Recently, some media pundits have ridiculed Christians who have claimed they have heard God speaking directly to them. Likening the experience to “hearing voices”, their ignorant explanations have dismissed the experience likening it to a psychotic break. The truth is God does speak to all Christian believers through His Holy Spirit, who dwells in all who have confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. How does this happen?
I hear God speak to me during times of prayer and by reading and listening to His Word, the Bible. His Holy Spirit illuminates passages to give me direction in my life. God can also speak me to through the voices of others that He sends to me-pastors, fellow believers, and sometimes, even apparent adversaries.
But he sent envoys to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of Megiddo. And the archers shot King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am badly wounded.”
2 Chronicles 35:21-23 (ESV)
Josiah was the last good king of Judah. In spite of all his noble and godly accomplishments, he died a painful death. In this Bible passage, Josiah was given a very clear message and warning by the king of Egypt, a potential adversary, to not enter into battle, a message that he ignored leading to a fatal outcome.
Why didn’t he listen?
Many times in my life, I have ignored or dismissed the well-meaning advice of friends or even casual acquaintances or strangers. I wonder how many of these times was God speaking to me? How many times have I dismissed the advice of a perceived adversary because I thought I was deliberately being misled?
Why didn’t I listen?
I was convinced that I knew better and understood my circumstances better than anyone, even God. I relied upon my instincts instead of turning to God in prayer or verifying their advice with God’s Word. I must always hold any voice or advice that I perceive is coming from God to the absolute Truth of God’s Word. God will never contradict His Word and He cannot lie. This is how I should listen when God speaks to me.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.