Many people asked me, “Is it really possible to hear God’s voice?”. The simple answer is “yes”. Christians believe in a personal God who desires a personal relationship with his people. What validates that belief is the fact that Bible is full of stories of people whom God spoke with.
For example, God spoke with Adam(Gen 2:16), with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3), with Moses (Exo 33:11), and with so many others. Jesus also said his sheep will hear his voice. (John 10:27)
To be clear, we no longer hear an “audible voice” from outside. Now God speaks to us through an “internal voice” (usually in the form of “impression”, “nudge” or “burden”). It is because God now dwells inside of us. And what we hear from God must align with the written word of God, which is the Bible. But all it takes to hear God’s voice is a little bit of practice and small faith to believe that he wants to speak his wisdom and love into our lives.
However, here is the problem. When it comes to communicating to others about what we heard from God, we Christians can often be insensitive. Many of us are unaware that when we say “God spoke to me…”, it can make non-Christians feel very intimidated and uncomfortable.
But the biggest problem is when you say “God spoke to me…”, it just puts you in a position where you can never be questioned. At the end of the day, how can we question God, right? This is not a problem if we can accurately hear God’s voice all the time. But even Joy Dawson, who taught many people all over the world how to hear God’s voice, confessed that only about 20% of what she heard from God was proven to be correct afterward. We need to recognize that our own agenda, desire, inclination and self-interest all can get in the way of hearing God’s voice accurately.
Then how can we ever know clearly if it was God who spoke to us? It is simple. Clarity comes through multiple advisors. (Pro 11:14) This is why God placed people around your life: your family, friends and church family.
So my suggestion to our church members is this: When you want to share what you heard from God, please start with “I felt like…”. Instead of saying “God spoke to me…”, try saying “I felt like God was saying…”. This one simple phrase “I felt” puts you in a place of humility implying you might be wrong (since you said it in a subjective way) and you can now invite multiple wise counsels from people who love God and you. This also helps us to be sensitive and accommodating to our non-Christian friends who have started coming to our church. On a side note, I “felt like” God was telling me to write a blog post about this 🙂