When do we know when God is speaking to us, what does He sound like? What means does He use to do so?
This topic is widely debated, because it is still unclear to many. If I decide to tackle this question, it would sound like I’m defending God’s anonymity. I would greatly desire if we could approach this with the right perception: We are the ones who have estranged ourselves from God, not He from us. With this in mind, I would like us to use the following examples:
When you were growing up, you depended entirely on what your parents/guardians were instilling in you. Your Values for existence were centered on how they lived their lives, many of the cautionary lectures still linger in your mind as vivid as day, constantly restraining you from dishonoring their wishes.
Your parents knew they would not always be there to make decisions for you, but they knew they could teach you to make them on your own, such that, in a way, they are always your source of instruction. This is the same for God. The rift between us has greatly affected the way He communicates with us, but He is never far from us.
We need to clarify one concept though:(Most) Human beings are intrinsically social. We are designed to interact with each other, foster relationships that are beneficial plus other things. The relationship that we have with God is not demarcated by our need for social interaction, it is far greater than that. Consider the relationship that you have with your parents vs that of your best friend. Your parents carry a superior role than that of your friend-and its not that you do not socialize with them any more or less. You depend more on them than you do your best friend. In many social setups, the converse may be true, but the point I wanted to put forward holds- We need God.
Now, approaching the relationship that we have with God from this perspective, and realizing how far we have strayed from Him, we need to approach Him in allowance of mending the relationship, communication being a key component in our interaction with Him. We begin first by:
- Hearing from His word, and accepting it to be true…
- Having mixed it with Faith, in admittance that we believe beyond doubt, we pour our mental energy in reading and Understanding the Word…
- At this point, the Holy Spirit earnestly works within us, bearing fruits that are the Character of Christ (the fruit of the Spirit)
- As we walk with Him and abide in Him, we bear more fruit, and our communication with God improves, becoming more distinctive and forthcoming. At this point, it does sound fantastic, but you will hear His Voice….and you will know it is Him…
For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Romans 10:16-18
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them….”John 10:1-6I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2:26-27