I had a recent exchange with someone about how we hear God’s voice and I thought it might be worth sharing here. I hope and pray this encourages any who may read it.
Henry Blackaby said, “God speaks through a variety of means. In the present God primarily speaks by the Holy Spirit, through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.” I would agree with Blackaby whole-heartedly. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 makes this point clear; we who hear the voice of God hear him speak to us in our spirit.
The point was made in our exchange that perhaps also, God speaks to us through our inner witness or “gut” and through our intuition. To which I replied with the following:
Wouldn’t all those fall into prayer? That is if prayer is considered an open and ongoing dialog? Just a thought.
Also, I don’t know if I would include intuition in there. A semantical issue but an important one nonetheless.
Here is the etymology of the word “intuition”:
intuition (n.) mid-15c., from Late Latin intuitionem (nominative intuitio) “a looking at, consideration,” noun of action from past participle stem of Latin intueri “look at, consider,” from in- “at, on” (see in- (2)) + tueri “to look at, watch over” (see tuition).
The Bible teaches us that faith comes through “hearing” and “hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17) Taking into light our ongoing dialog concerning the important Biblical symbolism of seeing/hearing, it seems intuition would be a derivative of the former rather than the latter. An arrival at the Truth through self initiated effort via sight, apart from God’s graced revelation via hearing.
Just a thought but I think our “gut” is, for a lack of a better word, a fair description for how we hear God’s voice. When you say we hear God’s voice through our “gut”, I take you to mean that there is a certainty, a knowing in our gut of some thing, in spite of a lack of understanding or reason. This is the essense of the voice of God. Manna, “what is it?” (Please read and prayerfully consider the following Scripture. Exodus 16 and John 6. Specifically; John 6:26-27, John 6:35, John 6: 47-51, John 6:63)
Remember, what is faith? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith, at its root, is certainty apart from reason. “I can not see it but I know it is there.”
Man is graced ears to hear by God himself and graced to receive revelation by the Word of God; the still small voice of our Creator.
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10
Unfortunately, the most common response to hearing the voice of God is fear, but fear is soon followed by the reassuring voice of our Shepard, who perfects our love and drives out our fear, “Be ye not afraid, it is I!”
The reason we can hear the voice of God in our “gut” and not through our “intuition” lies at the very character of who He is and who we are.
We his sheep, are ones who run, prone to wander, prone to leave the God we’ve loved. We are rebellous. We are hard of hearing. We are foolish and often find ourselves trapped in the trouble we’ve caused. We are easily frightened and quickly slaughtered by the wolf. At our root, we the sheep, are self righteously prideful believing we can arrive at a knowledge of the Truth apart from hearing – by our intuition – our own eyes and efforts.
But He. He is the Shepard who goes after lost sheep. He is loving. He is full of grace. He is patient and reassuring. He is long suffering and full of mercy and his steadfast love knows no bounds. He is the good Shepard who lays down his life for his sheep and crushes the wolf under the might of his righteousness. He calls softly his sheep by name and they hear His voice and they follow it for they will not follow another. He understands his sheep’s hopeless condition and in a wonderful display of his glorious grace He grants them ears to hear and words to receive that they might eat and have their fill. He does this so that they might not fear their Shepard’s voice but know for certain – in their gut – that they have tasted of the Lord and He is good.