As Christians, we talk a lot about listening to God’s voice, but do we truly understand how to recognize the voice of God? This is something we really need to spend some time unpacking. Whether we choose to admit it or not, there are only two forces in the world: the force of good and the force of evil.
Both forces want to influence our lives. The one we choose to listen to, will influence our choices and determine the impact we have on others.
What is God’s Voice?
The phrase “God’s voice” is what I consider Christianese: the language used almost exclusively by Christians. Many times, we use these words without fully understanding what they mean. Since I want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing, let’s clarify what I mean when I refer to God’s voice. We’ll do that by going into the Word.
When the Bible talks about the voice of God, it can refer to one of five things.
1. God’s physical voice
One of the most vivid examples of God’s physical voice in Scripture is the story of the burning bush. God physically spoke to Moses from the burning bush. The two had a long conversation about how God wanted to use Moses to rescue the Israelites from slavery. You can read the full account in Exodus 3:1-4:17.
2. The evidence of God in nature
Nature was created by God’s voice. He spoke and everything came to life. It, therefore, stands to reason that we can experience God’s voice through His created things. If you’ve spent even a few minutes observing nature, you can’t help but marvel at the creativity, functionality, and interconnectivity of His creation. When God revealed His omnipotence to Job, one of the first things He spoke about was Creation (Job 38:2-7).
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There are several passages in the Bible that encourage us to learn from nature. For example, we can understand how God cares for us by looking at the birds and how He cares for them (Luke 12:24). The ant teaches us how to work hard (Proverbs 6:6-8). Jesus told His disciples to be as “wise as serpents but as harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
3. God’s written words
The Bible is God’s gift to humanity. By reading and studying the Bible, we can learn about the character and nature of God. We also learn what is expected as members of His family. God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). It goes out from His mouth and accomplishes great things (Isaiah 55:11).
4. God’s word spoken through His prophets
Throughout the ages, there have been numerous prophets who spoke as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. A good chunk of the Old Testament consists of the writings of the prophets: Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, et al. These men spoke to the Israelites about what they were doing wrong, how they could change, as well as, God’s response to their actions.
Those writings stand as a testimony to us today and provide examples of what it means to live a godly life.
5. Visions and dreams
God has often spoken to His people through dreams and visions. Daniel and Ezekiel both experienced God’s voice through visions. God spoke to Abimelech (Genesis 20:3) and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1) through dreams.
How Does God Speak to Us?
In Bible times, God would occasionally talk to His people in an audible way. Today, He mostly speaks to us in our minds. He may also speak to us through His Word, through His people, through visions and dreams, or other methods. I know personally, I sometimes get an answer from God through articles, books, and other Christian programs.
How do you know it’s God’s voice?
But how do you know God’s voice? We have a lot of thoughts on a daily basis so how do we know which ones are from God, ourselves, or the enemy? There are four things to consider when you’re trying to decide if what you’re hearing is really the voice of God.
1. What’s your relationship with God like? A lot of it boils down to your relationship. Let’s be clear about something: God is quite capable of speaking to persons who don’t acknowledge Him as God or have a relationship with Him, but He’s a relational God. He wants to communicate with us within the boundaries of a relationship.
2. Does the message align with Scripture? God’s voice will always line up with His Word. As Christ-followers, we should be spending time reading and studying the Bible. If we don’t spend time in His Word, we won’t know what it says. If we don’t know what the Bible says, we won’t be able to determine if what we’re hearing aligns with God’s Word or not.
3. Does it bring you a sense of peace? God’s voice should give you a sense of peace. So, okay, there are times when God wants you to do something that you definitely do not want to do. In those situations, you may feel agitated, frustrated, or disturbed. These feelings usually result because we’re fighting the Spirit instead of listening to the voice of God. Once you decide to obey God’s voice, you usually experience a sense of peace
4. Have you gotten confirmation from a trusted source? A lot of times, when we hear a message from God, He repeats it. I most recently experienced this during a coaching session with my friend Latasha Strachan. I had been seeking clarity on my next steps and wanted to know if I had heard God correctly.
Well, the Holy Spirit showed up in the middle of my coaching session and confirmed that the whispers I had heard weeks earlier, had in fact been God’s voice. The next day, God repeated the message in a podcast episode that had been languishing on my watch list for at least a week.
God wants you to hear His voice. He will give you clear messages–if only you would open yourself up to His leading.
Why is it important to hear God’s voice
As followers of God, it’s important to be able to recognize the voice of God. The enemy lies and he talks. A. Lot.
The enemy always has something to say about you and it’s always bad. That’s why he’s called the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:9-11): his whole purpose on this earth is to accuse. He accuses you before God, before men, and even to yourself.
Related: Do You Believe the Positive Affirmations You Tell Yourself?
But when you can hear and recognize God’s voice, you let truth in. God will always speak what’s good and what’s true. He will always say things that are ultimately for your good (even when they’re hard to hear).
God’s voice provides clarity. He offers direction. He comforts us when we need to be comforted. He reminds us that we’re His and that He has plans for our lives.
When we can hear God’s voice, we have the power we need to claim victory over the enemy. Our victory is in Christ and when we listen to God’s voice, we’ll remember that.
I thought a lot about what it meant to be able to hear God’s voice as we seek to make decisions about our lives while reading Love at First Flight. Both characters had to make a decision about the future of their relationship and the right answer could only come from God.
My Review of Love at First Flight
This was a sweet second-chance romance. Evelyn is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Quadron, a job she loves. When her ex-boyfriend turns out to be one of her instructors, Evelyn is not happy.
Jasper is not the same immature young man Evelyn loved in college, so why do they keep having the same fights?
Love at First Flight explored the topic of whether people could change or not. Both Jasper and Evelyn had matured since their relationship broke up but they kept faking into the same cycles, at least at the beginning.
I enjoyed learning the history the female civilians who worked with the military ferrying planes but for me, this story just didn’t have enough tension. Apart from the arguments and a bit of tension between some of the military and the women, there wasn’t a lot of drama and I kept expecting more…now this is completely my fault but after reading Spies and Sweethearts I was expecting more if the same heart-stopping tension.
Know God: there was a scene that really stood out for me in Love at First Flight. Evelyn was frustrated with how things were turning out and she was talking to God about it. But the thing is she was determined to do her own things, God’s response was “Follow Me”.
I liked that Evelyn was able to recognize God’s voice. Like Evelyn, we need to spend time with God so we can know when He is speaking to us…and when He’s not.
Know yourself: both Evelyn and Jasper had strong personalities and very definite opinions which meant they were always bumping heads. They each had to face traits in their personalities and resolve them.
Run your race: usually on this blog we focus on the importance of staying in our own lanes, but Love at First Flight highlighted another aspect of running our races. We need to allow other persons to run their own races. Sometimes, we see someone doing something and we may think they’re doing the wrong thing. It’s not our place to figure out what assignments God has given someone else. It’s our job to focus on the race set before us, not the path marked out for someone else.
Love at First Flight was a sweet story that reminded the reader that above all things they should be following Christ and not trying to do their own thing. I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publishers through Celebrate Lit; a positive review was not required. Purchase Love at First Flight on Amazon | Barnes & Noble.
About Love at First Flight
Can two people emerge from the clouds of past hurt to find a silver lining of love?
Evelyn Reid would rather fly than do anything else, so when war engulfs the U.S., she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. One of the program’s top pilots, she is tapped for pursuit plane training…the dream of a lifetime until she discovers the instructor is her ex-fiancé, Jasper MacPherson.
Collecting enough points to rotate stateside, fighter pilot Jasper MacPherson is assigned to teach the WAFS how to fly the army way. Bad enough to be training women, but things take a turn for the worse when his former fiancée shows up as one of his students.
Love at First Flight is a Christian historic romance.
About Linda Shenton Matchett
Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. She writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. Her books are regularly praised for their accuracy and realism.
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry.
Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include serving as a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, exploring historic sites, and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
How to Hear God’s Voice
It’s a great feeling to recognize that God is speaking to you. But maybe you’ve never experienced it, or wonder what you can do to hear God’s voice. If you want to hear God speak, here are some simple things you can do to make yourself available to hear Him:
- Spend time reading His Word
- Spend time in prayer
- Remove distractions and quiet your heart
God has things to say to His people. He has things He wants to say to you, are you listening? How will you hear God’s voice today?
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