The sheep recognize his voice and come to him. John 10:3b (NLT)
I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know my Father. John 10:14-15 (NLT)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NLT)
Question for you. Do you think God talks to us? Do you think you can hear his voice? I do.
When I talk about this with people they usually have a couple of standard responses. The first one is “What does his voice sounds like?”, i.e. Is it audible? Is it loud? Is it masculine or feminine? My answer to that is “It can sound any way it wants.” It’s God. He is not limited by our finite minds – He talked through a donkey after all! Now that we’ve established that what it sounds like really doesn’t matter……
The next statement is “God doesn’t talk to me.” I think he does. I think he talks to all of us. I also think whether you hear him or not is dependent on if you are listening for him. If you are not looking for him, if you are not listening for him, you are going to be less likely to hear him. Think of it this way. When you get married, if you are in a crowded room and your spouse calls your name, you hear them. Your ear is tuned to their voice. It’s the same thing if you are a parent. If your child calls out “Mom!” you recognize that voice right away. When you are listening for God and begin to tune your ear to his voice, you hear him and just like with your spouse or your child, you respond.
The next question that we all ask is “How do I know it’s him?” Very good question. We all struggle with this one and as far as I can tell the answer is ‘Practice’ and ‘Constant Communication.’ I know God has spoken to me and I know I hear his voice. The messages are never the same and sometimes they sound downright illogical. When I am unsure, I keep going back to him and asking questions. I ask for confirmation. I ask for more information. I ask for flashing neon lights with an arrow that says “Go this way.” (I don’t ever get that response.) I don’t think God ever gets tired of us trying to find him. So keep practicing and keep asking questions.
A lot of this article is about what I think from my own personal experience. What does the Bible say about it? First, there are way too many statements about God talking to people to put them in a short blog. But, we can talk about a couple of them. We know God says “If you seek me, you will be found by me” (Jeremiah 29:13), so he wants to be in a relationship with us. We know that in John 10 (above) Jesus said he knows us and we can know him. He also said we can know him like he and the Father know each other. That’s pretty intimate knowing. He also said we can know his voice. So it is possible to ‘hear’ him.
This is so important you can’t take my word for it. You have to listen for yourself. Start talking to God. Tell him you want to find him. Tell him you want to hear him. And keep talking until you do. I know he will show up because he’s promised. Maybe he’s just waiting for you to start the conversation.
–Elaine Kapetanakis (thought4theday.com)