Monday, March 31, 2008

I Hear God's Voice (read on before you think I've lost it...)

I think one of the hardest things I've tried to discern in my Christian walk has been trying to determine God's will for my life. You know, not just His BIG purpose for my whole life, but the smaller every day kind of things. Does He want me to do THIS or THAT? If you are a Christian, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Our pastor is doing a sermon series titled "Questions and Answers". He has asked the congregation to e-mail him questions we've had and he's going to search the Bible and give us the answers over the next few weeks. Yesterday was "Part I" of the series.

He tackled a couple of different questions, but my favorite was the last one, "If you are going in a direction that you think God wants you to go and encounter an obstacle, how do you know if God wants you to overcome the obstacle or He is using the obstacle to change your direction?"

Now as a side note, I must say at this point that I do "hear God speak to me". But what I mean by this isn't that I can audibly hear His voice. I wish. It isn't that easy. What I mean is that He speaks to me through His Word (the Bible), through others, through thoughts... But trying to figure out when it is HIM and when it is ME is sometimes a challenge!

He then preached on "Five Keys to Hearing from God: How to Identify the Voice of God". Here are his 5 points:

1. God's voice is consistent with His Word (the Bible). (Psalm 119:105) He will never lead me to do something that isn't in line with His written word. So what does this tell me? I must know His Word to discern His voice.

2. God's voice will conflict with human wisdom. (Matthew 5:38-48) His will doesn't always make sense. Sometimes he wants me to do something, in faith that He will provide along the way.

3. God's voice will clash with your fleshly nature. (Galatians 5:19-24) What He wants isn't always what I WANT. The way He wants me to be isn't the way I'll naturally be.

4. God's voice will challenge your faith. (Hebrews 11:6) He is constantly trying to grow me. His desires won't always be easy for me.

5. God's voice often demands courage. (Joshua 1) That is why it is called faith. I must trust in Him to do it. This definitely takes courage!

Are you faced with a decision?
I suggest you seek after Him before making your decision.
Then "listen" for His answer.


Pam said...

Great post, friend. Appropriate timing for us as well. Thanks for sharing. I'll be doing some further study from the notes you posted.

Thanks so much for your prayers! I have definitely been kept afloat by the intercessions of my Godly family -- like you!

Jennifer said...

That is definitely one of the hardest things to figure out and learn how to live out. Sometimes I think people use the excuse of "God told me to" so they can do what they want and you can't argue with it. I think they might convince themselves that he told them to do it. Maybe not, but I feel like I've seen that in some people. The other thing is some people are SO open to whatever pops in their head that they think it's from God and they get tricked. It's complicated. I like the pastor's points. I'll share it with Jason.