I was giving a talk to a group of women once and I happened to mention God saying something to me. After the meeting was over, one of the ladies approached me and asked. “How do you hear God?”Her question caught me by surprise. It had become so normal for me to hear God’s voice. To me his voice spoke as an impression on my heart instead of sound to my ears. Her question made me more aware of the need for us to practice hearing the voice of God. As a child you heard and recognized your parent’s voice often in the midst of many others. That should be our goal with our heavenly father, because God is always speaking, but we must be tuned in to his frequency.
“For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” -Job 33:14 (NLT)
God speaks in several ways, sometimes through dreams and sometimes through another person. I’ve heard him at the Riverwalk in New Orleans listening to a jazz song. I’ve heard him while reading a billboard. I’ve heard him through a child. We can hear God anywhere, anytime.
Often his leading is predictable, but sometimes the things he says are not what I expect.
I will share one of my experiences. It was the first week of small groups. I had just ended a taxing season of my life and I was really looking forward to returning to my weekly fellowship with other women. We greeted each other with smiles and hugs, had coffee and snacks, then got down to the business of the group. It felt so good to be back.
As the facilitator of the group spoke, a competing line of communication opened in my mind. The voice said, “you’re not supposed to be here.” What? I thought. Where did that come from? I continued to pay attention to the facilitator and it happened again. “You’re not supposed to be here.” Then I recognized it as the Lord speaking to me. I was in a silent debate with the Lord while I was listening to the facilitator. Finally, I accepted it as God’s direction and announced what was going on to the group. Now, at the time I did not know why God spoke those words and I did not agree. In this case I was doing something good that centered on God. So it was a little harder to understand, but as I’ve heard “everything good ain’t God.” In the following week I looked for any confirmation that I had been mistaken. But in my heart, I knew it was the Lord so I trusted and obeyed.
In hindsight I can think of a couple of reasons that God may have spoken those words, but the truth is I don’t always know the why when He speaks.
When you think you have heard God, it’s always good to check that the message is in line with scripture and have it confirmed by other mature Christians. As for my relationship with God, I have found that the more time I spend with him and in the Word, the more likely I am to recognize when he’s speaking. And when God speaks, I’ll listen.
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Cassandra Woods is an inspirational writer and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of a teenager and three young adults. To read more about her, click here.