Someone recently asked me, how I hear His Voice. I think my shortest answer was, by knowing Him. And being known by Him. By allowing Him to get to know me, as I get to know Him. It is relational. I don’t want to just know what He is saying, I want to know who He is—just like in any friendship! But if I had to pick one way to discern His Voice, it would be His tone of love. It is really the same if you are trying to discern any situation—where is the love speaking, where are the fruits of His Spirit—go there, and that will bring you to His Voice.
Most people are looking for words of direction—i.e., what to do in certain situations. We come to Him in need, and ask Him to tell us what to do. But He is almost always looking for something deeper-real intimate relationship. Like Jesus with the woman at the well. He guides her to her real questions, which are all answered in recognizing the identity of the One she was talking with!
A loving tone is how I hear God’s voice. Is that the tone of my best friend? I try to ask in each situation. Helps me discern the other voices, as well-the white noise. His tone is always kind and intoned as one who sees me and knows me. And then I know, ok that is God’s voice—the one with the tone of Love. People ask about how to hear God—what is the voice which has the tone of love in your heart. That’s His! The fruits of the spirit are in Him, so when you feel all those, you just sort of know, it’s him. He likes to speak to us more deeply, like lovers.
Of course, it depends on our spiritual development. Again, at first, we just have to trust that what others have said is true. But as well grow, we come to know, that loving father tone.
But He also likes to communicate in a way which makes us seek Him more deeply! His Voice is attached to His Being, so when we know Him Himself, we hear His Voice. Not just telling us what to do, but comforting who we are. And caring for us. What He addresses is we ourselves. He likes to entice us further into His Being and mystery. Sometimes, His silence is about this, calling forth our yearning to go further into Him.
Often if someone ask me what He is saying to them, He will pause, and not speak. I always find that interesting, because it is not as if He doesn’t have a million thoughts oozing from Him for this person, but He is withholding to draw us further into seeking to know Him. He does this with “hidden sayings” in the bible, or riddles and paradox. He wants us to press into His Actual being to experience the answer in Him! I often think of Jesus method of parable in this light. He is drawing people into the Reality of their questions! And into His Being filled with all our answers!
Jesus often used this method of withholding or indirect teaching, to get people out of their habitual mindsets so they could encounter the Answer. It is not a contradiction, but at first may seem like one in order to get us to leap over or through the seeming paradox and encounter the Reality of Him in His Loving Being pouring forth the true answers we seek.
Once we know Him, then we can hear Him! He wants to know us personally, and if we stop controlling His approach He will come in, in love and help us feel known. Then we don’t worry about missing His Voice ever.
Because we know Him, and are known by Him, when He speaks, we hear.
I think this is part of discerning His Voice—is to determine and delineate what I hear in that tone of love? Is this the Voice of my best friend? Then it’s Him, and if there is interference, then others can help confirm the word. But the word or direction is just one little utterance. The idea is to live in constant conversation with God. To know and love Him, so that all interruptions just roll off or pass. I do think He talks to each of us uniquely, as we are made. But He is One and the same, so we can recognize His ways in each person regardless of culture or style of their personal communication with God.
Discernment is based in knowing what is origin-ed in God. What is actually grounded in Him. Purity is to find where He is in a situation and go there. What is not in Him, and what is in Him is that line of discernment. When we know Him, we can tell what is in Him. Until we know Him intimately, we have to rely on what others have said and the word of God to tell us what He is like. The Bible is like an arrow pointing into Him—this is what He is like until you really get to know Him. The early steps of spiritual development are basically about believing what it says about Him despite the fact that you don’t yet fully know Him. Of course, as you progress, the whole Bible just becomes more and more true to you, because you are getting to know Him. And you are thankful again that your teachers were right!
To discern what is true has stages of growth starting with believing in Jesus. The deeper we go into the life of Jesus, the clearer our discernment of The Shepherds Voice becomes, and the easier it is to “spiritually read” situations, and what they are really motivated in, or grounded in. We can tell true from false more easily, the more we are grounded and rooted in Jesus.
Most of us are usually concerned with what to do now, and have specific worries. But He is almost always more concerned with who we are, and us knowing His love of who we are; then do whatever, and He will guide us. He is with us always, but we unfortunately, are not always with Him, or tuned in.
I think that when we ask to hear His Voice, we are really asking for greater intimacy with Him, so that we know Him more. When we know Him, we know His Voice. He is One. His Voice, again is not separate from who He is. So the real goal is to be close to Him, then He will direct our daily paths.
We often control the conversation with God. But this is one conversation, where we can just be and ride the wakes of words and ideas and sounds and silences. We can rest in the cadence of our conversation with God. It truly is refreshing to have a friend like this, where we can just let down all our guards and resonate.
God waits for friendship with us. He waits a very long time for us to trust this friendship, and let Him in as close as He desires. When we do, we will have no doubt about who is speaking to us, and what He is saying!
Of course, there are those who are called to keep their ears to the tracks constantly for the good of the whole. But I think everyone is meant to know and hear and love God through an intimate relationship with Our Source who cares deeply for each of us. Prophecy and discernment work in tandem, as I have learned. We are close to Him, He shows us and tells us things, and we discern that it is of Him, and we want to communicate it back out to others. The prophetic process has discernment in the middle! We know Him, so we discern what is like and of Him, and we share what we experience with Him to others—we proclaim or communicate His Heart into whatever situations He leads us into. We grow in communicating it in His tone and orientation as well. For He communicates Himself so uniquely into each situation. But we start always with drawing near to Him, through confession, thanks and praise. Once, with Him more intimately, He tells us things, which we then can tell others, if He desires. It is all based in intimacy with God. And this is where it will end as well. I think this is why Paul puts the passage of knowing His Love as the pentacle after all the spiritual gifts. All will cease, but our relationship with God is eternal. The I Am and knowing Him will lead us to the words and voice which utter forth from His Heart!