“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers,” John 10:3-5.
We live in a world where there are so many voices around us, and there are also probably “many voices” that speak out from within. Some of us hear the voices of our parents within us, even when we grow older, and have become adults ourselves. Sigmund Freud spoke of the Id, Ego, and Super Ego. And while the psychological terminology of this sounds very humanistic, we house the noise of different voices within us. It’s not to say that these are those who are schizophrenic, but that they haven’t learned how to distinguish what is true and what is not.
We grow up in a world where those in the educational system, namely our teachers, speak anecdotes and phrases that still are buried deep within our souls. Some of us hear the voices of others who have bullied or hurt us at some point and time. Many carry the baggage of relationships that have damaged them in one way or another, and perhaps now, you still hear the “voices” of those who have struck out to you, or left you abandoned.
But we have a “voice” that speaks like a clear mountain stream. It speaks in gentleness at times and yet, it also urges us to come to him. Even in the clamor of the loud noises of the city, where the horns are honking or the radio is blasting, this voice would beckon to us. And yet many, can’t or don’t know how to “hear” this voice. Perhaps at some point in the past, they remember hearing a “whisper” that beckoned to them, but that was a long time ago. Now the voices of your friends and the radio have drowned out that voice.
Maybe you remember those times when you walked out in the mountains, or away from the city, that you thought you heard this voice. You felt a great sense of peace and joy at that time, and you would want to recapture what you heard then.
And it is true that one must get away from all the noise around us to be able to hear God speak. And yet, I have found that when I am driving my car, doing the dishes, or any other kind of activity, that his voice comes to speak to me. He comes when we seek Him earnestly and with great fervor. And yet as we may know, there are times when the sky above us is like “brass” because it seems that at those times that the airwaves to His throne have become veiled.
We don’t have to live in a monastery in order to hear God’s voice. We don’t have to separate ourselves and live as a hermit in a cave or in the forest. God knows that we have our daily lives filled with activities of all types of things. But in the midst of all these activities He comes interceding, and wanting us to come to him.
It is true that God speaks to us while we are reading his word and absorbing it into our spirits. But I have found and perhaps you know as well, that reading his word and meditating upon it, is not the same as knowing Him personally. And in order to know Him personally, there needs to be a dialogue between you and Him.
One of the main obstacles to hearing God’s voice clearly is the voice of the enemy. Some find themselves deceived and unaware of his voice. These are those who haven’t learned how to distinguish or discern the enemy. But if they would truly take the time and effort, in time they might realize that this voice condemns and discourages. This voice would cause you to hurry up and make a decision quickly. This voice would instill fear and confusion.
Even though the prophet Elijah discovered that the voice of the Lord came as a still and small voice in the cave, that doesn’t mean that His voice is always “still and small.” For if one’s ears have become dull and filled up with other things, and then He may well need to speak louder, just to get through the mire and dirt that has accumulated there.
There is a danger when those who would speak prophetically, fail to know the difference between the voice of the Lord, the enemy, and their own voice. And yet with maturity, one learns to know when to stop speaking, and when the anointing has come to an end. These are those times when it is VERY WISE to STOP, and know when your own mind or voice would begin speaking.
I hope that some have come to realize when a word of prophecy has a mixture in it, but perhaps few that speak actually do know this. These are those who have come to glory in their own words and thoughts, rather than glorifying the one who has spoken to them.
In order to know someone in this life, we must spend time with them. We need to be able to listen to what they have to say and find out what is important to them. If this is true with those we see and touch, is it not even more important when we want to know more about God and to know His voice?
See Also Part 2: Hearing God’s Voice
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?