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Hearing and Recognizing God's Voice

“He who is of God hears God's words;” (John 8:47)

      Jesus cries out seven times to the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The Holy Spirit is speaking to God’s people. For those who listen and obey, they are about to move forward into the greatest outpouring of God’s Spirit that the world has ever known. But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. "Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:23-24 NKJV)

      As we stand at the edge of the horizon of God’s glory being revealed upon the earth the greatest need continues to be workers in the harvest. It is through hearing and obeying the voice of God that we gather the harvest and expand the kingdom of God. Each Christian has a mission and a ministry ordained by God to walk in. There is only one head in the body of Christ, as we listen and obey His voice, the Holy Spirit; the body of Christ will come together in complete unity and function in perfect harmony.

      All true Christians have heard God’s voice. Jesus says, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. (John 6:44-45) It was God’s voice that drew you to Him. In your inner most being you heard God saying, “I have chosen you and ordained you, come unto Me”.1  

      So the beginning of your recognition of communication from God was when He was calling you to salvation. But your salvation was only the beginning of your calling; God never stops calling you. When a person receives God’s salvation the Lord immediately calls them into ministry for Him. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:8-10)  God has ordained good works for you to walk in and it is by communication from God that we receive through the Holy Spirit that we know where to walk, how to walk, and when to walk.

      When Christ gave His life and shed His blood on the cross for us He made the way for us to enter into relationship with Him as blood relatives. He Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (John 6:53-56) The blood that Christ shed created a new covenant with you and for you so that you could now be joined to God, you in God, and God in you, one with God. And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:24) 

     When we accept Christ and His sacrifice for us He then puts His Spirit in us, the Spirit of Love, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our unity with God, our bond with God. We now share the same Holy Spirit that unites the Father and the Son, the same Spirit that makes God One, also makes us one with God. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (1st Cor 6:17) If we do not have the Holy Spirit than we are not part of God’s family, we are not blood relatives of Christ. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Rom 8:9) But not only do we need to have the Holy Spirit but we must also be led by the Holy Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom 8:14) 

      To whom much is given shall much be required.2 In the new covenant we have been given such an awesome privilege to have God’s Spirit in us and with us. Through God’s Holy Spirit we have constant communion and communication with God. We have not just received the written instructions of God through the Holy Bible, but we also receive instructions directly from the command center of the universe, the throne of God. But even deeper than that, because we are unified with God through the Holy Spirit we receive communication from God’s heart into our heart. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," (Heb 10:15-16) 

      The Holy Spirit communicates the deep things of God to us. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1stCor 2:9-12)

      It is through the Holy Spirit that we have been given the “mind of Christ”. Christ is the head, we are the body, and we receive instruction from Him through the Holy Spirit. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1stCor 2:13-16)      

     That word “mind” means that we have inside of us Christ thoughts, Christ will, and the emotions of Christ. We are not to be guided by our physical mind, which is our thoughts, our will, and our emotions; but we are to be guided by the Holy Spirit who communicates to us the thoughts of God, the will of God, and the emotions of God. There are times when the Holy Spirit communicates to us things that are too deep for human language, but we can sense the emotions of God. We have all heard people say that we are not to be led by our “feelings”, and that is true but we can be led by God’s feelings, His emotions.

      Spiritual maturity progresses as we become more Holy Spirit conscious and less self-conscious. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom 8:5-6) We are in a process of dying to ourselves that Christ life may become manifested is us, the more we die to ourselves the more of His life is in us. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2ndCor 4:11) Jesus says, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Mat 10:38-39)

      Fortunately God gives us the power to become spiritually minded through the Holy Spirit so that Christ life can be manifested in us and through us. There are seven characteristics that we can count on from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and power, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears. (Isa 11:2-3)

      The first thing we can count on from the Holy Spirit is that He will be with us forever. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)  So the Holy Spirit, will be with us forever, in this life, through death, and in the next life, He is our unity with God.

      We also receive wisdom, and understanding from the Holy Spirit. We receive counsel, which are words from God, and power, which is faith that comes through hearing God’s words. We also receive the knowledge of God, which causes us to have the fear of God. The more we know God the more that we will stand is awe of Him. Notice that we are to delight in the fear of God, the fear of God is like a fence that keeps us safe and close to God, and it helps us to keep our hearts clean and holy before God. The fear of God helps us to experience the joy of a clean heart before God.

      So seven things that we receive from the Holy Spirit are; 1 eternal companionship and unity with God; 2 God’s wisdom; 3 God’s understanding; 4 God’s counsel, which is His communication and words; 5 God’s power, which is faith that we receive through hearing God’s words; 6 the intimate knowledge of God; and 7 the fear of God which perfects holiness in us.

      The Holy Spirit is at work in us to bring about our destiny of being conformed into the image of Christ. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:27-29) 

      We are called according to God’s purpose, to walk in good works, which God ordained for us to do. Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. "These things I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:16-17) 

      It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the instructions and power to accomplish the mission that God wants us to accomplish for His purpose. Your destiny as a believer is to become conformed into the image of Christ; it is the Holy Spirit that takes you on the journey of getting there. The Holy Spirit guides us into all Truth, Jesus the Christ is Truth. Jesus says,“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12-15) 

      God will speak to us in many ways; one of the main ways is through the written scriptures. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV)  God will never contradict Himself so the scriptures help to confirm what the Holy Spirit is speaking inside of us. Because the same voice that wrote the scriptures speaks directly to us who are of the new covenant. But it is through the Holy Spirit that we are given the knowledge of how and when to apply which scriptures to which situation.

      God sometimes speaks to people through dreams, visions, and even an audible voice. God also speaks through other people; sometimes He speaks through people that may not even be Christians. God sometimes speaks through circumstances, opening and closing doors of opportunity. But we are not to be led by people or by circumstances but only by the Holy Spirit. The key is to recognize God’s voice when you hear it in whatever way that He chooses to communicate to you. We are to walk by faith not by sight, and faith comes by hearing the spoken words of God and recognizing His voice.

Recognizing God’s Voice

      We know God’s voice because we know Him. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”(John 10:14 NIV). We recognize God’s voice because we recognize Him, the better we get to know God the more clearly we will recognize His voice. God’s voice is His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, so the voice of God is the sound of Love. The actions of love are accomplished when we put God’s benefit and the benefit of others before our own benefit. God’s voice, His Holy Spirit will always lead us in the direction of love.

      The greatest love is to lay down your life for another; God is always leading us into laying down our own life so that we may experience His life. Jesus says, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Mat 10:38-39 NKJV) The cross is a painful experience, but it is worth going through the cross to experience the resurrection into eternal life, the cross is temporary but the resurrection is forever.

      God always leads us into humility and out of pride. Humility is part of the process of dying to self. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:5-8 NKJV) 

      Pride is sin, and all sin causes a hardening of our heart toward God, which causes us to become less sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Walking in humility and purity of heart causes us to hear God’s voice more clearly by being more sensitive to the Holy Spirit He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (Psa 25:9 NIV)

      In our prayer life (as in all areas of life) it is critical that we hear God’s voice and are led by His Holy Spirit in what to pray. Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (Eccl 5:1-2 NIV God is not Santa Claus, it is spiritual immaturity to come to God with your list of selfish wants. If the Lord is your Shepard you shall not want, because He will take care of your needs as you walk in love toward Him and other people. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mat 6:33 NKJV) 

      Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” (Mat 6:9-10 NKJV)  The first thing we do in prayer is to recognize that God is our Father, He is our source of everything and He knows our needs. The first request we make of God is that His name is made Holy on the earth, that His kingdom advances, and that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. These should be our priorities in prayer.

      When we abide in Jesus so that His Spirit and His words can flow through us, then we can ask what we desire because our desires will have been conformed to His desires, His will. This is how we glorify God on earth; this is how we increase His kingdom. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8 NKJV)  Our body is the temple of God and He calls His house a house of prayer. Every Christian should be a house of prayer, praying without ceasing, constant communication with God. Effective prayer in faith comes through hearing from God and then praying His will on the earth as it is in heaven.

      Jesus never tells you to go some place that He has not been before, in fact He never tells you to go to a place where He is not already there waiting for you. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love always draws you to Love, and therefore always draws you to God, because God is Love. I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. (Hosea 11:4 NKJV)

      Jesus asks us to walk in His steps and come to where He is. The Holy Spirit always draws us, He pulls us; He never pushes us. We are to follow Jesus and be led by the Holy Spirit. There is a yearning of the Spirit in you calling you to do some thing or go some place, this is the voice of God in you.

      The Lord goes before us preparing the way, and He goes with us on the journey. When we are following in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit we walk in the presence of God; experiencing His love, joy, and peace, even in the worst of circumstances. And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. (Deut 31:8 NKJV) 

      God is always drawing you into His presence, when you meet Him at the place that He has called you to; it is there that you will experience an intense anointing to serve Him. That is the place that you can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth; for to obey God’s voice is worship. Worship is expressing love to God and Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV) 

      Jesus is always calling His sheep to follow Him; He is always calling His sheep to Himself. Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”(John 10:27 NKJV) Remember when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats the sheep are the ones that came to Him and served Him. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. …And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”(Mat 25:34-40 NKJV) 

      As Christians we must be aware that what we say and do to others we say and do to Jesus. When dealing with other Christians focus on Jesus in them, appeal to Jesus in them, communicate to Jesus in them, and do unto Jesus in them. Since all people are created in the image of God we should do the same for all people, because God’s love compels us to love even our enemies. 

      When we please Jesus by obeying His commands of love we then experience His Joy. Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”(John 15:9-12 NIV) 

      As mentioned above we have the mind of Christ, which means that through the Holy Spirit we have access to the will of God, the thoughts of God, and the emotions of God. Just as we can experience God’s joy through actions of love we can also experience God grieving through our actions that hurt people. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph 4:29-30 NKJV) We have all said things that have hurt others and then we immediately felt bad inside. What we need to recognize is that is that the “bad feeling” inside was God feeling bad because of our sin; it was the grieving of the Holy Spirit in us. This is God’s voice communicating with us directly, not with just words, but His very emotions.

      We know that God’s love, God’s joy, and the peace of God in your heart is an indication that you are hearing and obeying the voice of God. For you will go out with joy, And be led forth with peace; (Isa 55:12 NASB) When there is a lack of God’s peace in your heart it means that your relationship with Him is lacking. The Holy Spirit will then try to guide you back into a righteous relationship with God, and if you follow His leading you will once again experience the peace of God through the Holy Spirit in you.

      And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. {15} And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. {16} Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. {17} And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Col 3:14-17 NASB) 

If you feel that God is speaking a message to you but you are not really sure if it is from God here are some good questions to ask your self about the message.

1)     Does it line up with the Holy Bible, the written scriptures?

2)     Does it lead you into a closer relationship with God, a greater unity with Him?

3)     Does it lead you into expressing love, which is putting God’s benefit and the benefit of others before your own benefit?

4)     Does it lead to a dying of yourself and a greater manifestation of Christ life in you?

5)     Does it cause greater humility in you, and a greater dependence upon God?

6)     Does it cause greater love, joy, and peace from God in you?

1 (John 15:16)  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

2 (Luke 12:47-49)  "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. {48} "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. {49} "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

 

 

   

 

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