Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

How does God speak to you , to me, to others? I will tell you some of the many ways that He does speak to us, but I don't know all of them. He uses different means for different people.I will relate to you the many ways that He has spoken to me over the years because those I know from personal experience. But these are certainly not all the ways He uses.

The first time He ever spoke to me was on New Years Eve, 1982 through tongues and interpretations that came from an elder and his wife in a church I was attending at the time - it was a message that gave me hope. The next time was through a prophetess whom I didn't know, but who knew of me through someone else. It was a word of comfort, encouragement and was uplifting, I cried when I received it. The next time He spoke to me, and the first time He Himself spoke directly to me, was one morning in my prayers in March of 1983 when He spoke to me through although not an audible voice, it was very clear that He had spoken directly to me. His words were "Exodus 10:1". I opened up my bible to Ex 10:1 and it was God speaking to Moses telling him "Go to the Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart that I might perform these signs and wonders among my people." He was using this verse to tell me that He Himself had hardened the heart of a woman I loved very dearly and wanted to marry. He had His own reasons and purposes for that, but it wasn't her doing - He had hardened her heart.

He spoke to me through prophets several times over the next few months, always words of comfort, encouragement and were uplifting, as well as letting me know some of the things He had planned for my life. Let me throw in something here that is off the topic but extremely important for you to know. If anyone ever comes to you and tells you that they have a word from the Lord for you and that "word" is not comforting, encouraging and uplifting, then it is not from the Lord. If it is troubling to you, it is not from the Lord. In my role as a prophet I can give a rebuke to leaders of churches and ministries or the proud and arrogant, but never to someone who is a humble servant of the Lord.The bible says that the gift of prophecy is for "comfort, encouragement and building up" -  if it is used otherwise, it is used incorrectly.

Over the same period He would speak to me through bible verses, verses that He clearly wanted me to take as His personal direction as well as promises to me, although these were never in an audible voice, I just knew that he was using them to speak to me. He spoke to me simply as I was reading through the bible, I was not looking for anything specific, I was just reading the bible and I knew when a particular verse was something He was using to speak to me. The bible is His personal message to each one of us and it is imperative that we read all of it as much as we can so that He can use different verses to speak to us individually.

Then I remember a period in 1983 when I would be sitting down with a worship album on and just spending time with the Lord. He would begin to speak in a still, small voice, messages which I wrote down. It was certainly not a voice that I could hear, rather it was Him speaking to my mind. It was an awesome thing to know that God is truly a personal God who does want to speak to us individually. That period lasted only a few weeks and it has never happened again.

The way that He speaks to me most often, and the same way He uses for most, is through an impression, a leading, a still small voice. I remember in late 1983 I came home form church and was all ready to watch the playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and their hated rivals the Washington Redskins. The game was a good game, well into the second quarter, when God said into my spirit "Come worship Me". What!!! But this is an important game!! I've been waiting for this game!!! Nonetheless I turned off the tv and put on a worship album and spent probably two hours with the Lord. When He finally let me turn the tv back on the game was over and the Cowboys had lost!! Talk about disappointed!! I at least thought that He would let my team win!! Obedience does not always bring us the rewards we hope for.

That still, small voice is what He uses to speak to most of us, that and the bible. If you truly want to hear from the Lord you need to be reading His Word and spending time with Him. That means also that you need to put aside your pride and preconceived notions of what God is like and how He does things. He is not going to speak to you upon demand when you think He should and how you think He should, He is going to do it when and how He wants to. If you are not reading the bible regularly you will be missing most of His directions for yourself.

He also speaks to us through dreams and visions. I have had numerous dreams and visions over the years and it was also usually years before He gave me the meanings of them. Although in the past year, especially the last few months, He has given me interpretations of my dreams within a few days or weeks. He always uses others to give me these interpretations. These dreams and visions can be of things that may be about to happen to this nation or other places in the world, to people you know or know of, or people you don't even know yet, or to you individually. Or they may be to help you better understand things that the Lord wants you to know about past events in your lives or to help you better understand he has planned for you in the future. Or they can be used to help you see more clearly things He wants you to know about yourself and others. And He can also use them to confirm things to you.

It has been years since I have heard His voice, years since He has actually spoken to me. Instead He speaks through me as I talk to others and as I sit down to type these messages. How does He guide me then? With His eyes. No, I really can't explain it better than that, but it was what He told me back in 1983 that He was going to do. Sometimes He has spoken to me through others to encourage or give me hope.

There are other ways that the Lord speaks to us that I am not aware of, but I know that some of you are.  So if you'd care to share them in the "Comments" section I know that you will help others to know more ways that the Lord speaks to and guides us.


  1. Hi Cliff,

    One of the ways I hear from the Lord is though a prophet (Debbi Rennier). About 5 years ago I read a prophecy from her for the U.S. and I contacted her through email about it. She emailed me back and invited me to call her, which I did. I had a good talk with her and her husband and have kept in contact with them since. Then one day out of the blue, she sent me a personal prophecy from the Lord. I didn't ask for it and wasn't expecting it, but there it was in my email. I've since gotten those from her from time to time without asking for them (other than if she had any for me recently) and they just come out of the blue. They are always very simple, comforting, and encouraging (as you said) and they have always a Scripture along with them (the Scripture is always comforting and encouraging too or instructing). I've since created a spreadsheet with the date, the Word and the Scripture on it. Some of them seem a bit puzzling on how they apply to me, but I just have faith that the Lord will reveal that to me when the time is right.

    The first few times when I got a Word from the Lord from her I would always brace myself for a harsh rebuke from Him, but that rebuke never came and it was always positive. That puzzled me at first and I would question if she accidentally sent the Words to the wrong person. But since I knew she was a true prophet and that the Lord would have corrected her if she sent the Words to the wrong person, I finally realized that they were for me. Plus in a couple of them the Lord Himself told me they were indeed for me and not to doubt them (I suppose that was the rebuke I was thinking I was going to get, and it was gentle at that).

    I've also heard from Him in the last 3-4 years by looking at the clock (which I do a lot, one of my quirks) and seeing the time 9:11. Sometimes I'll see it days in a row, once or twice a day, and sometimes once a week or less, it just depends. I haven't figured out what that means yet for me personally whether I'll be in an emergency situation, or something line that. I already know what's going to happen to the U.S. (though you and others) in the coming years, I'm just not sure yet what the above means for me and my family personally. We'll have to pray about that.

    Other than that, I hear from Him through Scripture. I have an audio bible I listen to in the car as I drive to and from work. As a side note, it's amazing how much I've learned by doing that! I'll listen to the NT and hear all the OT references and then listen to the OT and hear the reference and think "hey that's referenced in Hebrews" or where ever it is. But when I'm listening, certain things will "pop out" at me or just "click" (best way I can describe it). A recent example happened a couple weeks ago: Our 3 year old son somehow caught pneumonia. My wife took him to the doctor and got medicine in the morning. Later that afternoon she called me saying he was very lethargic so I prayed that the Lord would heal him a few times. When I got home from work she said he had gotten up and was running around like himself just shortly before I came home from work. Then this Scripture came to me from Psalm 22/Hebrews 1: "You have answered Me. I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise You." That was a very powerful thing for me, it said to me that He listens to my prayers and answers them. So I can be assured that He will listen to and answer the prayers that I know are in His will that I pray to Him.

    That's a few examples of how the Lord speaks to me. There have been others, but I don't want to take up too much space here.

    God bless,

  2. Thanks so much for that reply, Tim, that is what I was hoping that people would send. Yes, I know Debbie and Terry Rennier and she is most certainly a true prophet of the Lord.

  3. Cliff:

    Yes, the Lord is such a wonderful God. He truly loves to speak with His children and communicate with us. For most of the first part of my life I now realize that I was not taught properly in the churches (my parents forced me to attend) how to actually expect direct and personal words from our dear Lord and how personal He really is.

    My wife has taught me much about what I know today about hearing from the Lord. I will give you an example of a time when she actually heard the physical AUDIBLE voice of the lord.

    Several years ago she had made a commitment to fast (not eat bread, etc) for 5 days. At around the 4th day, she was at home alone and I was at work. She started to become very hungry - the enemy was clearly tempting her to eat. She thought in her mind, well, just one small bite shouldn’t hurt and my commitment time is almost up anyways. So she hesitantly took that bite. As she was chewing, she heard a rather loud and stern voice directly in her right ear, “Why did you eat?” She immediately ran to the bathroom, threw up and fell on her face crying and in repentance for a LONG time thereafter.

    We have since fasted many times after the above incident, and my wife and the Lord have come into an understanding of repentance and forgiveness concerning the whole issue above. But it really served to show us just how seriously God takes our personal commitment to Him, how incredibly personal He really is, will communicate with you in no uncertain terms, is really listening when you speak and will really “take you up” on your promises to Him.


  4. I just finished reading "Hearing the Voice of the Lord". I was sitting here thinking of the ways I hear from the Lord....the still small voice I hear and can write a page without stopping, seeing things prophetically, hearing through the scriptures, dreams, numbers, many of the same ways you mentioned. Next I just paused and thought about things I have heard from the Lord or even a single word that has meant something to someone.
    I will now share how the Lord just spoke to me about the new gate my husband build for our back yard. We needed a new gate, because I could not open or close the old gate, the gate was sagging and too heavy for me to lift. My husband , has worked all week building this gate, it is 6 feet high and about 16 feet wide, two panels 8 foot each.
    Tonight after reading your post, I saw the gate as a prophetic act! The gate is now easier to open and I saw that as a breakthrough, also I feel such peace and like a weight has been lifted off me. A gate is a symbol of entrance, power and authority.
    Thank you for the watchman2009, tonight the Lord used your post to help me feel such peace and to know the gate symbolizes things being easier.
    God Bless you and thank you again!

  5. You stated, "The way that He speaks to me most often, and the same way He uses for most, is through an impression, a leading, a still small voice."

    How do I know that I'm not confusing this still, small voice or impression with my own imagination, internal dialogue, or wishful thinking? This is a serious question and something I've always wondered about.

  6. That is an excellent question, Liz, and I wish that I had a pat answer for you, unfortunately I don't. When you're not sure about it then you must pray, pray and pray and wait upon the Lord to give you confirmation or peace about it. No, It's not easy, I wish that it were. Fasting is another avenue to use to see if it is from the Lord or not. I'm going to ask Mark Moore to pray about this and see if he can give you a better answer.

  7. Liz, here is Mark's answer:

    Hearing the voice of the Lord is something that must be learned & cultivated over time. The difference between His "still small voice" & "our own imagination, internal dialog or wishful thinking" is the still small voice of God doesn't sound like "us". When we "internalize or go off into our imagination", etc. what we hear in our mind sounds like "OUR voice".

    Also, these things in our mind are LOUD compared to God's voice. When God speaks, His voice is very quiet. I guess that is why He calls it a "still small voice"...LOL!!!! When God speaks by His still small doesn't sound like us. To me, His still small voice is like a VERY quiet trumpet...& the interesting thing is...I can FEEL His voice when He speaks. to me, it actually has a "feel" to it.

    But, like I takes time to cultivate & develop learning to hear Him. The biggest part of it is learning to "quiet oneself"...our mind is VERY noisy!!! WE have to train our mind to "be still". ;-)

    Psa 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God..."

  8. This is a great post, Cliff! I'm learning so much by reading your experiences and the experiences of other people. Thumbs up!!!:-)

  9. I once was strongly rebuked by the Lord for critizing myself. I'd always had a very low opinion of myself and often would berate myself rather intensely. As was the norm, I was doing this on a typical day when I felt suddenly in my inner man or soula a very strong rebuke. He said, "I am in heaven, you are on the earth. Do not contend with your Maker." This shocked me and I remember my face was flushed. I knew that I knew it was from God, though I did not actually hear those words with my ears. It was not my imagination or I would not have gotten so flushed and startled and shaky. All I could think of later was that He must really love me because He says, "The Lord rebukes those He loves."

  10. Thank you, Cliff, for yours and Mark's response.

    "pray, pray and pray"

    That is something I'm working on in hopes that I can better hear God when He wants to speak to me. There have been a few times when I know God's spoken to me. Like Mark described, it didn't sound like my way of thinking.

    Still, my train of thought wanders a lot. Plus, I don't want to mistake my own thoughts for being God's direction, or dismiss God's direction as my own thoughts.