I’ve heard many people talk about how they heard something from God, yet they might also admit they haven’t heard his audible voice. I wonder sometimes if they simply don’t want anyone to think they’re hearing the kind of voices no one wants to hear.
But when God speaks, his voice is undeniable. I’m not saying it’s always easy to hear God. And it’s not always what we expect or when we expect it. Sometimes it soothes and sometimes it rattles us.
We often talk about having to quiet ourselves in order to hear God’s small voice. But the quietness isn’t as much about what’s happening around us as the noise within us, including our own attitudes, rationalizes, and dreams.
God’s voice can be soft in those quiet moments, but we can also sense God’s power or challenge through his words. God’s voice can be louder than out loud. We might be tempted to think God’s loudness is due to anger or frustration, but that’s not the case all the time…or even most the time. God is sometimes loud because he wants to be sure we hear something. He speaks just as loudly about love and compassion than about justice and consequences. He can speak loudly about the most gently of things, and he can speak quietly yet startle us.
God’s speaking will always be consistent with his character. So, how do we hear from him? We get to know God. We don’t demand answers to our questions in our timing. We get to know who he is, so we can identify his prompts and warnings. We can pick up on subtleties instead of demanding specifics. We can lean into and trust him even when the prompt seems odd to us. And the better we know God, when we’re confused (and we certainly will be), we can always measure what we are hearing against his character and his Word. We might not be completely assured of every aspect of what God is saying to us, but we can be confident in who he is and how he will always be patient to provide…in his timing and method.