Summary: Can we hear God? If so, how?
"HEARING GOD’S VOICE "
Dr. Dennis Deese
Believers often ask, "What is God’s will for me?"
What do we actually mean when we say we want to know the will of God?
It means we want to know His plan for our lives. We want His guidance in specific decisions so we can make wise choices. We desire His direction in the circumstances of life.
The question we should be asking is, "How can I know the voice of God?" Knowing the voice of God results in finding the will of God. God wants you to know His will:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) (This is what we’re to live by!)
The word "proceedeth" speaks of a continuing function. It means something that happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will continue in the future. God speaks to communicate His will to mankind. This is why it is important to know the voice of God.
An article by an unknown author helps us get something out of any sermon. The writer said, "At least one time in every sermon God breaks through the words of the preacher and speaks directly to the people. It may be in a single sentence or in just one phrase. We can well afford to listen to the entire discourse with care, lest we miss that one illuminated and searching sentence in which God speaks to us--a sentence that brings conviction, penitence, hope, strength, or renewed faith! So many of us miss that one special word from God because we are comparing the preacher’s manner with that of some other preacher we have heard recently. From now on, just listen intently for that one portion God intends to be applied specifically to your heart!"
There are two Greek words translated as "word" in the Bible. The Greek words are "logos" and "rhema".
"Logos" refers to "an expression (articulation)of thought" It’s more than the mear name of an object but it is the embodiment of a concept, idea or thought.
"Rhema" refers to the personal, living or life-giving Word of God.
The Bible says in Jonah 1:1, "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying," In essence, it is saying the word of the Lord happen unto Jonah- it is an event.
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words (rhema), hath one that judgeth him: the word (Logos) that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words (rhema), the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word(Logos).
The Jews heard his audible voice but not the voice of God. Many want to hear a sound, the audible voice of God, but God wants you to hear his voice. The rhema - a personal word to you!
The Bible reveals that there are many voices in the world clamoring for attention:
There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. (I Corinthians l4:l0)
What are these voices in the world?
THE VOICE OF MAN:
The voice of man is easy to recognize. It is the audible voice of another human being:
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Sometimes the voice of man may give wise advice, but anytime the voice of man conflicts with the voice of God, you must obey God.
THE VOICE OF SATAN:
The voice of Satan was first heard by man when he spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:l,4,5). Satan’s voice lies, deceives, and always attempts to lead man into sin away from God. You can easily recognize this when you read of the temptation of Jesus by Satan in Matthew 4:l-l3. You can read of the type of conversations Satan has with God in Job l:7-l2 and 2:l-6.
Evil spirits (demons of Satan) also have voices:
For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them... (Acts 8:7)
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. (Luke 4:33-34)
THE VOICE OF SELF:
The voice of self is man talking to himself. You can read examples of this in Luke l6:3 and l8:4 and in Jonah 4:8 where the prophet wished in himself to die. The Bible warns concerning this voice of self: