Knowing God’s Voice:
We know we are following the Spirit of God when we are led by the fruits of the Spirit instead of the acts of the flesh (v19)
Gal. 5:16,22-25 – walk by the Spirit… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Is. 55:12 – You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace
Rom. 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
God is always talking:
Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
Ps. 40:5 – Many, O Lord my God, are… Your thoughts toward us… If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.
Matt. 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Comes not came! The command to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 thess.5:17) is a call to dialogue not monologue. Prayer is listening to God just as much as it is talking to Him.
God lets us hear what He has to say:
1 Cor. 2:10-16 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God
1 Cor. 12:7-11 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Ways God may be speaking to you:
- Dreams. Write down your dreams and ask God what they mean.
Job 33:14-17 – Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction, That He may turn man aside from his conduct.
Pharaoh had two dreams. God spoke in 2 ways, but God was saying the same thing (Gen. 41:25)
- Visions. Ask God to open your eyes. You may see visions while your eyes are open or closed.
2 Kings 6:16-17 – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Vision was allowed in order to encourage and comfort this person.
- Scripture. God revealed Himself through His Word to Jesus, as He will to anyone who seeks Him out through the Word:
Luke 4:18-20 – Unrolling it, he (Jesus) found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to… Then He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
- Discernment. When we know the Word and understand who God is, we gain discernment about what is and is not God’s voice.
1 John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.
- Small Voice.
1 Kings 19:11-13 – Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
- Audible Voice. Pray for Him to open your ears to His voice. He is a kind and polite God, if you do not want to hear, He will not force the matter. Jesus spoke and Father God responded for all, who were willing, to hear
John 12:28-30 – “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
- Creation. God spoke to Moses and others through the world around them. Dead sticks grew flowers, seas parted, parables of farming were used, etc:
Ex. 3:2 – There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
Ways God wants to speak through you:
- Word of Knowledge. We can’t ‘read minds’ but God knows everything and He allows us to hear what is on His mind through His Spirit living in us. Sometimes He wants to speak to us about situations around us and give us an opportunity to lovingly teach others. This knowledge is something we can’t know, but that God can reveal to us
Luke 7:39-40 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
- Word of Wisdom. God speaks through people too. Moses was stressed, but Jethro had a word of wisdom from God to share:
Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.
- Tongues. God knows all languages and His Spirit may allow us to speak a language we don’t know on our own, in order to bring Him glory:
Acts 2:7-8,11 – Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?… we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!
- Interpretation of Tongues. He spoke through human language in the verse above, but not all languages are languages. Dance and music are languages we often practice interpreting, but are we practicing hearing God’s voice or our own? Start asking God about His thoughts.
The Fruits of the Spirit. When we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, etc… people receive the Truth of God, are healed from past wounds. God speaks through His Spirit whether it be through the Gifts of the Spirit or the Fruits of the Spirit! Gifts are given. Fruit is cultivated. How you react under pressure is how the real you reacts.
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