“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
“He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
The book of Genesis opens with God speaking and in Chapter one verse twenty-eight God speaks to Adam and Eve. Here we have the beginning of a partnership with God in stewarding planet earth. The book of Revelation in Chapter twenty-two verse twenty closes with God speaking to seven Churches in the first century, as well as to all who will listen to Him throughout history. Within the Scriptures from cover to cover we see God speaking to people and no one thought it to be a strange occurrence whenever He did. People were created to converse with God nothing in the bible could be clearer.
Hearing God’s Voice is Normal
It has been established that the Scriptures make it abundantly clear that God is a communicator and desires to make His voice known to people. People were designed to hear God’s voice, which makes two way conversations with Him the Norm. Prayer is actually an intimate dialogue. When God speaks He speaks directly to your heart, your mind will instantly process what has been spoken into your heart so that what has been received may be clearly articulated. The whole process from receiving to understanding happens within seconds. These facts give rise to a few questions. What does God’s voice sound like? How do I hear God’s voice? How can I be sure that it is God’s voice I’m hearing?
What Does God’s Voice Sound Like?
When the bible speaks of the heart many times it’s referring to the human spirit. God is a Spirit and He speaks directly to your spirit within you. All conversations with God are spirit to spirit communications. This is not as mystical as it may sound. Every believer has heard God’s voice many times. It’s inaccurate to say that you aren’t hearing God when He speaks, since Jesus has already said in John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” It is more accurate to say that you’re not recognizing that it’s God’s voice you hear when He’s speaking to you.
God’s voice spoken into your heart (spirit) is often described as a spontaneous flow of thoughts apart from your normal train of thinking. This would make hearing God’s voice an intuitive experience.
Conscience and intuition
God has given every person a conscience that acts as a guide in everyday life. Your conscience does not reason with you, it simply decides what is right and what is wrong on the bases of the values that have been taught. This is why a guilty conscience will not allow you any rest until the issue it judges as wrong has been rectified, regardless of how good your reasoning may sound to you.
Keep in mind that whatever you’ve been taught as acceptable, your conscience will eventually use as the criteria for what is right or wrong for you. It’s for this reason the Scriptures are filled with instructions about renewing your mind. When educated with God’s written Word and kept clean from wrong doing as God defines wrong doing in His Word, your conscience becomes a very reliable intuitive guide for life.
Your conscience is the voice of your spirit. Your conscience will tell you when God is speaking to you, and when you’re compromising your values as well. Have you ever made bad decisions and felt you made them against your better judgment? That happens when you fail to follow your heart (conscience). Intuitively you knew better but talked yourself into making a decision that you were originally uncomfortable with…we’ve all done it.
Your spirit intuitively knows when God is speaking; your mind will process what God is saying, and your conscience will act as a plumb line measuring the accuracy of your compliance to both the spoken word and ultimately the written word of God.
The Word of The Lord
In the New Testament there are two words that describe the word of God. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, they have very different functions when it comes to discerning God’s voice.
Logos: is something said or thought, (a topic, a subject, or a complete body of thoughts) the intent. This is derived from a root which can carry the meaning “to lay out” or to “set forth”
Rhema: is an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically); by implication – a matter or topic Carries the same idea of “pouring out” or “to pour forth”.
Logos is used more than 300 times in the New Testament, Rhema is used approximately 70 times.
Logos can be used as the declaring or proclaiming the whole counsel of God contained the gospel message (complete body of thought). Rhema would be used as a more focused utterance to a specific individual or group of people at a given time. Think of reading a long letter as logos, and a conversation with someone as an exchange of rhemas. This may be an oversimplification but you can get the point.
Recognizing The Rhema Word of God
When God speaks to you directly or through someone else it is considered a rhema word to you. The same is true when a passage from the bible suddenly comes alive to you; it resonates within your heart. This is also a rhema word to you. When God speaks, His words come as a spontaneous flow of thoughts, apart from your own natural train of thoughts.
God’s voice often comes as a gentle flow, easily rising up from your heart. His thoughts at times are so gentle that the slightest distractions can easily brake the flow of thoughts. His voice is usually presented in the first person, and will often cause a reaction within the person receiving it. The reactions can vary from person to person depending on maturity and emotional makeup, whatever the case God’s voice will carry a sense of peace with it. Sometimes God may tell you something you don’t want to hear. When this happens it will upset your peace, but you will intuitively know that it’s God speaking to you, and you will have to choose whether you will accept or reject it as God’s counsel. God’s voice also carries His authority and the grace to empower you to accomplish what He says.
Prepare to Hear God’s Voice
All of what’s been said takes place within seconds. You have no need to stress or strain to hear God’s voice. When a person who wants to speak with you they will first get your attention, so will God. Don’t worry about missing God’s voice, He has a way of making Himself known to each person in a way that they will intuitively know it’s Him. Relax, be a student of the Scriptures applying them to your daily life, practice regular prayer and God will speak to you.