Can you hear the voice of God?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by awaken, May 27, 2013.

  1. awaken

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    It's not the purpose of this thread to examine all of the different ways in which God might speak to us, such as dreams, visions, tongues and interpretation, prophecies, and so on, but in this thread we can share practical guidance in how to discern God's usual ways in which He speaks to us.

    I see at least four voices We Hear...

    There are actually four types of "voices" that we hear speaking to us, and it's important to learn to distinguish each one so that we can discern the true voice of God:

    The first one is...
    The voice that is perhaps the most obvious is our own voice. In addition to our speaking voice, we also talk to ourselves inside our heads, and we see images and pictures inside our heads, and we have emotions and feelings and desires, and so on. Our minds tell us what we think, and our wills tell us what we want, and our emotions tell us how we feel. The Bible refers to our minds, wills, and emotions as our "flesh nature", and through discussion in this thread maybe it will give you a better understanding of the "voice" of the flesh vs. other ways God can speak to us!
     
  2. salzer mtn

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    I think God speaks for the most part to his people through scripture. Christ used scripture when he spoke and rebuked the devil, it is written. I think God can use the preacher to speak to you through the sermon. I think if a christian is grounded in the truth then he can some what reason things out and get a answer. I am leary of a suggestive thought that might come to my mind, it could be Satan speaking. Dreams can be decieving also.
     
  3. awaken

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    Yes! His written word is full of His will for our lives!

    Sometimes when we read the Bible there will be a certain word or phrase that seems to stand out in some way. We might have read that same passage many times before, but this time you sensed an inner twinge when you read the word "gossip," for instance. It is also easy to ignore it or to rationalize it away. However, that twinge is the voice of God reminding you that you've been gossiping lately.

    Resolve to be brutally honest with ourself and to be aware of the twinges that you get in your spirit, and resolve to act on these twinges (as long as they're in line with the Bible). The more you begin to obey your spirit in all of the little daily things of life, the better you will hear from God. We need to keep in mind that Jesus wants to be our first love (Revelation 2:4), meaning that He wants to be our priority love. We're commanded to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Lovers don't need to shout to each other, but instead lovers speak in soft words and they know each other so well that they can speak volumes with just a single glance or a single eyebrow movement or a single word. We should be so in love with Jesus and so in tune with Him that we can sense His slightest nudgings within us, and we should try to reach the point where we instantly obey every prompting without the slightest hesitation or the slightest concern for "self."
     
  4. awaken

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    Another type of voice which clamors for our attention is the "voice" of other people. Sometimes people say things which are true and good, and sometimes people say things which are just the opposite. So guidance is needed to help us to discern what we are hearing from the "voice" of other people.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    The Bible is the WORD of God and so to the extent that we listen to it with a willing obedient spirit and refuse to simply "make stuff up" of our own preference and bias - we hear the voice of God.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. awaken

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    God is not limited to JUST His written Word! He will never contradict His written Word! But He speaks to us on a personal level!
     
  7. awaken

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    The third type of voice is the "voice" of the devil. He doesn't appear in front of us in a red, cloven-hoofed suit and speak out loud to us, he is much more crafty than that. What he does is to throw thoughts into our minds like flaming arrows, and he speaks to us through the worldly ideas and viewpoints that he has injected into other people. We need to know how to "extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16).
     
  8. awaken

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    The fourth and final type of voice is the most important, but it's also the most subtle. It's the voice of God. God doesn't speak to us in our minds, but instead He speaks to us in our spirits because that's where the Holy Spirit lives. Unfortunately, we tend to spend most of our thought life in our heads, in "the mind of the flesh" (Romans 8:7), rather than listening to what God is speaking to us in our spirits. We tend to live on the shallow surface, so to speak, rarely venturing deeper where the Spirit of God lives within us. But if we don't know how to hear and be led by our spirits, then we're leaving ourselves wide open to fall for the many deceptions of the devil. We need to recognize the leading and prompting that are coming from our spirit, and how to be more Spirit-led.
     
  9. awaken

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    Hearing from God is not a science. I wish I could hear God speaking out loud every day, telling me exactly how to be obedient to Him and serve Him and honor Him! But that's not how He does things! Like everything else in the Christian walk, hearing from God is a journey, and we're all at different places along the way. The journey never ends and no-one ever "arrives," and just like everyone else I'm still working on hearing God's voice better. All I have to offer are some things that I've learned so far on my journey, which might help you on your journey.

    Some voices we need to understand so we will not get them confused with God's voice is...The Voice of the Flesh.....Our greatest enemy!

    Here's an interesting question for you: Who is our greatest enemy? If you think it's the devil, you're wrong! Our greatest enemy is our minds, our wills, and our emotions, which the Bible sometimes refers to as our "sin nature" or our "flesh." Consider that if we didn't have a sinful flesh nature then the devil wouldn't have a hold on us. For example, Jesus had a flesh and blood body but He didn't have a sinful flesh nature as we do, and therefore the devil had no hold on Him (John 14:30).

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 says that we are made up of "spirit, soul and body." Your body is aware of the physical world around you, and your spirit is aware of God within you, and everything else is your soul, which is aware of "self." Your soul is made up of your mind (what you think), your will (what you want), and your emotions (what you feel). Our spirits were regenerated (made alive) the moment we were saved ( John 3:3-8), and our bodies will be made immortal when Jesus returns for us (1 Corinthians 15:51-53), but we must wage a daily battle against our "flesh nature." For example, how often do we say or hear things like, "I know I shouldn't say this, BUT" or "I know I shouldn't do this, BUT" or "I know I shouldn't eat this, BUT"? Our flesh nature pushes us to do what it wants to do, and we often obey our flesh even when we know better!
     
  10. awaken

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    Well...I guess I picked a title that is not a debatable! We all agree that we can hear the voice of God! Also that there are other voices that hinder us hearing God!

    The problem is that our flesh is unGodly, it's our sin nature, and that's why the Bible tells us to crucify our flesh.

    For example, try telling Jesus every day, "Jesus, help me to do anything and everything You say, without questions or hesitations or reservations. I'm all Yours, Lord, live Your life through me and receive great glory by my obedience." Isn't this the attitude that He wants us to have? Then why do we find it so difficult to say this and to live this way?

    It's because we're afraid of what He might call us to do! For instance, you might have a great job and make lots of money, but God might call you to leave all of that and go spend the rest of your life ministering in remote African villages. He has done this before! You might be a shy, self-conscious stutterer, but God might call you to hold large crusades all around the world where you'll be speaking in front of thousands and thousands of people. He has done this before! You might be a comfortable, middle-class person successfully climbing the corporate ladder and enjoying the status of being a member of the "right" clubs or social circles, but God might call you to turn your back on all of that and begin spending your evenings or weekends in the "slum" areas of town ministering to the homeless or ministering among youth gangs. He has done this before! You might be a small-town housewife with a high school education, but God might call you to go on the road most of the year preaching several times a week in churches, universities, conferences, and so on. He has done this before!

    Our flesh doesn't like the idea of having to go through these things, even though God will only call us to do things which are best for us. God always has our best interests at heart, but our flesh wants to cast its vote and make its desires known, and we tend to follow what our flesh wants rather than what God wants. Isn't it fairly clear that our flesh nature doesn't usually want to obey God?
     
  11. Don

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    It's not so much that it's not debatable; it's more that, when people do debate you, you reject their input because it doesn't agree with your beliefs. You're not open to opposing or alternative viewpoints. Look at the two responses you've already received; you rejected both with minimal consideration of what they wrote.

    So it's not that your subject isn't debatable; it's that "debating" you is practically worthless.
     
  12. awaken

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    I accept everyones opinion! So you only debate to change the person? Or do you debate to share your views?

    So if no one believes the same as you or accept your view...you stop discussing with them? I would have stopped a long time ago then! I am not offended because no one accepts my position on doctrine!

    I share and defend my position! Then in the end....if no one changes their mind! I am fine with that too! Only God can change people! We can only share!

    I am sorry I offended you by not accepting your views on certain subjects!
     
  13. awaken

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    What does the Bible say about our flesh?

    What does the Bible says about our minds, our wills, and our emotions?

    "And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]." (Luke 9:23, AMP)

    "the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it cannot submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him." (Romans 8:7-8, AMP)

    "The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are." (1 Corinthians 3:20, AMP)

    "walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh [of human nature without God]. For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other]" (Galatians 5:16-17, AMP)

    "those who belong to Christ Jesus, the Messiah, have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires." (Galatians 5:24, AMP)

    "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. ... But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." (Colossians 3:5-10)

    God has some pretty strong things to say about our "flesh" or "carnal nature" or "godless human nature" or "earthly nature" or "old self," and none of it is good!
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Well you must not think it is that bad, as you believe the human will is not in need of salvation. Indeed, the human will is the primary object of salvation because all is lost if the will remains at "enmity with God and is not subject to the will of God can neither indeed can be" so that they which are "in the flesh" cannot please God! The words "carnal mind" literally refer to the MIND SET or the WILL IN ACTION. No salvation of the will, no salvation at all.
     
  15. awaken

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    Where did you get that from my post! Our mind is in the process of being renewed.
    So you do not fight against your flesh?
     
  16. awaken

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    The way to begin hearing God better is to quit listening to our flesh so much. That's not an easy thing to do, but it's important to turn off our reasoning and to put our emotions into neutral when we're listening for an answer from God. Our flesh is always going to cast its vote on what it thinks we should do, but we need to ignore all of that voting and listen to our spirits instead. For example, if we are determined to do something no matter what anyone says, then we might not hear God telling us not to do it. If we have made a choice which seems rational to our minds, then we might not feel the need to ask God about it. If we really, really want to do something, then our emotions can drown out God when He's trying to prevent us from making a mistake. This illustrates how our wills, our minds, and our emotions can hinder us from hearing the voice of God.

    Sometimes it's appropriate for us to make our own decisions, but we've seen that "the mind of the flesh" is our "godless human nature." We can't trust our minds or emotions to tell us God's will.
     
  17. awaken

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    Jesus heard from God the Father better than anyone who ever lived, and one of the main reasons is because He chose to deny His own opinions. He only did what the Father told Him to do:
    "Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."" (John 5:19)

    "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." (John 5:30)

    "So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me."" (John 8:28)

    "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." (John 14:10)

    What it boils down to is that our reasonings and our feelings will drown out the voice of God. There are times when we need to use our reasoning abilities, but not when we're trying to hear God's voice. There are times when it's appropriate to indulge our feelings, but not when we're trying to hear God's voice.
     
  18. awaken

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    The Voice of Other People...

    One thing to keep in mind is that we're living in a war zone on planet earth. As Christians, we don't belong to the world like most people do, but instead we are aliens and strangers here (John 15:19, 17:15-16, James 4:4, 1 Peter 1:1, 17, 2:11). We are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20) serving as ambassadors here (2 Corinthians 5:20). The whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19), and we should be careful not to become ensnared in the ways of the world.
     
  19. awaken

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    It is nice to share something witout so much opposition!
    We agree so far on the voice of God and the interference with hearing Him...:smilewinkgrin:

    We need to be careful too...The devil speaks to us through worldly views

    In the world we are bombarded by loose morality, by "New Age" philosophies, and by other worldly, unGodly messages that we hear from people. This is why the Bible tells us to guard our hearts and minds from being contaminated by the world (see Acts 20:30-31, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Philippians 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 1:14, 4:14-15, 2 Peter 3:16-17).
     
  20. awaken

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    The devil can speak to us through Christians...

    Sometimes we forget that the things of God are far above our understanding, which makes it easy for the enemy to speak to us through the voice of well-meaning Christian friends, family, pastors, and so on. For example, when God calls someone into ministry, some are not sure at first what the call is. When sharing what God is doing in your life with other christians they sometimes try to talk you out of it by saying things like, "Why would you want to be a missionary and live in some remote part of the world?" People mean well, but remember that they're not sensing the same call that you're sensing, so we should be careful about telling other people, even strong Christian friends, about what God is speaking to your heart.

    For instance, in Acts 20:22-24 Paul said that he was being compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. However, in Acts 21:10-15 a prophet told Paul that he would suffer in Jerusalem, and Paul's traveling companions pleaded with him not to go there. Paul knew that he was being compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, yet all of the Christians around him kept trying to talk him out of it. If Paul had allowed himself to follow his own reasonings and opinions and to be swayed by other Christians, then he would have disobeyed God.

    Another example concerns Peter. In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul said that Peter had wrongly separated himself from Gentile Christians because he was swayed by the opinions of other people, and in turn Peter swayed other Jewish Christians to do the same. In this case, an apostle was led astray by the voice of other Christians, and this apostle led other Christians astray! It's easy for us to be deceived, which is why we need to know how to discern what we're hearing from the "voice" of other people . All of us have preconceived biases which act as "filters" when we read the Bible, and therefore even our pastor or our pastor can be deceived and teach us things that are incorrect. If an apostle can be deceived then certainly a pastor can too! This is why it's important for each one of us to study the Bible for ourselves and ask God for discernment so that we can recognize the Truth when we see it.

    Here's another example. When Jesus told the apostles that He would suffer and die, Peter tried to talk Him out of it. Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men" (Matthew 16:21-23). The devil was speaking through an apostle! Peter was not "possessed" by the devil, but he was choosing to follow his own reasonings and emotions, and these are the things that the devil uses to deceive us. In the very next verse, Jesus told the disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). If we choose not to listen to our own reasonings and emotions (except when appropriate), then we can begin hearing the voice of God within us.
     

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