The voice of God can be seen and heard in many different ways. Aspects of perception, tuning, sounds, similitudes, dreams, and thoughts all carry a voice. Even feelings sway perception. At times I have felt that something was absurd, that it lacked harmony. This is a voice telling us something.
When Stephen was speaking to the crowd in Acts Chapter 7 we read in verse 54 that: “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.” Stephen was saying one thing but they were likely hearing more than just his words. Sometimes someone can be saying something but you don’t want hear what they are saying. Remember Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” We have to see and hear into the higher thoughts of God. Beyond just perception because perception’s voice can tint what we hear.
I remember years ago walking down on the beach as I listened to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. I would hear the waves and be walk with my feet in the water but the whole time my mind was filled with awe at the bigness of God. Just as the waves were loudly crashing on the shore so God’s voice was thundering around me! If we listen very carefully we will hear.
in 1 Kings chapter 19 Elijah was in the cave when he heard something. Scripture says he heard the voice of God. It wasn’t the fire, the wind, or the earthquake. Likewise as I was standing in the ocean it wasn’t the waves that I was hearing. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a. Yes the water was moving at my feet and the wind was blowing but there was something else going on.
When we keep our mind stayed on God, set on things above and not on things beneath, the voice of God begins to speak. “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?” 1 Kings 19:13. Elijah stood at the entrance of the cave and threw the mantle over his head. Then suddenly the still small voice of God came to him and instructed him. This happened at the place of transition; the mouth of the cave; the threshold.
He then hid himself in his mantle (which represented his anointing) and suddenly he began to perceive the voice of God. Until you step out you will not begin to know. Hearing the voice of God is always connected to “knowing God’s plan” for your life. It’s important to understand that as you “go” the knowing comes. “Go into all the world” Mark 16:15. Get up off of the cave floor and go to the threshold!
I remember when I was in South Africa years ago and chaos was breaking out all over the country. My wife was pregnant, the country was in transition with Nelson Mandela, people were being killed left and right, interracial warfare etc. But in the midst of this I felt like I had to go to some of the Indian people in the nation. In the midst of that chaos I just went. At the time my uncle happened to be driving to the city of
Durban and back so I just got in the car and went with him. As we got close to Durban we stopped at a place down by the beach. As I stepped out of the car I looked up and saw a sign at a church that said “The Lord’s place.” I didn’t have any money, any plan, or anything but I knew this was the place. This was unfamiliar territory and my pregnant wife was now 8 hours away staying with my relatives.
But I stepped out of the car onto the curb and went up to that church and started talking with the Pastor. As I was speaking with the Pastor I just told him very clearly that I felt God had impressed very strongly that I needed to come minister there. I was taught in school to NEVER just approach a pastor and ask to minister there but I broke the rules. The voice of God has to rise above the soul and flesh.
The voice of God has to become louder and then it will become clearer. Don’t merely hear or see things as they are but see things (according to the spirit) by the way we are. I knew I was hearing God even though it went against what I’d been taught in school.
That pastor prayed and agreed to have me minister on Friday. I had no place to stay till then so I was hanging out at a surf shop in town. The owner approached me and after telling her how I was walking by faith and was ministering at the church in that place she offered to let me stay at a small apartment she had next to her place.
Later as I was ministering in the church there was a great sense of expectation that came to me. An expectation of something supernatural, something miraculous. Acts 10:44 says “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.” After preaching I felt like I still needed to do something. God said to me “I will do it.” But I still felt like I should do something so God told me to run since I felt like I needed to do something. I never understood it but I think that was more or less just to get me out of the way. As I came running around the room the whole congregation of over 100 youth and about 100 visitors all fell under the power of God and began to speak in tongues. It was like Pentecost all over again!
What started with me getting in my uncle’s car and stopping off at some unfamiliar town in the middle of nowhere led to a great revival! When I saw that sign over the church that said “The Lord’s Place” I felt the voice of God tell me to “start here”. I’m glad that I listened to that voice!
After the meeting the pastor began to call other pastors and tell them about the meeting and to have them invite us to minister. The pastor called the headquarters of a network and they put us into 160 churches in the area! I thank God that I heard the voice! Even though I faced opposition from some people in the region it was a tremendous revival and I wouldn’t take back anything from those times!
Another aspect of tuning into the voice of God and knowing God’s will is found in discovering and being led by the Love of God. If you follow the Love of God it is impossible to step outside of the Will of God. God is Love. Now here when we talk about the Love of God we are not talking about empathy or pity but the genuine Love of God. The Love of God will direct you to do things. Being compelled by God’s Love is part of tuning into his voice. The passion of God has a voice, Love has a voice. There are places that i’ve gone to that I didn’t necessarily hear a voice saying “go here” or “do this” but I just felt Love wanting me to go there. Love just goes.
Love gives us the direction. We need to learn to let Love take on a voice in our lives. If you follow the Love of God you cannot step out of the will of God. It’s more than just listening its about hearing and knowing. Faith works by love. There are times where i’m in a meeting and Love leads me to focus on a certain person. I don’t know why but I just go with it. As I begin to step towards that person or speak to them all of a sudden I get Word of Knowledge for them or Word of Wisdom. Something as simple as just saying “Lady I don’t know why but the Love of God has led me to you.” and all of a sudden God shows me she has breast cancer. As I follow the direction of Love, faith becomes active and it results in miracles, healing, and freedom.
It was the same voice that led me to “The Lord’s Place” on the way to Durban. It was the same voice that I heard on the beach in the middle of all those waves. I can’t tell you how many messages and books were birthed out of those times of walking in the waves. God speaking through his word, through thoughts, even at times through nature. The love of God opened the door to hear the voice of God clearer.
Listen to the Love of God, stay in the Love of God. Hide yourself in Christ today! Your life is hidden with Christ in God and you can know that in God, his voice is there. Every day in Christ is rest, so be still today and know that He is God. Tune into the voice of God!