Have you ever wanted desperately to hear from the Lord but it seems you get nothing but silence? Or perhaps you’ve experienced the opposite – messages coming at you from every direction but you don’t know how to weed out the voices of the world from the call of the Lord?
Seeking a message from God is a desire that spans all eras, all races, and all religions, really! We all feel a longing to hear the voice of God. In fact, we were created to be in relationship with our Creator! He has designed us with a God-sized hole that only He can fill.
Hearing God’s voice is a challenge, even for the most devout followers of Christ. Now, maybe I should clarify that most often, we aren’t talking about hearing an actual, audible voice from God. God speaks to our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives our hearts impressions, through thoughts that pop into our minds that we know were not our own, and of course, through Scripture, our pastors, and other biblical teaching we receive.
Sometimes I think about how nice it must have been to live in the days of Abraham or Moses, when God visibly and audibly made His presence known! But even then, our Bible heroes still questioned God’s voice and failed to heed His call at times. When God gave Moses his call, Moses responded with far more “But, Lord!”s than “Yes Lord!”s.
“Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh…?”
“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
“What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
“O Lord,…I am slow of speech and tongue.”
“O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
I think this reveals the true fact of the matter that, much of the time, (as much as I don’t want to admit it!), the challenge lies not in hearing God’s voice, but in obeying God’s voice.
I recently began an online Bible study through Proverbs 31 Ministries. During the school year I’m involved in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and my husband and I also attend a weekly couples’ small group through our church. But while both Bible studies are taking a summer break, I wanted something to keep me accountable to being in God’s Word each day.
The book happens to be from one of my favorite authors and a book I read and was really challenged by last summer. It is all about hearing God’s voice and pursuing obedience to His call at all costs! I have given the book to family members and saw the online Bible study as a great opportunity to encourage them to read it and give us a chance to study God’s Word together – even though we live hundreds of miles apart! It’s a great example of using technology for God’s glory!
This week we’ve been in the 2nd chapter of the book, “Hearing God’s Voice”, where Lysa TerKeurst shares what she called the Five Question Filter. She gives 5 key questions to ask ourselves as we seek to determine if the messages we are receiving are from God, or not.
The idea is to go through the questions, in order, one at a time, to help discern God’s will. As you can see, the first question requires us to be familiar with Scripture. If the message we are receiving contradicts Scripture, there is no need to go any further down the list of questions – God NEVER contradicts Himself, so He won’t ask you to do something that goes against His Word.
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.”
(2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
(Numbers 23:19 ESV)
Like the first question, the second question requires us to know God’s character. The more we dig into God’s Word, the more we will come to know Him and His character. We can then compare what we are hearing and reading in our quiet times with the messages we are hearing at church, or getting from other biblical teachers we respect. Once you’ve made it through questions 1-3, the last two kind of naturally follow. You’ll have to read What Happens When Women Say Yes to God to get the rest of the good stuff from Lysa!
If you are struggling, as I often do, to recognize, hear, or obey God’s voice, the best place to start is with the Bible! September is around the corner and Fall is a great time to get connected in a Bible study if you aren’t already. There are so many options!
• Get involved in a small group at church
• Start a Bible study in your neighborhood or with coworkers (you might be surprised who would be interested in participating!)
• Check out the online Bible studies offered through Proverbs 31 (What Happens When Women Say Yes to God continues through September 14th and it’s not too late to join…or take a look at the next study beginning on October 9th, A Confident Heart)
• Visit a Bible Study Fellowship class – with more than 1,000 classes in 38 countries, odds are there is one near you! This year’s study is the book of Matthew – a great place to begin!
Lysa always says you have to “get into God’s Word and let God’s Word get into you!” Being in Bible study with other believers gives us the accountability we need to move beyond just hearing God’s voice to applying His Word and obeying His call.
Are you ready to say, “Yes, Lord!”? I am!
Share your stories with us! Tell us about a time you heard God’s call. What was the result? Or maybe you are seeking to hear God’s voice regarding a current situation in your life. Let us know how we can pray for you and encourage you as you seek to follow His will.
If you’d like to read more on this topic, check out the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study Blog Hop that this post is a part of by clicking on the button below: