"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 (ESV)
Maybe you’ve heard someone say, "The Lord told me _____" or "I’ve sensed the Lord saying _____ to my heart." Did it make you wonder if you could discern God’s voice too?
Maybe like me, you’ve wondered: Is it really possible to hear God’s voice? Can I know when He is speaking to me? Maybe that was just a random thought? What if I make a decision based on what I think God is saying and then discover I was wrong … then what?
I wrestled with these questions several years ago when our family was going through a tough time. Much was at stake, and despite numerous conversations with my husband, considering every option, it was clear that a sacrifice was required.
One morning, as I stared into my bathroom mirror — trying to ignore the knot in my stomach and holding back a wall of tears — I turned on my blow dryer and started drying my hair.
I asked again, "Lord, what if I can’t discern what You’re telling me? Will all the chaos and thoughts swirling in my mind drown out Your voice?"
As the high-pitched sound of my blow dryer blasted away, I began to hear another sound. It was muffled and faded, yet I was aware of it.
I ignored the sound at first, but even with my blow dryer going, I could still hear a familiar tone.
I turned off the blow dryer and surprisingly heard my friend Renee Swope. Confused at first, I walked into the bedroom and realized her voice was coming from the radio. She and Proverbs 31 Ministries President, Lysa TerKeurst, host a daily broadcast called "Everyday Life with Lysa and Renee."
Renee and I have been friends for years. We’ve spent lots of time together engaging in honest and transparent conversations.
As I listened to Renee’s voice, the thought came to me, "Because you know Renee so well and have spent a lot of time with her, you can discern her voice, despite the overwhelming noise of the blow dryer."
I realized God was teaching me a new truth about discerning His voice.
Just like my close relationship with Renee, God showed me that a close relationship with Him — based on truth, transparency and time invested — was essential to discerning His voice.
Over the years, as I’ve spent more time in God’s presence — through prayer, reading His Word and singing songs of worship — I’ve come to know Him better and recognize His voice.
Maybe you’ve felt like God has been silent lately. Like you’re not sure God actually speaks to you or that you’re capable of discerning His voice. If so, let me give you three things to consider:
Believe: Jesus said in John 8:47a, "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says" (NIV). If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you belong to Him. You already have the capability of discerning God’s voice when He speaks to you. This happens through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Anticipate: 1 Samuel 3:9b says, "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening" (NIV). What if we approached each day with an attitude of anticipation, making this verse a welcome invitation for the Lord to speak to us? Let’s set our hearts and minds to a place of readiness as we wait to hear from God.
Follow: Jesus said in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (ESV). God doesn’t just speak to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed. When we discern God’s voice of direction or correction, we have to be willing to follow in obedience.
That day in my bathroom was a defining moment. I didn’t receive a specific answer to what our family was supposed to do. But I did receive a beautiful promise from God, that when the time was right, He would let us know. And no noise from this world would block out His voice, as long as we stayed close to Him.
Dear God, help me discern Your voice. Give me an attitude of anticipation to wake up every morning and say, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." And when You speak, let me be faithful to follow and obey You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’" (NIV)
Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)
Hear God’s Word first thing in the morning, by giving Him your first 5 minutes. The First 5 app will be available soon and will transform your time with God. Learn more here.
Continue your First 5 journey with the corresponding Experience Guide. The Experience Guide is beautifully designed to complement each day’s teaching and grow your faith, as you reflect on and respond to what you’re learning. Pre-order your guide today for a special price and receive it before the study starts!
Stop by Leah DiPascal’s blog today for more encouragement.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
It’s important to remember that God does things in His own timing. Regardless of whether or not you’ve discerned God’s voice today, He is always working behind the scenes on your behalf.
Write a prayer telling God why you want to discern His voice.