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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Listening to God's Voice

Another way the Lord speaks to us is through a gentle ‘nudge’ to our spirit. It might be a quiet voice speaking through our conscience, or an impression that comes into our mind while praying, worshiping or considering a problem.

Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”

It’s important to spend time with the Lord in prayer, opening our hearts and spirits to His voice and waiting on Him for direction. Spend time in worship, give yourself totally to Him, asking that Jesus be in complete control of your mind and heart as you seek Him and listen. As children of God, we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will lead us, but as stated in Col. 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” peace must accompany the leading or direction we receive.

God’s peace is the sure sign that the Holy Spirit is directing, rather than our own thoughts or desires. The Holy Spirit is quiet and gentle, but persistent, calling us to wait quietly before Him and listen for His voice. He speaks to us when we take the time to wait on Him, not rushing, not feeling we must always be talking, but patiently waiting for Him to speak.

Sometimes He chooses to speak when we’ve opened our hearts to Him in worship and are simply desiring to serve Him. While worshiping during a Wednesday evening service at my church, I strongly sensed the Lord was asking me to kneel during the balance of the worship service. I felt uncomfortable, as the rest of the congregation were on their feet. He impressed on my heart, that if I would be obedient, He was going to show His power before the service ended.

The ‘nudge’ was so strong, I knew I had to obey. I quietly slipped down to my knees and finished the worship service in tears, more moved than I had been in a long time. When the pastor came up to speak, he shared that someone in the congregation was in physical pain and asked that they come forward for prayer. A woman immediately stepped out, but he didn’t pray for her at once. Instead, he explained that the Lord had shown him there was someone present who had been given a gift of faith for this woman’s healing and asked that they come forward to pray for her. I immediately felt faith well up in my spirit and knew this was why the Lord had asked me to be obedient. I walked forward, laying my hand on her back and praying briefly. She testified that the pain left as soon as my hand touched her back. The Lord chose to do a sovereign work, but in this case it was dependant upon my willingness to listen and obey.

The Lord also speaks to by the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, as listed in I Corinthians 12:8-11. The gifts of wisdom and knowledge are used to help a person apply the revelation of God’s Word to a specific situation. In Acts 5, when Ananias & his wife Sapphira lied to Paul and withheld some of the money they received from the sale of their property, God revealed it to Paul through the operation of a word of knowledge.

The operation of the revelation gifts can help us make Godly decisions in our daily walk. If we are being used in counseling others, a word of wisdom or knowledge can shorten what might otherwise be hours of ministry. 1 Corinthians 14:1, it says that we should ‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.’

We need to follow hard after God and desire to be used, keeping our hearts open to whatever gift He might want to bestow on us. Whether it be the prophetic gifts or any other, we must operate in an attitude of love. God seeks people who are anxious to hear His voice and use His gifts in ministry to others, while continually bringing glory to Him.
Are you content to hear God’s voice only through the voice of others, or do you want to hear His voice for yourself? If so, will you pay the price He requires to make hearing His voice a way of life? Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” It takes time and commitment to learn to listen, time quietly waiting on the Lord as well as dwelling in His Word. God is more willing to speak to us then we are to hear, and He will be faithful to answer as we tune our hearts in to His.

1 comment:

Kristy Dykes said...

Great post! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Love the pic of your home.

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