One of the most amazing benefits of being a child of God is that we have the ability to actually hear and discern His voice. If you are a Christian, it is your birthright gift! In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” So Jesus had an expectation that we would listen to His voice. However, many of us never get quiet enough to hear Him! It’s important that we regularly quiet ourselves and fix our hearts on Him (Hebrew 12:2).
God can speak to you in many different ways. It might come as a thought, a memory, a picture, or a verse from the Bible that pops into your mind. When we refer to hearing from the Lord that does not necessarily mean that you hear an audible voice. It is a way of referring to the Lord showing you something and you receiving what He is communicating to you. At Mercy, we teach the residents that there are four main ways the Lord speaks, or communicates, with us.
1) A still, small voice – Often this is referred to as our conscience, or that voice in our head that redirects or challenges us when we are struggling with making a poor decision. That still, small voice is the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts.
2) Impressions – These are thoughts that come to mind that we do not intentionally think on our own. These thoughts seem to fall quietly as we become aware of them.
3) Confirmation – The Lord speaks a certain theme that is seen in many ways and places. For example, in one morning an individual would overhear a conversation about this theme and then see a billboard with this theme across it. Then he or she would receive a flier in the mail and then read two Bible verses on forgiveness! The theme would seem to be everywhere, because the Lord is not afraid to repeat Himself or confirm what He is speaking.
4) Pictures/Dreams – This way of receiving from the Lord is often found in those who are creative and imaginative. They see pictures easily and may receive dreams from the Lord while they sleep as well. These pictures may not always make sense right away, but the Lord is faithful to reveal what He is speaking through prayer.
Now that you have some ideas on the ways that the Lord communicates, which of these do you most connect with? Have you received something from the Lord in one of these ways recently? If so, what did He show you? We encourage you to be on the lookout this week for what the Lord would have to say to YOU!