Jesus told us that His sheep would hear His voice, know His voice, and follow only His voice. When you’ve been following His voice for a long time, this is obvious and easy, but what do you say to the new convert, the one who asks, “But how do I know His voice? There are too many voices in my head. Which is His?”
The easy answer is that you learn like a baby learns to hear her mother’s voice–by listening and hearing it over and over. That’s not enough of an answer, though. We’re hearing voices all the time. Our flesh speaks constantly. the devil has his say. Voices from the past intrude. Then there is God, usually speaking softly, as a patient Father, trying to get our attention.
One of the first indicators that you’re hearing God’s voice is that it’s obviously not your own. You know what I mean, you think a thought and, startled, ask, “Where did that come from?”
The next step is testing the voice. Does what it is saying line up with God’s Word? (Yes, knowing His Word is vitally important for this reason and many others.) If it doesn’t, you know it’s not God.
As it was with your parents, the more you actively hear God’s voice the more you know it. With this in mind, when I was first learning to actively listen for God’s voice, I played solitaire.
Yes, I’m serious. I would sit down to play solitaire with God at my side. I asked Him to tell me what moves to make and, even when they seemed wrong to me, I made them. It was a great self-check, because when I really did as He told me to at every step I almost always won. Being analytical, I checked myself occasionally, intentionally playing without His help. As I did, I discovered that I wasn’t really improving that much as a player; I’d clearly been getting inside information.
Hearing His voice over and over in the safe environment of a simple game made me KNOW His voice. After that, following it in my day-to-day walk was relatively easy. Perfect practice makes perfect! Why not practice hearing His voice today?
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