Was there a time when God spoke to you? When you clearly knew that idea did not come from your own brain? Or are you one of the skeptics who has never heard God’s voice and doubt anyone else has either?
I can recall twice when I clearly “heard” God speak. Both times, it was a gentle correction. Not an audible voice, but rather a sentence fully formed communicated to my brain that completely contradicted what my own thoughts had focused on.
The first time was during a rough spot in my marriage, when I mistakenly believed I didn’t need my husband anymore. I enjoyed rehearsing that thought. “I don’t need him. I can get along just fine without him. I don’t need him.” God must’ve tired of hearing that awful refrain, because one day, He spoke. I don’t need you either, but I choose to love you.
Another time, I was admiring another woman’s ability to speak and to teach. I don’t recall feeling jealous–merely a wish that I could be as confident and poised. Again came that gentle rebuke. Don’t be afraid to be who I’ve made you to be.
Who else but our Lord could correct in such a way that one feels the depth of love more than the rebuke?
I’m convinced God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit more often than we know. But we must train our hearts and minds to listen. He doesn’t always speak in such a direct or recognizable manner. I rarely hear Him during times of prayer, but rather when I’m engaged in some activity. Sometimes, it’s almost like a whisper that I have to stop and maybe even backtrack to make sure I heard.
It takes practice to learn to identify that still small voice. To learn to distinguish between His voice and the call of our own desires. I’m still working on the voice recognition, especially for guidance and direction. More often, I have to work on the obedience aspect. But I’ve discovered one telltale sign. The Lord’s voice is never harsh or condemning. He may not say what I want to hear, as in my first example. But it will always be couched in terms of love and affirmation.
Because honestly, who else could correct in a way that makes you feel such depth of love more than the rebuke?
I’d love to hear your stories of when you’ve heard the voice of God in your life. Leave a comment and let’s chat!