HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD Part 3 (2) How and When God Speaks
By Ps. Jerry
To hear God’s voice, you must desire to hear Him because He is your all-sufficient God. You must not have any other gods before Him. In Exodus 20:3,5 God instructed the Israelites, 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me,” and “5 You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” God is your only source of spiritual guidance, not feng shui, tarot cards, palm reading or any other kind of fortune-telling. Therefore, only seek to hear the voice of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ and none other.
In Psalm 18:2, David declared that the Lord is his shield, his stronghold and in Psalm 23:3, that the Lord restores his soul. Remember that it is the God of David whom we serve and He knows how to protect His own. If you are in trouble who do you run to? Proverbs 18:10 says, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Therefore, run to God because He is your security, not any Tan Sri or your wealth. If you are depending on something or someone else, then you are allowing that to take the place of God in your heart. It is no wonder that God does not speak to you. Remember our God is a jealous God.
Another condition for hearing the voice of God is that we must trust and obey Him. The lack of trust in God causes anxiety and worry. Very often the Lord speaks to us in a still small voice. In order to hear His voice, we have to be still and calm. Psalm 23:2 tells us that He leads us beside the still waters. Sheep being very sensitive animals cannot drink when the water is running. They have to be in a relaxed state of mind, undisturbed by their surroundings. Likewise, having the confidence that God is in charge of all your circumstances, no matter how challenging and difficult they are will enable you to be still. Then only you will be able to hear what God is speaking.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Trusting that God works everything out for good no matter what the circumstances will enable us to live a victorious Christian life. Always remember what Romans 8:28 says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Lack of forgiveness also prevents you from hearing God’s voice. Matthew 5:23 says, so if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar, go and be reconciled to that person, then come and offer your sacrifice to God. You need to settle whatever issues you may have with another person first, whether it is with your spouse, children, boss or someone in church. Then only can you come before God in worship and prayer. You have to put your heart right first before coming into His presence. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that just as God has forgiven them, they are to forgive others. The same measure they use for others will be used for them. What you sow is what you will reap. Therefore, it is very clear that we cannot harbour unforgiveness in our hearts if we want to hear from God.
In Matthew 5:44 God takes it one step further. We are to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. You may think this is going too far, but this is the God we are following. This is Jesus’ commandment. It is not an option. If you can live like that, your life will become really powerful. Nothing can stand in your way because He who is with you is greater than he who is in the world and whatever you touch will prosper. God’s voice will be crystal clear to you because you are living the life of Jesus. His word abides in you and you abide in Him.
Another blockage to hearing God’s voice is our rebellious attitude or stubbornness. Our hearts are hardened and are easily deceived when we are rebellious. Charles Swindoll, a very famous preacher and author in his book ‘Living on the Ragged Edge’, wrote that if there ever is a sin that God hates the most, it is the sin of pride. The root of rebellion is pride as demonstrated by the devil who was the first to rebel against God. How do we rebel? Let us look at Saul as an example. God had instructed him through the prophet Samuel to kill the Amalekite king and to destroy every living thing in that land, but Saul disobeyed. He left the king alive and took into captivity all the animals which were of value. When Samuel confronted him, he defended himself by saying that he wanted to keep the animals to sacrifice to God.
Listen to what Samuel said in 1 Samuel 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from
being king.” Because of Saul’s willful disobedience, God rejected him as king. Our God is an all-or-nothing-God. You either follow Him completely or you don’t follow Him at all.
The Bible tells us that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. If you live your life in obedience to God, you will have success all the way. Furthermore, Romans 13:1-2 reads, Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Can we accept that?
What about the authority that violates human rights? Should we follow? In John 19:10-11, when Pilate threatened to crucify Jesus, the latter answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” That is the example we should all follow. Jesus recognized that Pontius Pilate had the power to do whatever he wanted because God had given him the power. Jesus submitted because He recognized that Pilate’s authority had been given by God. Therefore, by submitting to authority, whether it is your parent, boss or any form of government or spiritual authority, you are submitting to God and when you do that, you are protected.