Recently I started teaching a Bible study with a friend, about learning to hear God’s voice. Unfortunately this is a much neglected topic in the church and many people seldom if ever hear His voice. I have often been asked how I hear Him speak to me so clearly and with that in mind my friend and I decided perhaps it was time we lead a study on this exact subject. We are using a book called 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark Virkler .
I’ve added the link if you are interested in purchasing the book. Anyway, as I was reading through the first few chapters and doing the homework that Mark was suggesting in the book, namely sitting down and journalling what I felt God was saying to me, I realized that since I like to understand the why before I do, I needed a deeper understanding of why we need to hear God’s voice and why so many people don’t hear it. That set me on a journey that I think only scratches the surface of this infinite topic and I thought I would share my findings here on this blog.
I realized that in order for me to understand the why, I needed to go back to the very beginning in Genesis 3:1-13 which gives us the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and how they were led astray by the serpent. If you read these verses you will see two time periods, the first which has full communion with God and the second, fear and separation from God. I won’t include the whole story due to length, but I will share some key verses particularly describing what happened after they ate the forbidden fruit:
Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Now I have to ask myself, why on earth were they afraid? The only relationship that they had experienced with God was a good one. We can assume that when it says God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, that this was not a new event, but had been going on for some time. The Bible doesn’t tell us how much time has passed since creation and the fall, but whether it was a week or a year, is not important. The bottom line is that they had spent time each and every day walking and talking with God, and yet this day was different. They had disobeyed a direct order not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and suddenly they were ashamed of their nakedness, covered themselves up with leaves and hid from Him.
I would like to suggest that this response is exactly what God knew would happen and Satan, the serpent, wanted to happen, when they ate that fruit. Division! Separation from a loving God and Father. Fear and shame had entered into their hearts and minds and they no longer trusted God or wanted to spend time with Him. Their worldview had changed. God hadn’t changed, the serpent hadn’t changed, their bodies hadn’t changed but their minds had been changed. In an instant, they went from communion with a loving Father who they trusted, to a God who they feared and hid themselves from. Their disobedience is of course called Original Sin but I don’t want to dwell on that aspect. I want to look at what happened from a slightly different perspective.
I believe that what happened that day is the beginning of something that the military calls PSYOP or Psychological warfare. The serpent, also called the Devil, the Accuser of the Brethren, a Liar, Great Deceiver, Angel of Light, etc. twisted their thoughts and changed how they viewed God. That psychological warfare is still happening to this day and is the reason why so many people are afraid of God, don’t trust Him, hide from Him and don’t hear His voice.
So why do we need to hear God’s voice? Why do we need to be able to understand what our Heavenly Father is saying to us? Because without His voice we begin to lean on our own understanding. We sees things through the eyes of logic and fear. We put our faith in things seen and not things unseen. We lose our hope. We lose touch with the supernatural and view our world through the natural. We lose our faith because we don’t know the One who wants us to trust Him.
You might object here and say, but we have the Bible. And yes, you would be correct. We do have the Bible. But read through the eyes of the natural, through the eyes of logic, the Bible doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is only when the Holy Spirit gives us revelation and understanding that we begin to see who God is and what His plan is for our lives. I’ve heard people say, people who were not Christians, that the Old Testament God and the New Testament God are not the same God. One is an angry God and the other is a loving God. Viewed through the eyes of the natural it would be easy to understand this mistake. But through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, it becomes clear that there is only one God in the Bible and He is a loving, faithful Father.
Notice that I bring up the Holy Spirit here. Why? Because when the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, as we are told in Scripture that He will if we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, then He will also speak to us because He dwells inside of us. In John 10:27 Jesus tells His disciples “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me“. This statement is about as clear as it can be. My sheep hear my voice. He didn’t say “My sheep might hear my voice, or my sheep occasionally hear my voice”, he said “My sheep hear my voice“. So why don’t we?
In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us the following: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. The word transformed is the word that we get metamorphosis from. Think caterpillar, to cocoon, to butterfly. That picture is quite a transformation or transfiguration, isn’t it? The caterpillar looks absolutely nothing like a butterfly. And if you take it further, the word renewed, means renovation, complete renovation. Think kitchen renovation, down to the studs, new cabinets, beautiful new quartz countertops, gorgeous floors, the whole room, totally transformed. Beautiful, breathtaking, new! Are you beginning to see what Paul is talking about here. He’s talking about your mind. Total metamorphosis, total renovation, total renewal. Your new mind looking nothing like your old mind. New thoughts, new revelation, new understanding. The mind of Christ. Complete paradigm shift. Nothing like the old, nothing even remotely like it used to be. That is the mind that God wants to give you. But you have to ask Him for it and receive it.
So what does having a new, transformed, renovated mind have to do with hearing His voice? Everything! You have to realize that God is not silent. He speaks to you all the time. You are not hearing it because you don’t recognize His voice. You think those great ideas, those amazing thoughts, are your own. Or perhaps the devil’s. It always amuses me that people are so quick to attribute thoughts to the devil, and give him credit, but cannot imagine that God would speak to them. It takes faith to believe that those thoughts could be from God. Try it sometime. Sit down, calm your spirit and your mind and listen. Then write down what you are hearing. You might be surprised at how much God is actually talking to you.