Why do you need to hear God's voice? Because God has a plan for your life, a good plan that He established long before you were even born. You were no surprise to God. You were no accident.
God wants you to know where you are going. He wants you to know with whom you are walking. He wants a relationship with you. In any relationship, communication must be both ways. God wants to speak to you. We want to discuss today how to discern God's voice. First, let's go back to the beginning so that we fully understand mankind's relationship to God.
In the Beginning . . . God created man for relationship and close fellowship with Him.
Originally, we had a sinless nature, just as Jesus had when He walked the earth (which is why the Bible calls Jesus the second Adam), so close fellowship with a holy God was possible. God spoke clearly to man. The Bible implies that God walked and talked in the garden with man. See Genesis 3:8-9.
God is pure and holy. He cannot be where there is sin. If He came near us, His holiness would consume, i.e., kill us. As a result, there was a fellowship/communication barrier.
Until Jesus paved the way for the Holy Spirit to reside with man again, God created temporary avenues to communicate with man. Mainly, God communicated through the prophet, priest or king. God’s Spirit was not in them, but would be on or come upon them for a task. If you needed justice, you would go to the king and God anointed him to judge your case. If an individual needed direction, they would go to a prophet or priest.
Everything changed, however, once the Holy Spirit was given by the Father after Jesus paved the way for our restoration to God. See Acts 2. Never again do you see casting of lots as a means of hearing from God.
The prophet Joel spoke ahead of time about that plan in Joel 2:28, 29:
28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
After the believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and addressed the crowd and quoted the prior passage in Joel to explain what was happening. See Acts 2:14-21.
When you get saved, the Holy Spirit sanctifies you.
Sanctify means: 1) make or declare holy; consecrate; 2) make legitimate or binding by religious sanction; 3) free from sin; and 4) give the appearance of being right or good.
Your spirit is made new. Your spirit is as sinless and righteous as Adam and Eve’s spirits were before the fall. As a result, God can again be close to us as He always intended from the beginning. See, e.g., Romans 5:1, 2:
|Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, |
he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17, 21.
In fact, God actually comes to reside in your sinless spirit by His Holy Spirit when you get saved. See John 14:16, 17:
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
See also 1Corinthians 3:16:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
And finally see also 1 Corinthians 6:19:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.
God can now have close fellowship and communication with you. You can now expect to hear the voice of God!