We bless God for this eleventh month of the year. As the year races franticly to the end, one can sometimes lose sight of God in the everyday business and chaos of life. Occasionally, it feels like we are walking with the LORD in a certain direction, but suddenly, it’s as if He changes trajectory and we are no longer by His side. Maybe the communion was interrupted by a life crisis or tragedy, and then it feels like we can no longer find God in the present darkness. Personally, I find it comforting that God is not known to abandoning His people; rather, He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV). So, this month, I perceive that God wants us to address the discerning of His voice. The singular ability to discern the voice of God is what makes Christianity unique and fun and helps us believers stay on the straight and the narrow.
Psa. 19:2-3: “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Vs.7-8; “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Several words used to describe the word of God: The law; the testimony; The statues and the commandments
In these two passages there are two revelations of God expressed here:
- General Revelation: One of the ways God speaks to us is in verses 2 & 3. He speaks to us through general revelation. The general revelation is what God gives to us through creation. That is; without anybody talking to us about God, creation itself speaks to us. If you leave humans in any environment, in any cultures, in any planet, leave them alone, without anybody talking to them about God, without any education, without any bible, without any religion, leave humans in their natural state - they will end up with a concept that there is a God. The knowledge of God is natural to human. The reason for this is that creation speaks to us about God. When there is a creation, you draw up a conclusion that there is a creator
- Special Revelation: This is second way God speaks to us. This is God revealed in Word; What God has spoken. God speaks through creation (General Revelation); He speaks through the written Word (Special Revelation). This is what we call the Bible. It is the law of the Lord. It is the testimony of the Lord, it is the statutes of the Lord, it is the commandment of God. When we read special revelation, it must lead us to God. The agent God uses to open our eyes to Himself through general revelation and special revelation is the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit helps us, to know God. 2 Cor. 13:14. The trinity is present in this verse. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is God the son. The love of God, God the father, the communion of the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit. If you look at the personalities of the trinity, something is assigned to them. To God the father, is love. God the father, reveals love. For God so loved that He gave His only begotten son. If you want to experience grace, it is through Jesus Christ. The law came through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:17; 1:14) What is assigned to the Holy Spirit is fellowship. If you want fellowship with God, you must know the Holy Spirit. To experience grace is through the Son, to experience love, it is through the Father and to experience genuine fellowship, it is through the Holy Spirit.
A perfect story of discerning the voice of God is in book of Acts: Acts 27:9-11. This is a business decision making process that involves people and a man of God. Everyone is trying to decide about a trip, should we go or not? There are five decision points regarding this story:
- Expert opinion: “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy…” (Acts 27:1) this is what the captain has said. The captain, based on his analytical mind, said; sail. Many times, you want to do something, you want to find out what the expert is saying. It is a professional opinion.
- Financial consideration (Acts 27:11). Many decisions are based on how much it is going to cost us. The opinion of the owner of the ship. What will it cost him if they don’t go on the trip
- The majority opinion (Acts 27:12), “most of the crew” advised that they should move. Much more concerned about the urgency of what they’re going to do.
- Common sense (Acts 27:12). The Bible says, “winter was suitable”, the weather was fine, and they realize they could go, assume you are a believer and you’re in this group and you want to know the will of God. The experts say, let’s go. The financial advisors say “let’s go”; the majority say “let’s go”; Common sense says “let’s go”; now, you must make a decision, what will you decide? Most likely you will say, “let’s go”. Paul was in the midst of all these. In the midst of all these, Paul introduced a fifth consideration.
- Spiritual perception (Acts 27:10). Paul said, I perceive. “I perceive” is not based on common sense; it doesn’t make sense. It may cost you money, I perceive is not an agreement with the experts, it is not a majority opinion. Know you are here to decide, amidst all these conclusions, here is this little guy saying, I have another opinion: Sir what is your opinion, and he said, I perceive. From where? My spirit. Based on what? I don’t know. Why should we trust you? It doesn’t make sense, I know. But, I perceive. With these five set of opinion, and you’re asked to line up behind these five distinct opinions, which will you queue behind. I know majority will line behind the expert. You would have asked Paul, I don’t understand your perception, the experts have spoken - the weatherman has spoken, this thing is financially feasible, let us do it.
May I suggest, if you want to do the will of God, you want God alone, you must be able to hear His voice in the midst of financial consideration, expert opinion, majority decision and common sense...if you cannot tell the voice of God, in the midst of all these voices, as a child of God, you will never learn how to walk in the spirit and you will never learn to tap into the supernatural.
They set out to sail, not long after that, they ran into a storm, there was a shipwreck and they lost a lot of property. Paul had to speak to God or heard from God or prayed to God and their lives were spared. Knowing God’s will and doing it is very important for the child of God. It is the way God leads us in our lives and causes us to say, “I know I am called by God to do this ministry.” But how does one find the confidence to say that they are doing what God wants them to do? How can you have that assurance? Here are 4 tips for a Christian to know what the voice of God in your life is:
- Delight In The Lord: Psalm 37:4, 5 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Delighting in the Lord is a matter of seeking to please and glorify Him. This causes you to have the right desires. These verses can be read two different ways, but with the same results. It can be read: “if you delight in the Lord then He will give you anything you desire.” Another way, “by delighting in the Lord He will give you the right desires.” Of course, this depends on you truly delighting in Him (meaning to please and glorify Him). If you are fully dedicated to His will and His desires, then He will place His own desires within you.
- Godly Counselors. Proverbs 11:14 and 15:22 give the wise saying that where there are many counselors then purposes are established and there is safety. You want the Lord to speak to you in a way that you could not deny that God was leading. You will be thrilled about key decisions in your life as you give open opportunities and surrender to God because of godly counselors.
- Still Small Voice: Many times, God speaks through a still small voice. While this is not always true, I think it can be safely said that Satan never does this. Knowing the voice of God requires allowing Him to speak to your spirit in a gentle way as He did with Elijah. The prophet had sought God in the great and mighty catastrophic acts which God performed. Yet Elijah ultimately heard God speaking to him in a quiet gentle voice (1 Kings 19:11-18). As you read God’s Word, seek to please Him and get godly counsel. God can certainly work through an audible voice that the world cannot mistake, yet He has chosen not to do so. Since He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, He can communicate directly to our spirits.
- Wait on The Lord: Lamentations 3:21-26 “This I recall to my mind; therefore, have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore, will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Often the words wait, hope and expect in the Bible are the same original word. It can carry the idea of being silent or still. A tough thought for us, but God wants to lead us. He does not want us running ahead and waiting for Him to catch up. Don’t run ahead of God and expect Him to follow. Allow Him to lead and direct in your life.
- Through a Prophet: 2 Chron. 20:20,” And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” God speaks through his prophets into our lives:(a) Eli to Samuel – 1 Sam. 3:9, ” Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place” (b) Hanah – 1 Sam. 1:17,” Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” (c) Saul’s conversion: Acts 9:17,” And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost”
The question is who is your prophet? Can he be obeyed explicitly without second guessing his anointing?
Can You Discern God’s Voice? Of course, I believe you can. It takes patience and obedience. At first you are looking for the big signs in the Bible. Obey what it says, and you will be well on your way to knowing what God wants for your life. As you grow more spiritually mature and sensitive to the Lord’s leading He will direct you in subtler, but powerful ways.
- Thanksgiving prayers to God for keeping you standing today regardless of what you have been through - Psalm 105:24, Lamentations 3.21-22. Thank God for giving you a new month, a new week, and a new day. Thank God for giving you a new beginning
- Father, on the authority of your word in Jeremiah 7:23, I repent of every form of spiritual carelessness, disobedience, stubbornness, that could have kept me backward in the journey of life; have mercy on me, in Jesus name
- Father, on the authority of your word in Job 8:20, I repent of all my careless choices that could have made you withdraw your help, grace and favor for my advancement in the journey of life, in Jesus name.
- Father, from now on, as I hear and obey your word, I shall make progress in leaps and bounds in this year and beyond. I shall move forward, onward, and upward, in Jesus name
- Father, on the authority of your word in 3 John 2, from now on, I start to experience all round progress in my life, destiny, health, marriage, career, business, and ministry, in Jesus name
- Father, on the authority of your word in 1Samuel 30:8, as I discern your word, release upon me the anointing to pursue, catch up, overtake and recover all my lost grounds, opportunities and possessions in life, in Jesus name.
- Father, according to your word in Isaiah 48:17, teach me to make profit from my efforts in life, and supernaturally direct me in the way to go, in Jesus name.
- Father, I thank you for answering my prayers; blessed be your holy name, O God! Amen.