This is but a small portion of the book, God Speaks. (Link below) I was honored to contribute to this compilation.
Experiencing God’s Voice
God’s goodness is the same towards me today as it was yesterday; He doesn’t change. What does change is my awareness of it. I don’t live in a vacuum, I live in a Kingdom where the King speaks, and He speaks all the time. And, He’s speaking to you and me right now.
It comes down to hearing God’s voice for ourselves
One thing we have been granted is the ability to hear His voice for ourselves. This may not happen immediately when we get saved, but it can. Too often we begin by hearing His voice through others and never move beyond that. Or we’ve been taught that hearing the voice of God is only for the few elect among us. That simply is not true. So guess what? I’m here to tell you the Good News: You too can hear God for yourself! Actually, you need to hear God for yourself. And the reason is, we need to hear His voice in order to have any kind of relationship with Him. It’s why He created us in the first place; He wants to interact with us.
If we want to hear God, the first thing we have to do is actually believe that we can hear Him. We have to believe and come to know that he is speaking to us all the time, and then tune in and actually interact with Him.
If we don’t believe that hearing from God is possible, it won’t be. If we think hearing from God is only for others, we will never develop the relationship we need, and He so desires. We will miss so much and maybe we won’t hear anything at all because we’re not expecting to or listening for Him. Our posture will not be leaning toward Him.
Some ways we can hear God’s voice
For me, hearing His voice starts with asking questions, leaning in as if to hear a whispered response. But I don’t ask any ole questions; I ask specific questions, things I truly don’t know the answer to. When we ask specific questions, we know when He answers them. How could we not? If I ask Him something I don’t know the answer to and all of a sudden I know the answer, it follows that He is the one who obviously gave me the answer. And sometimes, it can be that simple.
Usually, a question that begins with “why” is not a great place to start. A better question might begin with “what” or “who.” For instance: What are we going to be doing today? Or, who am I going to encounter today? Maybe an even better question would be something more specific. For example, “God, you know I’m having this issue at work. I’m asking for wisdom to know who I can turn for the answers I need to resolve these things.” When a solution comes to a specific question that you had no answer for yourself, you know it was God speaking.
These types of questions invite a response and set our focus on what or who we may encounter that day. We will be looking for it, even expecting it.
How we hear His voice differs from person to person and from situation to situation. He’s pretty creative and likes to demonstrate it. The actual hearing isn’t always an audible voice as we may expect, (although sometimes, it is.) Most often it’s an inward one, and even that can vary in tone. Our spiritual ears are not the same as our physical ears, just like seeing in the spirit isn’t always the same as seeing with our natural eyes, even though it does happen. But both are ways in which God can speak to us. One time I heard God speak to me in such a loud voice I thought the people in the car behind me could hear Him too! His voice reverberated in my head so loudly that it only felt audible, although it actually wasn’t.
Another way God speaks to us is through a picture or vision. Several years ago as I was ministering at the International Association of Healing Rooms ministry, I saw a picture over a woman I was praying for. As I closed my eyes I suddenly saw a broken cistern and knew it was a picture of her. It was a very brief image that only lasted a second or two but it was enough to for me to know how to pray. A word of knowledge can take on many forms, from hearing and seeing, to feeling physical pain. And these are only a few of the ways God speaks to us.
God also often uses my intuition to speak to me. For example, when He speaks to me via impressions, I suddenly know things that I didn’t know prior to asking Him. Although it’s not really discernible words, I know it’s His voice because scripture tells us that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and what He just “said” or what I now intuitively know, is something I couldn’t have known, but it’s better than what I could have come up with. It often works like this: I’m seeking an answer for something or someone. I ask God the question, then the next thing you know, I have the answer.
When you work in the healing rooms, you do so as a team. As a team we would receive a form that the “patient” had filled out with their prayer needs and a little personal information. The form had things like, their name, marital status, religion, prayer need, doctor’s care, etc. Once we got the form, we would pray over it to find out what the Lord had to say about the prayer need and to get His strategy. There were times when we didn’t feel like we had received any strategy at all and that’s when asking these questions became very important. Either way, after we had prayed, the “patient” would then come in the room.
In a place like this, God loves to pour out His love on those who have come seeking Him. It’s a wonderful thing to be the vessel for this great love. When times came that I didn’t know what to pray or even where to begin when standing in front of the person who came in for prayer, I would begin to ask God questions about them. I would ask God what He wanted to say to that person today, or how He wanted me to minister to them. I would ask Him to show me why they were in pain, or even what was the root of the pain, etc. all because I knew these people didn’t come to see me. They came for an encounter with Him and for the healing that only He could do.
He demonstrated this to me many times. One Saturday, we were praying over a young man who had come in for prayer. We gathered around him and one by one, the members of the team began to speak encouragement and words of destiny over him. This went on for a while but the recipient wasn’t acting like he was the least bit encouraged.
While waiting my turn to pray for him, I heard the Lord say, “Break the Eeyore spirit off of him.” I said, “What, Lord?” He repeated it to me again and added something else. “Break the Eeyore spirit off, and impart the spirit of Tigger to him.” That was very strange, but I knew I didn’t imagine it.
When I stood before this young man, I didn’t preface anything. I boldly did what the Lord told me to do. Everyone in the room laughed, except the person receiving prayer. I commanded the spirit of Eeyore to leave, and before I could even begin to talk about Tigger or anything else, he leaned in and wanted to hear more about what exactly an Eeyore spirit meant, because it resonated deeply with him, even if he didn’t understand what it all meant. I actually didn’t know what it meant when I first heard God say it either, so I asked Him. What He spoke was more in the form of impressions than actual words. Since I didn’t know anything about this spirit before hearing God tell me to speak it, all I could do was open my mouth by faith and hope He would fill it! He did. As I opened my mouth, an explanation came forth. I told him it was a victim spirit, a self-pitying spirit, and it left him wide open to all the discouragements he’d been experiencing in his life. After telling him these things, I finished doing what the Lord asked; I imparted the spirit of Tigger to him. I spoke joy over him and freedom to dance and live with great expectation of what God was doing in his life. His whole countenance changed. He was open and happy and no longer sad and heavy-leaden. Joy was bubbling up and out of him. Of course everyone was still laughing in the room, but it was for a different reason now; joy had come down to stay. As a side note, every time I encountered this young man, I called him by his new name: Tigger, and I honestly can say, Tigger is who he is.
Another time we were praying over a woman, whom we all knew. This person told us she wanted prayer for addiction to be removed, but would give no details as to what the addiction was or any other specific needs. It was strange in that she seemed to not trust us with her “secret,” so I assumed it was shame operating and keeping her from a place of trust.
Our prayers were going nowhere. No one seemed to be getting any revelation or specifics on how to pray for her. While I was doing my part by interceding, and seeking God for what He wanted me to say or pray over her when my turn came, I heard the Lord say, “Tell her your testimony; tell her about overcoming addiction yourself.”
When my turn finally came, I stood in front of her and said, “I have no idea what your addiction is, nor does it matter, because God wants to heal you right now. And, God told me to tell you my testimony about quitting cigarettes; He felt you needed to hear it. ” When I said that, her eyes got huge! She asked me how I knew, who told me her secret? “Well, God did, of course,” I said. So I told her my testimony about quitting smoking and the changes I made in my life so that it would remain gone. I then prayed for her to have the same overcoming spirit. I declared that my testimony would become the spirit of prophesy in her life and the spirit of addiction would depart from her and she would gain freedom over it.
When God spoke to me about sharing my testimony, I knew it was Him. I wasn’t even thinking about overcoming cigarettes, it hadn’t even occurred to me. I was expecting to hear about some deep terrible sin or something. So much for my imagination, that wasn’t on God’s heart at all.
After asking/praying for these things I would usually get an answer, as indicated in the stories above. The answer never came in an audible voice, but instead it would come as a knowing in me. Once I started ministering and praying with this knowledge, other things or information would begin to flow out of me that I had had no knowledge of prior to asking. This is how a word of knowledge works.
Sometimes I would receive knowledge or information that was an answer to something someone needed, but to me it didn’t make much sense. And because I was in a position of hearing God for them and depending on His revelation, I would by faith, begin to speak out the things I had heard. Soon after, the Holy Spirit would begin to flow through me and more and more revelation would pour forth.
These words were things only Holy Spirit and the person receiving prayer knew and there was no way I could have known them without God telling me first.
Hearing God for those around me is a wonderful thing, but often when He speaks, it’s for me alone. He wants to be involved in every aspect of my life, and sometimes, He wants to have a conversation with no agenda or teaching. He wants to talk and spend time with me.
During these times, He speaks to me through teachings and things I read, like books, blogs, and scriptures. Most times, I wouldn’t even be articulating a question, but was simply pondering something in my heart, and the answer would come up through whatever I was reading or listening to. At these times, I could almost physically hear Him smile. Don’t ask me how that works because I don’t have any idea, but hear that smile, I did.
I’ve learned that He is always speaking, but I may not always be listening. His voice is like a frequency on a radio station; it’s always on whether we are tuned in (listening) or not. My desire is to be able to tune in and then rip the knob off so I never am in a place where I don’t hear His voice. My joy is to interact with Him, and that involves hearing.
There was a time just a couple of years ago where I had been crying out for a spiritual mother or someone to mentor me. I had been teaching and equipping women through book studies for several years and was feeling inadequate to continue. I felt I needed someone to teach and equip me, one on one, so I could serve and teach others better. I wanted someone to pour into me like I was pouring into them. There was no one to fulfill that role in my life at that time.
One day while driving home from work I was having a conversation with God, telling him once again about my longing for someone to speak into my life. Actually, I was probably doing more whining than anything else, when suddenly, as clear as if He were sitting in the car beside me, I heard Him speak. He said, “What you are to them, I am to you. You teach, equip, and encourage more people than you realize. I am your teacher. I am your mentor and for this time, I’m all that you need.”
Wow, I heard Him so clearly it couldn’t be mistaken for any thoughts of my own. He took my breaking heart in His hands and gently eased the pain. I was overwhelmed with His love. The fact that He would take the time to make sure that I knew He was there for me in my time of need changed me. Suddenly I knew it was true; He had been teaching me and sustaining me through it all. I guess we all need to hear encouraging words and be affirmed from time to time. And who better to hear it from than God Himself?
Hearing God literally has changed my life. Yes I still hear him speak through others, but there is nothing like a personal conversation with someone who knows you better than anyone else. He is my wisdom and my guide. If ever I’m lacking in either of these things, I know right away that it’s me who has left the conversation, not Him.
He’s speaking even now. Can you hear Him? What is He saying?
Excerpt from, God Speaks – Perspectives on Hearing God’s Voice, Praying Medic, Inkitty Press 2017
Get a copy here: http://amzn.to/2Gwp37l