26 August 2012

How To Hear God's Voice (Part 1)

Ok, if any of you have been reading my posts, you know that I'm a big advocate of the Advocate (John 14:15-31). I think the Holy Spirit is the center of every person's world and without him, none of this Jesus stuff would make any sense. We are lost without him. This is why I want to share something that's been on my heart for awhile. I want to help you hear God's voice (John 10:25-32).
Jesus is not in some far off galaxy. He's inside you.

Initially, most of you will feel very uncomfortable with what I'm about to say. Why is that? Well, it's not being taught in any church around the world or by any Christian leaders (that I know of). Why? Well, one of two things is happening. Either pastors are clueless and don't hear the Spirit for themselves, or they are purposefully keeping you in the dark for personal gain. It's important that you understand what has been kept from you for so long. However, you'll soon see that hearing from God is easier and more natural than even reading his Word.

Honestly, if all you know is what the Bible says, then you only know what Jesus said to someone else. It's time that changed. One of my many goals is that you learn to hear him for yourself (Mat 17:5).

Next, I want to share with you something that doesn't make any sense (1 Cor 3:18-20). You've actually been hearing the Spirit your whole life, but probably never knew it. The problem is you were taught to either ignore what you heard, or were made to believe that the voice was wrong or evil. However, these are both lies caused by religion and those who live and operate in fear. Actually, there are many names for the Spirit's voice. A few of those familiar names are your "heart," "conscience," "gut feeling," or "a woman's intuition." Have you ever just known something and didn't know why? You just knew it was the right thing to do/say? This is called the Holy Spirit. He's the one that gave you this knowledge.

Now, let's talk about some characteristics of the Spirit's voice:
1) He's bold. He's straight-forward and tells you like it is. There's no beating-around-the-bush with Jesus, nor is there any politically correct trash like we all hate. He's real and gets to the point quickly (John 8:31-59).
2) He's confident. He doesn't waiver and there is no doubt in him. He's not like most people you meet. You know how you may be listening to someone tell a story, but you're not quite sure if everything they're saying is the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Yeah, there is no questioning the information he feeds you. It's all true (John 16:12-15).
3) He's peaceful. It seems like every word that comes out of his mouth is followed by a dump truck load of peace. Now, you may not be comfortable with what he tells you (no matter how good or bad), but you can rest assured everything he says is backed up with peace that surpasses understanding (Phi 4:6-7).
4) He's simple. Nothing he says is complicated or complex. He never speaks over your head and never uses vocabulary you don't already understand. He speaks on your level. And, he doesn't use a language that's out of this world, either. He speaks your language. Simple is always wiser (1 Cor 1:17-31).
5) He speaks from your soul. When he does say something, it feels like it's coming from deep within you. However, it doesn't take a long time to get there because there's no distance. He's closer than anything. He's not somewhere on the outside of your body so it doesn't make sense to hear him with your ears. He lives inside you (1 Cor 3:16). 
6) He sounds like you. What's the most familiar voice to you? That's right, your own. His voice sounds like your voice. He doesn't sound like thunder or Darth Vader and he's not a trickster and won't manipulate you. His voice is so familiar that you often mistake it for your own thoughts or ideas (John 10:1-5).
These few descriptions should give you a better understanding of what he sounds like. Once you know that you already have the Spirit inside you and believe what you're hearing, your world will finally come alive. He will tell you things that will blow your mind to pieces and flip your world upside down. Seriously, it's so satisfying that you crave his conversation at all times (John 4:13-24).

How did I discover God's voice? Well, the first time I heard it I was 17 years old. I was balancing my weekly budget from my first real job as a "bag boy" for Winn Dixie. I had 4 items I had to budget: Gas, Car Insurance, Savings, and Tithes (I even had a notebook where I'd write down how much I set aside each pay check). However, one day something crazy happened. As I was totaling up what I had, I heard the Spirit say something. It was as clear as day, as if it was coming from the core of my being. I heard him say, "Dathan, you'll never have to worry about having enough money for gas again." I sat back and was like, "Whoa! Ok, who and what was that?!" It was so weird! Honestly, it sounded like my own voice so I was sure that it was me talking and not God. However, even though it sounded like me, it was extremely different. There was such a peace and confidence about it.

For one, I had no real confidence at all. I couldn't even fake it. If it wasn't for the black girls in my school, I'd be beaten-up on a regular basis. Those girls saved my life and made sure I was taken care of no matter who bullied me. It was amazing! Just as I was being pushed around and about to pee in my pants, a few girls (I didn't even know) would come out of nowhere to rip a new one into the guys messing with me. Of course, no one messes with a mad black woman, so the bullies would back off out of fear of looking more like an idiot. This would happen every time I was picked on. I love those girls for that! To this day, I have no idea who they were. You see, my school was so big and I barely knew anyone (I only had 3 friends). I'm forever thankful for them. So, as you can see, I had no confidence and women were my body guards - which is probably something I shouldn't have told you.
Filling up at the gas station, except that's not me or my cars.

Anyway, back to the voice. At first, I quickly denied what I heard and blew it off as Dathan being crazy. But, like I said, he was bold, confident, peaceful and straight to the point. None of these characteristics described me. So, after a few minutes of letting it soak in, I had to make a decision. It's like Jesus was sitting there waiting for me to respond. Even though it went against everything I'd ever known and sounded so absurd, I chose to believe what I heard. I thought I was out of my mind and I never told anyone. I didn't want to be known as the crazy person who hears things.

Whenever Jesus tells you something you have a choice to make. You either believe what he says, or you choose to ignore him. You take a step of faith, or you don't. I chose to believe.

In the next post, I'll share more details about the Spirit and explain how to better know the difference between your voice and his.

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

Just had a feeling I should check out your sight tonight. Glad I did, it is good stuff. Brian

Daniel Botwin said...

Love it bro!