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.