Pain has a voice.
Disappointment has a voice.
Fear has a voice.
However, Faith and Love also has a voice. The difference between when Fear is speaking and when Faith is speaking is the source. God is love so everything He says is in love. Everything He says reveals His character. However, sometimes it’s hard to hear Him above the other voices in our head. We’ve experienced a lot of trauma in our lives especially this year. So how can you tell which voice to listen to? Keep reading. I’ll take you through my journey on how God trained me to hear His voice in the midst of chaos and how He cleared the other voices from my head.
This year God told me that I would live by Bold Faith. In a series of faith steps I listened to Him as He told me to:
- Quit my job without another lined up…
- Pack my boxes without a home lined up…
- Get pre approved on a home without money lined up…
- Leave my church without another lined up…
Crazy, right? The year is almost over, and all the promises that God made me has yet to come true. I’ve gone through a series of emotions, disappointment, rejection, anger, frustration and even doubt. I kept questioning did I hear God correctly? But each time I entered His presence He reminded me that I was exactly where He wanted me. In the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere is a wilderness season. The children of Israel was in the wilderness – Exodus 15, Joseph was in jail – Genesis 39:19, King David was on the run from Saul – 1 Samuel 21, and Jesus was led to the wilderness by the Spirit – Matthew 4. The middle of nowhere is a place designed specifically for you. Here is where you’ll learn to hear God, build intimacy with Him, and rely on Him daily. Here is where He’ll also test your heart. I speak more about this in a previous blog – Battlefield: A Test of Faith.
It’s extremely difficult to hear God through the distractions in our life. It’s even harder to discern His voice from the many voices in our head. Each voice is competing against the other trying to be dominant. There’s God’s voice, satan’s voice, and our voice. However, to hear God clearly and confidently takes faith and a desire for relationship with Him. God responds to our desires especially when it aligns with His – John 15:7. How do we discern between the three voices? It’s important to first note, what each voice sounds like.
What Does God Sound Like?
I’d hate to state the obvious, but God sounds like me. He also sounds like YOU. He sounds like our thoughts. He speaks in our voice in our head. It’s no wonder people are confused if God is speaking or not because it’s really difficult to tell the difference between the two voices when it all sounds the same. So to help discern I’ve drafted what God sounds like in your head:
Loving – But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
Peaceful – The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
Calming – With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zeph 3:17
Patience – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Gal 5:22
Encouraging – May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5
Reassuring – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
Comforting – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 2 Cor 1:3
Enlightening – For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 1:7
Convicting – And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment John 16:8
Guiding – Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Ps 119:105
This helps me because whenever I’m questioning if God spoke to me I often recall how His voice sounded and did it reveal His character. Whenever God speaks there is peace, there is love, there is joy. These are the fruit of the Spirit that doesn’t change nor go away despite our present circumstances. It’s also important to note that discerning God’s voice can’t solely be based on how we feel. Our feelings are fleeting and sometimes cannot be trusted. You must discern to make sure that satan isn’t appearing as the angel of light to deceive you – 2 Cor 11:14.
What Does satan Sound Like?
satan also sounds like YOU. Mind-blowing? Not really. I once asked a friend of mine why can’t it be easy, so I know for sure that God is speaking to me and she replied, “What would be the point of discernment?” She’s right. So for those of you looking for a quick and easy way to hear God, it’s not gonna happen. The process God takes us through is to build our confidence in knowing His voice. Here’s what satan sounds like:
Condemnation – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17
Accusations – Then he showed me [Zechariah] Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. Zech 3:1
Impatience – Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
Fear – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
Lies – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Hopelessness – …The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness [hopelessness].” Is. 61:3
Discouraging – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Tempting – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matt 4:1
Confusing – For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Cor 14:33
Deceiving – Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. Gen 3:1
Though some of the scriptures above do not necessarily point to satan, it does reflect who God is and whatever is not of God is of the enemy’s kingdom. This is helpful because there has been many times that God has given me specific direction and then days later I can hear a contradicting voice telling me to do the opposite. The voice usually leaves me fearful or confused and I can discern that it’s satan, not God! satan only speaks what’s in Him. He is condemned so he speaks from condemnation. God is love, so He speaks from love.
What Do I/YOU Sound Like?
Now that we know what God and satan sound like, what do you sound like? God once told me that the difference between His voice and mine is that I speak more about my desires and He speaks about His desires. Now, that was actually mind blowing. He revealed this to me on day 4 of my solo retreat Whisper: Hearing God. I noticed that I’m constantly planning, constantly thinking about what’s next, constantly focused on what I want in life. On the contrary some people are in a perpetual state of pain so they’re constantly thinking about past traumas, how to avoid getting hurt again, or all the mistakes they’ve made. But God, on the other hand, is always talking about His desires, which is for us to have an intimate relationship with Him. He will constantly give us direction that will lead us back to Him. Why is that His desire? Because He wants us to know what our original design is.
The world is constantly trying to break us down so that we operate less than what God created us to be. But when we tap back into the source then He reassures us of who we really are – Powerful!
How Does This All Come Together?
Last year, I was one of the leaders for a Women’s Retreat. Leading up to the retreat, God revealed to me that I was going to spend most of it alone. I didn’t know why, but as the weekend went on He was actually in the process of delivering me from the spirit of control. It required very little distractions. Although this was God’s plan, the other people leading the retreat with me didn’t know. I thought God would’ve clued them in, but He didn’t. So after the retreat, I met up with them. I wanted to tell them all the amazing things that God did, but instead they were too upset. They accused me of abandoning them, abandoning the participants, and disregarding my leadership position. I felt attacked. I felt shame. satan kept telling me that they were against me. I actually questioned if God really did isolate me on the retreat or was it satan’s plan all along. In the midst of the chaos, God said to me, “Hold on to my voice.” A sudden peace came over me. God continued to reassure me, “These are your friends. They’re not against you. But they don’t know what I have shown you.” Needless to say, I did end up explaining my side and we resolved the conflict.
If I didn’t discern the situation correctly, I would’ve retaliated and gave into what the enemy wanted. satan tried to cause division in our group, plant seeds of distrust in my heart, and seeds of betrayal in theirs. Knowing God’s voice in that situation helped me navigate the voices in my head, which allowed me to spot the enemy’s attacks.
I hope you found this blog helpful.
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