Bible Basics: Recognizing the Voice of God!
(Ver 1.3) This is a inttoduction to an important Bible subject for every Christian to understand on “How to Be Led by the Spirit of God”. I generally don’t get into Bible basics in any great depth. But I realize that there are many people who are new to Christianity so we should try to help them in their spiritual growth. There are so many people who want to hear from God. So many people that want to know that God is real. So many people that want God to speak to them from a cloud or a burning bush. These people want proof that God exists and that He cares. However, the system that God has designed is based upon faith. God purposely hides Himself from our view. God has not revealed himself to us in order to challenge us to believe in the One that we have not seen. But that does not mean that God has not spoken to you. It means only that you probably didn’t know it was God when it happened. So how does God speak to us? Why don’t we hear it normally with our outer ears? We can see that people in the Bible also struggled with this reality and often times questioned God, “Where are you?”. One significant story that has great meaning is given to us in the Old Testament book of 1st Kings. Here we have the story of Elijah the prophet in a struggle with the children of Israel who were rebelling against God and His covenant. Israel would even kill the prophets of God whenever they would bring words of condemnation against them. They didn’t want to hear about their sin or the error of their ways. This resulted in Elijah asking God where are you? How come God who has all power, cannot or will not do anything to stop evil in this world? It is still happening today and people are still asking the same questions. We have murderers, terrorists, child predators, and just a multitude of evil at work in the world today. Why does God not stop any of it? It is a fascinating question, but since it is not my subject I’ll leave it for another blog. Today is about hearing the voice of God. Do you think that God only speaks to a few? Are there any requirements that are necessary for God to speak to you? Or could it be that God is speaking and most people are just not listening or just not hearing His voice? I am a firm believer that God speaks if we will only be quiet and listen.
In the story of Elijah you find some very powerful truths about how God speaks and these can be directly applied to us today. Let’s start by looking at chapter 19 and verse 11 of 1st Kings:
1Ki 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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:
Here we have a statement that declares a pending interaction between the natural and the supernatural is about to take place. The prophet Elijah is standing before God, but we know from scripture that NO MAN has ever seen God (John 1:18). So we know that God while speaking to us can not normally be perceived by our five physical senses. This verse then declares a strong wind comes with great force. It sounds like a tornado or a hurricane force wind. But the verse says God was not in the wind. That should tell you something about who originates these storms. Then comes a mighty earthquake, but it informs us that God was not in the earthquake. Today in the news a large earthquake leveled Haiti. This was not an act of God either. God was not in the earthquake. As we continue in the chapter we are given more information.
1Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Then comes a great fire, but the Lord God was not to be found in the fire either. We can see in these verses some of the greatest natural disasters given to us and each time the Bible clearly says that God did not have anything to do with any of them. It is the mention of these three most destructive forces in our earth system that God teaches us that He is not found in them. But now we are finally told how God comes to us and to speak. The Bible declares that God was found in a “still small voice”. I think that is what trips most people up when desiring to hear from God. God doesn’t speak to them in a thundering voice that knocks them off of their feet and thus they conclude in error that God did not speak. I believe most people are looking for the hugely spectacular demonstrations of God’s power and missing the greater supernatural small things that God does every day to help them. You see when God says something to you, it will be easily overlooked and easily ignorable. Why, because God does not interrupt or do things in a rude or obnoxious manner. God is the ultimate gentleman. God will normally always wait for you to get quite enough to hear before he actually says anything. Then He will normally only speak to you in a really quite whisper. Many times if you are a Christian you will find this voice originating in and near your heart or the center of your spiritual being. Sometimes these words will rise up to your mind as a thought. Many times you will wonder where did that come from? God might tell you not to take a certain flight today. God might tell you not to take a certain way home today. God might tell you to slow down and drive 10 miles an hour slower. These are all just small examples of God trying to keep you out of harm’s way. God knows that an accident will occur at a specific time and place, because of a drunk driver and if you only turn one block sooner than normal you would miss it. The problem is people don’t understand that these things are from God and they ignore them and follow their own agenda and normal routines. Then when they are laying in the hospital they ask God why did you let this happen to me? Most of the time if they would just think back and analyze what they were thinking before it happened they would understand that God was trying to stop it.
Too many times people are wanting some spectacular sign. They want the earth to open up or the clouds to part. They want a bright light to shine down from heaven or an angel to suddenly stop them from getting hurt. Most of the time God refrains from the spectacular demonstrations of His power, in order to get you to hear this quite whisper. If you learn that this is God’s Modus Operandi, you could possibly be saving your life from a tragic outcome. Evil has a covenant right to be in this world, until the time comes when Adam’s allotted time period expires. We are truly almost there, the end of the age is very near. I hope you will begin to pay close attention to the still small voice and then learn to obey it. Many times it is called intuition. Just a knowing, that I should do this and not that. Other times it will be a whisper to do this. Learning to hear from God involves you learning how God speaks. Then it involves you learning to listen. These are valuable truths that will help you tremendously if you learn to recognize and follow them.
If you would like to continue reading about How to Be Led by the Spirit of God you may go to “Part 1” in the series.