The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The life is in the speaking words. God's word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God's word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book.
(A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
God is a Speaking God...not just in the past, but right now, right here. Of course, in His Scriptures, His written Word. But He also and very personally speaks to you and me by His Spirit in our spirit.
And I've been thinking recently about this very thing. Here's my conclusion: hearing the Voice of my Father God Who loves me is one of the most important aspects of my life in Christ in the Spirit that I need to learn. And it takes time. Not because the Father plays hide and seek games with me. Rather, I do with Him. Not knowingly. But the enemy of my soul is good at distracting me from that life-giving Voice. Busyness, "ministry," performance-oriented messages, my own bright ideas, maybe even good things but still "fleshly" if not from Him.
But I am hearing and I am learning and I am longing to hear, listen, and move on His nudges. Are you too?
After all, our hearing Him is His promise and our birthright as children of God:
My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me.
I have a theory. I really think that God speaks to us in our "love language." Why? you might ask. It's because God is Love and He communicates to us in love, wanting us to know we are loved by Him. So since my love language is "words of affirmation," that's how I hear God most often. And when I do, I definitely feel loved and embraced by my Abba Father.
May I share a recent example with you?
Recently, there was a situation over which I was grieving. Things were not right in a relationship between loved ones. I was not directly involved, so it seemed that all I was able to do was observe the emotional "destruction," pray, and grieve. I had insights into the situation, but humanly speaking, I was not the appropriate person to speak into it.
But the grief got heavier and heavier ... so heavy that I was crying almost constantly over the people involved.
Then one day as I was doing my usual walk, grieving, praying, crying, I decided to listen to a podcast on my Telling the Truth app on my phone. Perusing the list of messages, my eyes landed on one entitled "Jesus is Disruptive" by Pete Briscoe. It turned out that the message was directly from the Holy Spirit to my mind and heart. Basically, this is what I heard, "If you see something, you say something, because you love someone."
So I said to the Lord, "OK, I'll do it, Lord. I'll speak up about what I see. But I'm scared stiff! Please open the door and make it plain that it's YOUR timing and YOUR words that I have."
I was a wreck ... shaking in my boots, not at all courageous or happy to be saying hard things to people I love. I was scared it would wreck a decent relationship. So the whole time, I was a mess! But I knew it was God's will, and His way must prevail.
... speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him ...
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
Well, of course, a day or two later, the "door [obviously] swung wide open" for the hard conversation. And by God's grace, the person's heart attitude was open to discuss the situation. I pushed through with what I felt God was saying, and it was received!
When I went for my walk later that day, I was thanking God but still shaking and emotionally a wreck over the hardness of it all.
I said to the Lord, crying the whole time,
"Was that YOU, Lord! Did I do OK?"
Then He immediately said to my heart (no doubt about it!),
"Well done! You're my girl!"
"YOU'RE MY GIRL!"
from the God of the Universe!
from my Abba Father "who is very fond of me!"
Then the floodgates REALLY opened ... tears of relief! Joy! Peace!
As I continued to walk, I noticed afresh the heart-shaped fall leaves, blowing across my walking-path. Each one seemed to say, "You're my girl! You're my girl! You're my girl!"
What about you, dear sibling in the Father's family? Are you too learning to hear Him, the Lover of your Soul? Take the risk ... that Voice of love and affirmation is your Father. "You're His girl! You're His boy!" Don't doubt it! Trust ... It's His promise. It's your birthright.
My sheep [you] hear my voice and I know them [you] and they [you] follow Me.
You might also like this: Longing & Learning to Hear God