Whose Voice is It Anyway? Part 1
I Kings 19:11-13 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Identifying the voice of the Lord is a struggle for many, as there are many voices in their heads. For most of us, it will always be a kind of tension: Are those my own thoughts, or is that from God? There is no easy way to quickly learn how He speaks to each of us. There is also no “one size fits all” approach to learning His voice. He loves each of us individually, and we must all learn the voice of the Lord on our own. We are each “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and it is not a mechanical, but a personal thing to hear the voice of our Maker. God wants us to lean into Him to learn the way we are to hear from Him, not discover a “method.”
But there are a few things we can all do that can position us to better hear His voice. Soaking ourselves in God’s word is a sure way to know His mind and heart, for example, and that helps us identify His voice when we hear it. The Lord often speaks to us from His word while we are reading it, or brings it back to our minds at other times, quoting His own word as He speaks to us His people. We also can’t expect to hear His voice clearly without putting a lot of His thoughts into our heads first. We need something against which we can measure what we think we’re hearing.
Obedience is also another way to open us up to hearing His voice. If we haven’t been obedient to the things He’s already shown us to do, why should He continue speaking when we’re not listening with an intent to obey? If we are having problems hearing what He’s saying now, we might be wise to go back to the last thing we are sure we heard, and ask ourselves (and/or Him) if we’ve responded fully to that communication. “[His] word is a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path” (Psalm 119:105). If we’re not seeing the lamp and light in front of us, it may be because it’s behind us, waiting for us to go back and walk where the light was leading us. We are to walk by faith, and God has His reasons for speaking things to us in His order.
God wants us to hear His voice even more than we want to hear it. Today’s suggestions—and tomorrow’s—may help open our ears.
Prayer: Lord, lead me to put more of Your written word in my head, that I may be able to receive more of what Your Spirit wants to impart. Also, please show me if there is anything undone that needs to be done, that I can “clear the way” for all the rest of the things You have for me to hear.