Would you like to hear more of God in your daily life? At work? At home? At play? At study? Not only is it possible, it is normal. You were designed to communicate with your Creator and the primary purpose is intimacy, not instruction. Everyone hears. Not everyone listens. But you almost definitely hear your Creator more than you realize. So how do you know if what you think you are hearing is God or not? Here’s three clues to help.
1. Hearing God releases life
Jesus said His words are spirit and LIFE (see John 6:63). When He speaks, His words release life, or energy, that stimulates momentum towards a particular outcome.
Earlier this year I was sitting in my office and asking God “Where do you want me to go (focus)?” I remember pausing, turning towards my wall and instantly hearing a loud internal voice say “Go online!” I was somewhat surprised but instantly energized at the same time. It was not what I was expecting to hear but clearly reinforced my resolve and focus to develop an online training and connection platform for Heaven in Business. His word released life and momentum to move forward.
2. Hearing God releases peace
Paul gives a great clue to following the voice of God in Colossians 3:15. He says “…let the peace of God RULE in your hearts.” In other words, let peace be your GOVERNOR. Let peace be your decision maker.
The alternative is also true and is sometimes easier to recognize. When you are making a decision and asking Gods leading and you feel an internal hesitation, then wait. You may not know why but you just get a sense of internal ‘check.’ Listen to that voice!
One of my passions is equipping business people to partner with God in their place of work. A while back I was hearing God speak to me about New York. Naturally I thought to combine my passion and this location and setup a Heaven in Business conference in Manhattan – if I could confirm a well-known business speaker. I emailed him and he said “yes.” I was excited! Then I began to pray through the details – timing etc.
The more I prayed, the more I felt a hesitation… like it was the wrong thing to do (for now). I was torn with my passion and drive and having gained the support of this national speaker. But I’m learning to listen to the clues of hearing God’s voice. I didn’t have peace to proceed. So I somewhat embarrassingly called and deferred the event.
It was until afterwards that I had a lightbulb realization that the idea was good but the strategy was wrong. Out of that came a whole new approach that is continuing today across multiple cities in the US and beyond.
Hearing God releases peace. If you don’t have peace, don’t move forward!
3. Hearing God is undeniable
What about when you think you are hearing God and it doesn’t necessarily look smart and you certainly aren’t enthused with energy or peace in the process?
A third clue to hearing God’s voice comes from an old testament prophet called Jeremiah. God spoke to him audibly and gave him a message to speak to the Israelites. The problem was that when he obeyed the voice of God, the Israelites treated him like an enemy of the state. They mocked him, ignored the words and opposed him violently. Not fun!
Jeremiah went back to God and complained about the difficulty that following the voice of God had resulted in. Clearly he wanted to stop following the voice but when he tried to stop…
On our wonderful crazy adventure coming from New Zealand to the USA there have been plenty of times we have questioned our sanity. This is heightened when there is an unsuspected financial challenge or a health problem with the children or a conflict with people around us. Did God really say…? Wouldn’t it be easier to return to New Zealand and get a real job? Wouldn’t it be easier with grandparents we can call on in a heart beat or long term friends who can run to our side in defense?
But His word is like a fire in our bones… we can’t deny it, even if we wanted to. His word won’t be ignored. It is burning inside us.
And sometimes that is what we need to know. He is God. He does what He pleases (see Psalm 115:3). We trust Him beyond our understanding, knowing that our allegiance has eternity in mind. Our life is not our own. Yet in the tough times we always get to access His comfort and joy and strength to enable us to overcome. He never promised easy.
But the long term reward is i n c r e d i b l e ! The connections, the adventures, the miracles, the favor… and the closeness that I have with a loving Father is worth it all. If I had the chance, I would do it all over again, probably with a little less fussing and screaming!
Qualifier: Just because you are experiencing opposition, doesn’t guarantee you are hearing God. If you are being opposed being you are being stupid then stop being stupid! This is where having wise counsellors around you is key. Who do you have around you that is more mature than you and can speak into your life? Is your life anchored in daily prayer and scripture (truth) reading?
We are so grateful for the generosity of our guest blogger this week! Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality. He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development. Andy is on staff at Bethel Church in Redding, CA as the director of HeaveninBusiness.com and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, Ca. For more see AndyandJanine.com.