Here’s a treat: a guest post on hearing God’s voice from Vivienne Tam a beloved friend from Princeton and author of the beautiful blog Dancing for an Audience of One and most recently on her two-year international service trip. This woman of God hears Him so acutely and faithfully, what a delight to share her reflections here.
I have always envied people like Moses. Back then, it must have been so much easier, I thought to myself, how could you possibly miss a booming voice from heaven? As for me, I would sit for barely five minutes in silence asking God to speak to me before recent Facebook newsfeed posts would start playing on my mind-screen.
I remember when I first started to learn that with the Holy Spirit, we in fact have even more access to God than Moses.
2 Corinthians 3:7-10 says:
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? …For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses it.
I know that the Word is true, so when my life does not agree with it, I have to re-align it so that it mirrors the Word. And I knew that my life did not exhibit a ministry of the Spirit that surpassed Moses’ in glory.
So, then began my journey of really yearning to hear the voice of God. I think that’s where it all starts – with the simple desire. King David expresses this beautifully, “One thing I desire, that I would seek, that I would dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:5) I’m still on this journey, still praying that I will be able to hear the voice of God more clearly. But, here I have listed some pointers that have helped me along the way.
- Recognize what His voice sounds like.
John 10:3 says “the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” To familiarize ourselves with the sound of His voice, we need to read the Word. As we remain sensitive to how our spirits respond to the Word we know is from God, we will soon learn to distinguish when a Word from God brings life and peace. Of course, we need to clarify that the impressions we get from God cannot be compared to the infallible Word, but we use the Word to test every prophetic word we get.
- Give Him the space to speak
The first step is that in prayer, we leave a period of time for Him to speak back to us. When we first start, it will feel unnatural and thoughts compete for your attention. But if we push through and are determined to wait on God, He will speak, often times in the still small voice he spoke to Moses in.
A lot of times, we complain that we simply do not have the time to just spend waiting on God. I think the key is in creating a daily routine that factors in the prayer and waiting. Perhaps it means sacrificing an hour of sleep to give God that sacred space before the noise of the world rushes in. Perhaps it means putting on your headphones for worship on your way to Fine for Math. Perhaps it means writing your thoughts in a journal to God every night before bed. Whatever it is, make it a habit to have a schedule with space for God to speak.
- Step out in faith and learn by trial-and-error
I love the story of Peter walking on water. Even though through the fog he couldn’t see Jesus, he decided to step out of the boat solely based on hearing His voice.
When we are paralyzed with fear that it is not God’s voice, we never act and so often miss it. Yet, we are like children starting to walk, who learn down by falling down. So, before I act, do I know 100% that it is God? No, but if my spirit is at peace and the Word is aligned with what I know is the character of God, I will act. And as we get our feet wet through small mistakes, the Lord sees our pure heart of obedience, and that brings Him pleasure 🙂
So, I hope that you are encouraged to keep desiring to hear His voice, holding onto his promise that when we seek Him, we will find Him.
Declaration: Thank you Jesus that I hear your voice clearly, and I delight in getting to know you more each and every day. Thank you that I walk in faith and belief in your goodness, and experience the breakthrough and intimacy that comes from my obedience to what You say. You are good, you are big enough to help me understand your communication to me, and I am loving going to the next level in my relationship with you!