I was recently asked about hearing the voice of God and this was my response...makes for good blogging.
What I have learned about hearing God's voice;
When I was a new believer, full of zeal and passion, I assumed that almost every thought I heard in my head was the voice of God. Mostly it was things about what my "calling" was or what was good for my life. (I believed I was to teach and set the captives free who were bound by demonic oppressions, addictions etc) I believe that I was to have a huge ministry based on all the "good" things God told me. Now, obviously nearly 13 years later....I do not have what I thought I heard I would have. Yes, I have done some Christian 12 step work with some women and I have been involved in prayer ministries setting free captives. Yes, I have lead several small groups and ministered in those ways. It was been few and far between according to what I thought it would be.
I asked myself if that meant that I had heard incorrectly, or if the voice I heard was indeed not God, but my own vain ambitions and striving. I asked myself "Why do you want to hear God's voice?" That may sound like a silly question, but motives are important in anything we do. The Bible says this about God's Word: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
I realized that I was only wanting to hear what I wanted to hear from God. I believed that I was ready for all that God has for me....back then.
Now, these things may well come true, someday, so I may have heard God correctly and it may not have been just my thoughts. What I have learned however is that I have LONG way to go before I am ready for anything like that! God is not on my time schedule. His will is not at my whim.
I have also learned to hear God through his word. There is enough in there to keep me busy for eternity! I have learned that God does not give "new" revelations. Ecclesiastes 1:9-14 says, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
I learned that there are so many things in scripture that God needs me to work on first. Take for example these verses...(I will let you look them up) Psalm 127:3-5 and Titus 2:3-5. It has taken me 6 years to even begin to follow these small scriptures even a tiny bit! It is a long and hard uphill battle of daily dying to self to even begin to get it. These verses are God speaking to me actively.
On a more general, personal level for you...what about 1 Cor. 13:1-13? How is God speaking to you (all of us) in this section of scripture? Are we doing these things?
The Lord commanded us to be holy as He is holy, to be "holy in every aspect of (our) conduct" (see 1 Pt 1:15-16). Holiness is the very character of God, and our heavenly Father wants His children to act and look like Him. We are called to be a "holy nation" (1 Pt 2:9), and the Lord is coming back a final time for a holy Church, "holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort" (Eph 5:27). Without holiness, we cannot go to heaven and see God (Heb 12:14).
The Lord will make us holy (1 These 5:23-24), but we must first thirst for holiness. However, we are already hungering and thirsting for the things of the world. Because we are stuffed with the spiritual junk food of the world, we have lost our appetite for holiness, the food of God's word (Mt 4:4), and the nourishment of the Lord's body and blood (Jn 6:55). "Anxieties over life's demands, and the desire for wealth, and cravings of other sorts" choke off the seed of God's word (Mk 4:19). "The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed" (Gal 5:17). "Lust indulged starves the soul" (Prv 13:19). We are spiritually anorexic and starving. Our life-style has become a "death-style."
I had to learn those things the hard way and slowly begin to see what God was really saying. It has little to do with my personal life, wealth or happiness. It has everything to do with learning to follow the Lord on HIS terms and to step into line with HIS plan that has been set in place from before the beginning of time. I am but a speck in the grand scheme of things. I have a vital role to play in the story of the world, but it is NOT about ME or what I want. It is all about Jesus.
So, as you can see...my ideas on God speaking to me have radically changed over time.
I am very busy daily and I often feel the loss of my quiet prayer time with the Lord. In this season of my life, there is not much time for anything. The demands of caring for 7 small children, homeschooling, housekeeping, meal planning, shopping...the list is endless and I often feel overwhelmed with all that I have to do each day. This is also part of my growth. God has given me these children, and He calls them a blessing to me. I am to learn that. Even when I am too busy to care for myself properly, I am called to selflessly give up more to serve the Lord in this time of my life. It will not always be this way, just as you will not always be where you are now. Be where you are now, and look for the lessons and the blessings of your hard season. More is learned in the hard times then the easy times. Better to be in the valley, crying out for God's help than to be on the mountain top believing that you have no need of God.
God has shown me through many humbling lessons that I am not in control even of my own life. As much as I want to be, as much as I LONG to be. I am not in control even of when I draw my next breath, or how my body will behave. To be on bed rest for 3 months with a twin pregnancy, not able to even walk without heart palpitations for the excess water and weight and strain of growing 2 people in my body showed me that! There are many such lessons.
My job it trust and obey, and that is enough to keep me occupied forever!
Take it slowly, you have eternity to follow Jesus now. Learn how he wants to mold you character first, then see about the duties, activities, jobs etc. that you believe he may want for you. God always looks to the inner man first, the heart issues. Those are of highest importance.