By Dianne Butts
In the October 15, 2011, post on this blog, “Finding God with Jackie Evancho,” Laurie W. Sargent wrote about how we all have the same physical equipment to produce speech, but our voices are different and we can differentiate between people’s voices. Well God has a voice, too, and some people are finding God in hearing His voice for the first time.
God’s voice is different from human voices though. While He can make Himself heard audibly, (see John 12:27-30), probably most often people hear His voice only when it is meant for them. So it can be easy to hear “the Voice,” but that makes it hard to figure out if it’s God voice or not because we also have other inaudible voices in our heads, like our own thoughts and desires. How can we differentiate God’s true voice from other internal or spiritual voices we might hear?
That’s exactly what one person asked author Craig von Buseck over on CBN.com. In his article “Seven Keys To Hearing God’s Voice,” Craig included this question from a reader:
- “Your article is typical of many books I have read. Everyone talks about doing what the Holy Spirit says, but you do not state how you ‘know’ it is the voice of GOD. I have yet to read any book or article that can lay that out. It is easy to say The LORD told me to leave this or do that, and I was blessed down the road because of it. Anyone who can present a way one can actually know that the voice they are hearing is from GOD, not man or Satan, would change the world. That’s probably why the world hasn’t changed.”
I don’t know about changing the world, because linked to hearing God is obeying Him and even if people hear Him, whether they obey Him would still be up in the air. But hearing God is a start. So what makes God’s voice different? How can we differentiate His voice from others? One way to start is by knowing God’s character, His personality. Yes, God has a personality, and He will never deviate from it.
We get to know a person’s personality by spending time with them, by hearing what they say, and by watching what they do. We get to know God’s personality by spending time reading the Bible and in it, hearing what He said and watching what He did as He interacted with people throughout history (which is “His story”). Faith in God comes from hearing Him (Romans 10:16-18.)
Here are five characteristics I’ve discovered that are always true of God’s voice. His voice is:
- Constant – His message never changes
- Calm – He’s never in a hurry or panicked
- Convicting – Not condemning.
- Reveals His Character – He is holy, righteous, just, merciful, forgiving, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
- Clear – We can understand Him if we’re willing to listen.
You can learn more about those thoughts in this article I wrote a few years ago titled “Who’s Calling?” (See page 12.)
What would it be like to hear God’s voice for the first time? The truth is, we’ve probably all heard God’s voice already, but whether we’ve recognized it as His voice is another story.
To help you imagine what it would be like finding God in hearing His voice for the first time, watch this short video of a 29-year old woman who is hearing for the first time in her life! We should all be as delighted in hearing God’s voice for the first time!