When someone asks me to tell them about a time when I heard God speak to me my first reaction is to say that I haven’t really ever heard the “voice” of God before. And honestly, this is true for me thus far in my life. But, once I take off my “flesh-glasses”… the ones that only allow me to see things from the world’s perspective… I realize that hearing God speak requires more than just the 5 senses we were blessed with in our earthly bodies. Hearing with our ears, seeing with our eyes, tasting with our mouths, smelling with our nose, and touching with our skin are all things that God stitched into the existence of human beings, but at the core of every human being is a spiritual being that has access to more than the 5 earthly senses. We are spiritual beings traversing through an earthly experience. And because of that we can sense things that cannot be explained in the context of the 5 earthly senses. This “spirit sense”, I believe, can be experienced by those who currently don’t believe in God and those who do. The former might call it a gut-feeling while the later refer to it as the voice of God. This very fact is just one of the many things that can point any human being towards the fact that we are created beings made for a purpose. But that is a topic for another time!
I hope I didn’t lose you in all of that. The point that I needed to make was that even though God can and does use sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and feelings to communicate with us I can’t truly know that it is from Him unless the spirit sense… God’s Spirit existing inside of me… aka Holy Spirit… interprets that communication for me. So, when I hear God speak to me it might be something that I experience through one of my 5 senses or it could just be a thought or feeling that I get, but no matter what it is I will know it is God speaking to me if my Spirit resonates with it and discerns it as the voice of God.
With all of that in mind, ask me about a time when I heard God speak to me and I could write you a whole book! But, I will just give you one of the more recent and significant examples in my life… you can buy the book later for the rest! A little over a year ago I made the decision to leave everything that I had known for the last 7 years of my life and move halfway across the country to mix things up a bit. I was thirty years old, single, great career, great friends, great church… on paper it seemed like my life was progressing pretty well. I moved to that location after graduating from college in another state and even after moving there I never felt like it was going to be my long term location. I always had a sense that I was only going to be there for some period of time and then I would move on. This didn’t stop me from laying down roots and diving into relationships and friendship some of which will last for many years to come. After being there about 5-6 years I started to get more of a feeling that I needed to make a change and pursue leaving that location. I battled this pretty heavily for 1-2 years before I finally started taking action on the thoughts and feelings that my Spirit was telling me were from God. He had laid on my heart through some different situations (that my Spirit resonated with) that there was one specific area that I was supposed to pursue moving to and so I began to look for job openings in my job field to see if anything would happen. The area that I worked in was pretty specialized and only has a few areas across the country that contain those types of jobs. The area that God had put on my heart didn’t have hardly any opportunities in my area of expertise, but after searching for a few months I received a phone call about a job opportunity that a company wanted my to do a phone interview for. After the first phone interview it did not seem real promising, but it is what happened next that I want to highlight.
About 2 months after the first phone interview I had called in for a second phone interview with an HR representative, but I had yet to hear from the hiring manager or anything and so my hopes were low. I went on a week long road trip across the country for vacation around that time and I spent a lot of time praying and just setting and listening for God to speak. As I was on the return part of my trip I was about 1 day away from being home and I was just driving and listening to some music. Then I just started getting these thoughts and feelings about what was coming next for me in my life. Ironically enough I was about 2 hours away from driving through the city where I would end up moving about 3 months later. I just remember the thoughts being so tangible and clear and they came with such an overwhelming feeling of excitement and peace. There were 3 things distinctly that I remember hearing from God that day and the first one was that I would continue to get interviews with the same company that I was already in talks with and eventually I would be offered a job to move to the city that God had placed on my heart in the last 1-2 years. The other 2 things that He spoke to me about were things in my life that I had been seeking guidance and affirmation on in the recent years and both of them are things that have yet to play out in this life, but that day He spoke to me and gave me confidence with just a glimpse of what His future plan looks like for my life. I won’t set hear and say that I haven’t at times doubted what He told me that day in relation to those other two situations, but He has been faithful to give me nuggets along that way that resonate in my Spirit and remind me that even though I haven’t seen the final result with my 5 earthly senses, my Spirit knows the final outcome. So I will keep believing in my God, who is never late, to bring to pass the completion of those 2 promises He gave me nearly a year and a half ago now. And in His perfecting timing my earthly senses will know that they have been brought to completion and to Him will be all the glory because I will know that I could have never accomplished what He has just done. The beautiful part is in between hearing the voice of God make a promise and seeing the completion of that promise play out… that is where our faith is multiplied. That period of time can be long, confusing, and at times unbearable, but even if we don’t hear God speak to us during that time we can rest assured that His promises are ‘Yes and Amen’ and that season of silence is only bolstering our faith. And that faith will be counted to us as righteousness because of the work of Jesus Christ. As we testify to these promises that God has spoken to us and as they come to completion in the lives that we live He will receive the glory that is rightfully His.