May 10, 2024

Recognizing God’s Voice

Have you ever felt like God speaks more clearly to others than to you? In the noise of life, discerning God’s voice can be a challenge. But we have good news: you can get better at recognizing God’s voice!

In this episode, Spiritual Formation Pastors Casey Shirley and Blake Zimmerman talk about how God speaks through His Spirit, the power of community, and learning to pay attention to God’s voice even in the mundane.

Check Out the Episode:

Have you ever wondered if God speaks to you as clearly as He does to others? Do you long to hear His voice more clearly and consistently in your life? The good news is, you can get better at recognizing God’s voice, and it starts with understanding the role of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God on earth. The Spirit is not just some add-on in hearing from God but the whole foundation.  He is the very presence of God within us, the One through whom God communicates His will, guidance, and love.

The Spirit Speaks Through Community

Community is another necessity to Christian life. We were created for community and the Spirit often speaks through those around us.

It’s within the context of these relationships that we truly become people of love. It’s where we learn to extend grace, to forgive, to listen, and to empathize. Our interactions with one another reflect the depth of God’s love for us. We are called not just to exist alongside each other but to thrive together—to be a compassionate witness, opening ourselves up to the beauty and vulnerability of authentic connection.

But the reality is, a lot of people are scared of community.

Maybe they’ve been wounded or disillusioned by past experiences. That’s why it’s so important to create spaces where people feel safe to be vulnerable, to share their weaknesses, and to experience the transformative power of love.

Humanity, as theologian N.T. Wright puts it, is like an angled mirror. We are designed to reflect God’s love, grace, and compassion to one another. When we respond to others with love and kindness, we become living reflections of the Divine.

Gods Voice Vs. the Enemy’s

When we hear a  voice that is in us but not from us, it begs the question: who is speaking to me? How do I know if it’s God’s voice or the enemy’s?

The Holy Spirit speaks out of love, always desiring our good and the good of those around us. In contrast, the enemy’s voice is marked by deception, never having our best interests in mind. This dichotomy is illustrated in Genesis 3, a case study in how it shouldn’t be done. Adam and Eve listened to the wrong voice, leading to humanity’s fall.

In contrast, consider Jesus’ response in the wilderness. He faced temptations but countered each one with the truth of God’s Word. What Jesus did in the wilderness is what Adam and Eve should have done in the garden—cling to God’s truth and resist deception.

One key to discerning these voices is knowing your Bible. When you know who God is and what He says, you can confidently say, “That’s not true,” to the enemy’s lies.

Have you ever wondered why God’s voice can feel so elusive at times?

It’s like trying to catch a whisper in a crowded room or deciphering a subtle message in the midst of noise. Yet, the Holy Spirit speaks with undeniable authority, even in the gentlest of whispers.

As believers, we’re told that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. This profound truth means that God’s presence is not distant or inaccessible; He dwells within us, closer than we often realize.

But why isn’t His voice more obvious? Perhaps it’s because a whisper can do what a yell cannot—it draws us closer, inviting us to lean in and listen attentively.

Imagine God’s voice as less of a flashing neon sign and more like a familiar billboard on your daily commute—the message is there, but we may have grown accustomed to its presence.

There’s often a disconnect between what God promises and what we experience.

God assures us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. This foundational truth requires us to start with God’s perspective on our relationship. We don’t need to have all the right words or perfect prayers; we simply need to be honest with God about where we are in our journey.

It’s normal to have moments when God’s voice feels quieter than usual. During these times, leaning on Scripture and seeking wisdom from trusted community can serve as safeguards, helping us confirm what we believe we’re hearing from God.

When discerning God’s voice, consider the source.

Does the message align with God’s character and Word? Is it coming from someone with a genuine relationship with Jesus? Trustworthy guidance often comes from those deeply rooted in faith and humility.

So, if you find yourself questioning whether you’re hearing from God, remember that honesty in prayer is key. Admitting our uncertainties and seeking His guidance with sincerity opens the door for clearer communication.

How to Hear Him Better

It’s easy to overlook the gentle whispers of God’s voice. We often think of grand revelations or extraordinary experiences as the only ways God speaks to us. But the truth is, He speaks in the quiet moments, in the stillness of our hearts, and in the everyday events of our lives. Here are some ways we can foster a great awareness of His voice:

1. Slow Down and Embrace Stillness

God is a “three mph God.” That’s because this is the speed of walking, a pace Jesus himself embraced during His earthly ministry. When we rush through life at breakneck speed, we can miss the subtle nuances of God’s voice. Take time each day to slow down, embrace stillness, and create space for God to speak.

2. Start Your Day with a Simple Prayer

Begin each day with a prayer like, “Lord, speak to me today in a way that I can hear it.” This simple prayer sets the tone for your day and opens your heart to receive God’s guidance and wisdom.

3. See the Burning Bush Moments

Just as Moses encountered God at the burning bush, there are moments in our lives that God uses to get our attention. Sometimes, we walk right by these moments without a second glance. Ask God to reveal Himself in the ordinary moments of your day.

4. Pay Attention and Listen

God is constantly speaking, but it’s our job to pay attention. Whether it’s in the quiet moments of prayer, during a mundane task like washing dishes, or in the midst of a challenging situation, God is there, ready to speak to us if we are willing to listen.


Show Notes:

Check out the Message: Normalizing the Voice of the Holy Spirit in Your Life:

In this episode, Blake mentions the book Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire

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