When the subject of ‘Understanding God’s Voice’ is discussed or taught, the topic is usually thought of as words that a person listens for and hears.
Feel Rather Than Listen
I’ve discovered that God’s voice is often more felt than heard. What I mean by felt is best described with the words, drawn to. To me, this is a much simpler approach for two reasons:
1. The life God desires for us is not nearly as complicated as we often make it.
2. We are already familiar with the feelings of being drawn to something.
In non-religious terms, we might say that spiritual communication has a magnetic quality that surrounds it.
Examples Of What Answers Feel Like
When I ask God a question, instead of listening for spoken words in my mind, I anticipate that I will feel myself being drawn to something that answers or informs my request. That ‘inner magnet’ usually happens within moments or over the following few hours.
There are times I sense a ‘a thought’ in response, but even then those words come with a feeling. I would describe the thought as one that ‘feels’ like it is alive. An example from natural experience would be how the spoken words, “I love you” feels in the middle of your chest. You not only hear the words, you feel the positive energy coming from them.
Learning The Process Of ‘Being Drawn’
Although the questions can become quite specific, my suggestion is that a person begins learning to focus on the feelings of being drawn by making more general requests. The inquiry might be something like, “Holy Spirit, what would you like for me to know today?”
The next step is to expect that your attention will be drawn. Remember, this may happen quickly or over the next few hours. Simply anticipate that you will find yourself being drawn without having to make it happen. It will occur naturally. Your attention will be drawn to an article to read, a statement someone makes, a desire to do or learn something, etc.
It’s also important to realize that you are on a journey of learning how to know God’s ‘voice’ more clearly. Therefore, don’t expect that your answer will always come complete in a wrapped package with a bow on top. God places a high priority on the process of learning and discovery. A partnership is God’s desire and design. Initially, He will ‘spoon feed’ us, but as we begin to grow, He more often guides or points us in the right direction.
As confidence grows in ‘hearing God’s voice’ through the feelings of our inner magnet, we ask more specific questions. We discover our communication with God becomes increasingly relevant. Our relationship with Him is more alive.
How Can I Be Sure Of What I’m Feeling?
I believe that a helpful answer is found in the descriptions listed in Galatians 5:19-23(a) NIV:
“19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
Both Are ‘Magnetic’
As we’ve presented, communication that comes from the spiritual world can be described as having energy that feels like a magnet. There is an impulse of a pull or draw. That’s true of any spiritual level energy. Good or evil.
The way you know the difference is determining to where and to what you are being drawn. Does it match the qualities of God’s Kingdom (Fruit of the Spirit), or will the result be the described by Paul’s description of flesh. One pull results in positive life and improvement. The other ultimately produces negative and even destructive consequences personally or relationally.
Respond To The Fruit Of The Spirit
As we make our highest priority a personal relationship with God and His Kingdom, we do so by learning to understand His ‘voice’ more clearly.
My suggestion for helping you to improve knowing God’s voice for yourself is simply this: Focus on ‘hearing’ Him by learning to pay more attention to what draws you after the request rather than attempting to hear a specific thought in your mind in response.
As I’ve said, there are times that God will quicken a thought in your mind. I’m not discounting those times. Instead, I’ve personally discovered that the inner drawing is more reliable and common than I would have imagined.
I encourage you to work with the ideas presented here. I, personally, have found an important breakthrough of clarity as I’ve practiced what I’ve ‘preached’ in this article. My hope is that what I’ve suggested will be very helpful to you!