Just the fact that we know that we hear is useless unless we actually recognize it is Him. Many of ask, " What does His Voice sound like and how can I know it ? Can I be assured that He is speaking to me?" Well, having some distinguishing marks will help you to discern when it is indeed Lord's voice that is speaking to you.
God has created us to have an intimate relationship with Him and intimacy requires communication. So, we can be certain that the Lord desires to speak to us. Since we are His creation, He knows exactly how to speak to us so we will hear and understand Him clearly. He speaks to us in order for us to respond.
This begins our communication with the Lord. He starts a dialogue with us and this leads to an ongoing, continuous line of communication with Him.
John 15:15 says, "Henceforth, I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends because all things the Father has made known unto me, I have told you."
To start to hearing God, we need to create an environment in order to hear Him. Just like when we want to have an intimate conversation with a friend, we do not choose a noisy or distracting place. We choose somewhere quiet and conducive to share intimate things in order to hear each other clearly. If we want to hear the Lord in the same way, we must create the same kind of environment.
When we want to communicate with the Lord, we need to find a solitary place in which all other distractions are removed. Having a quiet place, makes it easier for us to clear our minds and hearts to receive. We need to be able to focus on Him alone. For, it is when we are quiet that we can truly hear.
How God Communicates:
In Isaiah 21:3
We see that Lord communicating to Isaiah:
Isaiah says, "Therefore my loins are filled with pain. Pains have taken hold of me like the pains of a woman in labor. I was distressed when I heart it, I was dismayed when I saw it."
The King James version says, "I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it."
In this verse, we read that God communicated with Isaiah in three ways - Isaiah felt, Isaiah heard, and Isaiah saw. This is the same for us. When the Lord speaks to us, we can either see, hear, or feel. We will look at each one of these forms of communication.
Communication by Seeing
Firstly, we will talk about seeing. When the Lord speaks to us, sometimes we will see something. If you have not had this experience, then close your eyes and think about a memorable day in your life. Mentally picture it. Do you see it happening before you?
The mental picture that you saw came from within yourself, your own mind or creation.
When the Lord speaks to us and give us a 'vision' or a picture, it is similar. We are able to see a visual picture that will enhance or enlighten what He is saying to us. This picture can appear like that mental picture, except there are some big differences. Firstly, when you mentally visualized that image, it was generated from you. That is, it came from your own mind. When the Lord speaks to us through seeing, it come TO us. That is, His vision is like watching a movie or looking a picture. We are an observer of what He places before us, not a participant in making it happen.
The second difference is that when we receive a vision from the Lord, it appears very vivid, with bright colors and nuances. It is like we are seeing in 3D. It is so clear, concise and sharp in nature.
If the Lord gives you a vision or picture to communicate with you, stop and focus on what He is showing you. Look at what He is revealing to you. Open up your hearing and listen and look at what He is showing you. Take it in. The Holy Spirit will draw you in closer and closer into a deeper intimacy with Him.
If this is your first time of experiencing the Lord through a vision or 'seeing', there temptation is to dismiss it or rationalize it as just a figment of your own mind or imagination. Do not do this, instead, open your self up to the fact that He is revealing Himself to you in new and more intimate ways - drawing you deeper into a relationship with Him.
Communication by Hearing
Next, we will talk about 'hearing'. An example in scripture that speaks about 'hearing' the Lord:
1 Samuel 3:4 – 7
"Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am. And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
So went and lay down. Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son, " Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
In 1 Samuel, the Lord was speaking to Samuel and he heard the Lord, except that Samuel did not know the Lord in this way yet, but his heart was open and willing to receive. Therefore, the Lord came to Him, spoke to him and Samuel heard him.
The Lord is desiring to speak to us in the same way, if we are willing and yearning to hear Him. Hearing from Him is the same experience as seeing Him. Hearing Him comes to us and not from us. The Lord will speak to us in our own language, using terms and words that we understand, that is things that are familiar to us.
Again there may be a tendency to doubt because His Voice sounds like our own. A big difference between us and the Lord is that when the Lord speaks to us it is always from a place of love because He IS love. He is affirming and encouraging, even when the Lord is rebuking or correcting us, we feel His love and encouragement wanting us to step up into His Goodness. He is drawing us toward Him.
Communication by Feeling
The last way of communication Isaiah experienced was feeling. The word tells us he felt pain like a woman in labor.
Philippians 4:6-7 speaks of God's peace:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God allows us to experience His peace. Here is an example, when we have a need (direction, understanding, encouragement…), our hearts can become anxious about our circumstances. We come to the Lord with our need. We wait on the Lord and He speaks to us and then pours out His peace over us. His peace is deep and abiding. Like a river, it flows over you. His peace is unique than anything we know because even though we are still in the midst of the circumstances, we feel a stillness, a calmness that comes over us. It allows you to rise above your circumstances and see a different perspective. In addition, that He will make a way through.
The more time we spend time with the Lord and practice hearing God's voice, the clearer it will become to us.
Hebrews 5:14 says, "we are trained by practice."
We will become more and more confident as we practice it. Until finally we get to the point where we can say with full assurance, "This is the Lord speaking to me and I know it without a doubt!"
Writes articles to self help and improving your living spaces. She writes for her company's blog: Shop Home Design – A leading manufacture of new and innovative products to enhance your living spaces. She has written and published many articles in these areas.
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