that God is not limited to speaking to you in the same ways for your whole life, though. Moses heard God’s voice in a burning bush once, but never again. Instead, God spoke to Moses as if speaking to a friend. Now, if Moses tuned out everything that was not coming from a burning bush (obviously impossible if you are face to face with God), he would have missed out on countless conversations. But Moses was open to hearing from God, and God gave him knowledge and wisdom to lead Israel.
For familiarization purposes, we will discuss a few ways that God has delivered His word in the past. Maybe one of them will strike a chord with you and you will begin to realize how you have heard God’s voice in the past, even if you did not realize it at the time. That is one of the more common themes that I have noticed within Overflow Ministries. Students will have heard God leading them at one time or another, but have written it off as white noise or random outside influence. When they do not understand that it is God who has given them a particular desire, or has put a person into their lives who speaks God’s word to them, they simply discount or ignore the leading, altogether.
So, for your reading pleasure, here is a short (not all-inclusive) list of ways that God may be speaking into your life:
• Direct communication – you may hear an audible voice (yes, this can still happen)
• Through the Bible – when you read, you may be stirred by something in particular
• Holy Spirit intervention – you ever just have a random thought? It may have been guidance from the Holy Spirit
• Through a person – God can use people to share His will, even a “crooked stick can draw a straight line”
• Through prayer – don’t just talk all the time in prayer, listen and you may learn something
• Signs – be careful not to over-emphasize this, but it is definitely an option
• Music – giving worship to God opens our hearts to hear from Him (even a secular song can relay God’s truth, but don’t pour poison into your heart)
Not everything you hear from one of these sources is necessarily from God, so you must learn how to identify what is from God and what is not. Next week we will be discussing how to discern the call of God.
Listening for God’s Voice,