There has been so much controversy
over this topic that I feel that I need to help clarify some
things about this and deal with it according to the word of God
through the Holy Spirit.
I once heard an educated minister who supposedly knows the word of God and has been to seminary school say this; “God does not speak to His people as He did in the Old or New Testament.” I beg to differ with this quote. He most certainly does and He speaks loudly and clearly to us everyday! Of course I agree that God no longer speaks to us as thunder from atop of a mountain, but He still does speak to us.
There are numerous ways in which the Lord speaks to us. The first way is through the word of God in the Holy Bible. The word abides in us. “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” I John 2:12-14 It doesn’t matter if we are young, if we are children, fathers, mothers, or what have you, the word of God abides in us because He is not a respecter of persons. “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” (24, 25) Secondly, we are revealed the things of God and guided by His Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us. He speaks to us if we have ears to hear Him. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (read) Also the Lord speaks to us through circumstances.
I don’t know how many times I have been put in a particular situation by God or at times, allowed myself to be in them. The first thing that runs through my mind is…What does the word of God say about this? . . . And if I don’t know, I look it up. We cannot speak what we do not know. The word of God speaks to us and for us. Amen.
I guess the most asked questions about hearing from God are: “How do I hear from God?” and “If I do hear a voice, how do I know it is from God?” These are legitimate questions that I will try to answer to the best of my ability and with the help of God. I know this is going to sound foolish to some, but here it goes. First of all, if we really want to hear from God we must be in a position to hear Him. This means we have to be sensitive to His voice and to do that we must walk closely with Him. The prophets of the Old and New Testament had a close relationship and fellowship with Almighty God. Read John 15. Abiding in the Lord is the first thing we must do before we can hear God’s voice. Secondly, most of us are so busy whining at the throne of God and telling God what we want and need that we don’t shut up long enough to hear what He has to say. We’ve all been guilty of that. Amen or Oh Me? The spirit man and the soul are the avenues in which God uses to speak to us. If we desire to hear God’s voice we should ask Him to speak to us. It is so simple, but the concept is overlooked because it is so simple. Religion says it can’t happen, but Jesus said, “It is finished.” It’s already done! Amen. We should listen to that still, small voice because that voice is God. It is the voice spoken deep down inside of us that we do not understand with words so much as it is that we are joined together with God through the blood of His Son.
Now, to answer the second question: “If I do hear a voice, how do I know it is from God?” First we should realize that the voice or word of the Lord brings peace and not condemnation or torment. (Romans 8:1) If we hear the voice of condemnation, it is not from God, but a false spirit. A false spirit will not and cannot bring peace with it. Jesus is the Prince of peace and satan is the prince of darkness, chaos, fear, and damnation. If you question the voices that you hear, substantiate them with the word of God. If it’s not in the word, He didn’t say it. But let me also say the Lord may give you prophecy at times that well may be just for you personally. The Lord will deal with us more than He will with someone else. However, there are times when we will discover that God has given us a word to speak to someone else. Again, make sure it is from God. If it is not of God, it will not come to pass. We must beware of false prophets and prophecies. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” I John4:1
I should warn some of you that just because God spoke to you concerning a thing, and you speak it publicly, don’t expect your church or anyone else to applaud or welcome your prophecy. We should test the spirits of course, but some people question everything to the point they believe nothing. This is very sad, but true, and I have seen it for myself. Like I said earlier, if it doesn’t come to pass, it is not of God, but of the flesh and feelings.
In closing let me share some experiences that are tragic yet they need to be told because they are lessons in hearing from God.
My wife and I attended a church once where we made some very good friends and we loved to fellowship with them. I had an uneasy feeling this particular night in one of our meetings. I went over to greet a sister in Christ and she told me that her son was going into the service. He was about twenty years of age. There was an immediate red flag that went up in my spirit and the Lord prompted me to speak. It was not word from Him, but an impression. The word was danger or warning. I expressed my concern about her news, but she replied that was what he wanted to do. Sadly, a year or so later, he was tragically killed in a car crash overseas. This is the first time I’ve ever put this into words. It still haunts me today.
There was another time when the Holy Spirit told me to warn the congregation of a division that was pending and also some instructions about methods of witnessing. There was a lady there before me also that warned them of division. No one heeded the word of God. It was because it did not come from the pastor so therefore what I heard from the Lord was irrelevant. In six months the church was divided into three separate churches that now no longer exist. They were warned not by my word, but from the Lord through me. There are many instances where this has happened, but it would be too lengthy to go into here. Please pray about what you have read and use discernment. If we really want to hear from God He will manifest Himself to us. May God’s blessings be poured upon all of you. Amen.
In His Service,
William C. Fisher