02 September 2012

How To Hear God's Voice (Part 2)

In my last post, I described what the Spirit sounds like and explained my first experience hearing God's voice. Now, I want to share more details about what I've learned about the Spirit's character so that you too can hear directly from him.
The Spirit will be your guide.

I already know one of the first questions you're going to ask. I asked Jesus this very same thing, but his answer, as always, squashed my fears. The question was, "If the Spirit's voice sounds like mine, then how do I know when it's Jesus talking and not just me?" His reply was perfect (and made me laugh). He said, "Dathan, do you really think you could come up with this stuff on your own?" I replied, "You have a good point." This still makes me smile when I think about it. So, stop questioning what you hear and just go with it.

Most of the time when I hear him say something that doesn't make much sense, it's actually him talking. I can't even dream up the stuff he tells me (2 Cor 2:10-16). And, it doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, he'll use anyone and anything to talk to you (1 John 2:27).

But, don't just sit around waiting for him to talk. Ask him questions. You can ask anything and he'll answer you. Most of the time he answers me right away, but if he doesn't, I simply wait and he'll let me know when it's time. I ask him questions frequently and many times he'll read my thoughts and answer me before I even have a chance to ask. This is way cool!

Next time you think you hear him, just believe and see what happens. It's what I did. Plus, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. For so long, I lived in fear by always thinking I would hear him wrong or upset him by doing something stupid, but I'm done with that. I mean sometime in your life you're just gonna have to trust the Spirit to guide you (John 16:12-15). Just accept what he says and if he tells you to do something, then do it. Why do you worry if you're wrong? Even if you end up doing something stupid, trust him that he'll make it right (Rom 8:28-30). All he cares is if we keep believing. Frankly, isn't that what this life is all about - faith (2 Cor 5:7)?

If we keep going through our daily religious rituals without expecting more, then honestly, we're not living by faith. It's time we stopped going through church motions and step into to a real relationship with Jesus. You can always count on God to catch you when you fall.

Honestly, have you ever thought he may want you to fall? It's always scary at first. The fear of falling sucks! Trust me, I fail all the time. However, so many times he lets me fall just to show me he'll always be there. Sometimes he actually wants me to come up short so he can proudly be the one that rescues me from my own mess (2 Cor 12:8-10). This can be rough, but it's always worth it in the end. And, if Hell can't keep his love from you, then how can you mess it up (Rom 8:31-39)?!

Also, when he shares something new with me, he'll confirm it right away. For example, you know how God and Jesus always seem to rename the people closest to them in the Bible? Well, one day I straight up asked him, "So, what's my name? What name do you give me?" Within 2 seconds he told me...and it hit me like a tons of bricks. I was at work and I started crying (I hate crying). Blah!!! Anyway, I couldn't help it because the name he gave me was nothing I expected. Next thing I know, I see signs everywhere confirming what he said - in the news, on my clothes, something a friend said, in a book, in the Word etc. It seemed like everywhere I turned (for days) he would keep reminding me what my new name was. It's like it was there the whole time waiting for me to discover it, and my eyes were finally opened to see it (Acts 9:17-19).

However, these confirmations don't always happen so quickly. As our relationship has grown, he's been taking his time to affirm me. At first, confirmations would come instantly and he would remind me over and over again that I heard correctly (like encouraging a baby to walk). But lately, not so much. He's doing it on purpose. He wants me to trust him no matter what he says. And, the same thing will happen to you. He wants us to trust him completely. Don't get me wrong, he'll still let you know you heard the right thing, but it may take weeks (or sometimes longer).

We all start off taking baby steps, but as you spend more time together, you'll learn better what he sounds like and how he operates (John 14:26). You have to understand that he already knows everything about you, but how many take the chance to get to know him? The sooner you start learning his perspective, you'll understand how he moves, what motivates him, and what he's thinking before he says it (2 Cor 5:16). It's just like any other close friendship, but on an extremely rewarding scale.

Speaking of friendships, I want you to really get what I'm about to say. What's the one thing that every great man or woman of the Bible had in common? That's right. They all had a real friendship with their Father. It didn't matter if it was Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Samuel, David, Solomon, Mary, Jesus, Peter, or Paul (or any others) (Gen 5:21-24). They all knew who their Father was and spent time with him on a personal level (Gen 18). I'm not talking about how great they were at memorizing the Old Testament scrolls, how many good works they did, or how often they got on their knees to pray. No, I'm talking about these people saw God and chatted with him regularly (Acts 18:9-11). They did what friends do - hang out together (1 Cor 1:9). Hanging out with Jesus is no different than you would do with your best friend (Acts 13:22).
If he tells you to go somewhere, don't hesitate.

For example, not long ago, I was sitting at home just goofing off. Next thing I know, I heard him say, "Drive to Target." Most of the time, I don't ask questions. I just do what he says. So, after I drove across town and pulled into the Target parking lot, I said, "Ok, I'm here. What do you want me to do next?" He turned to me and said, "That's all I wanted you do." Confused, I replied, "What?! I mean -- do you want me to go inside...or something?" I thought he was sending me on some important mission. However, he replied, "You can go inside if you want to." But, I was still confused and my wheels were turning. Finally, out of frustration I asked, "Then why did you have me drive all the way out here??" His answer was calm and straightforward, "I just wanted to see if you'd do it." At this point, I had no words... While processing what just happened, I made my decision and said, "I don't want to go inside. I wanna go somewhere else." He answered, "Then, let's go somewhere else." I never parked the car. I found the first exit out of the parking lot and we both drove away with smiles on our faces. It's still one of my favorite moments together.

You have 2 choices. Either you keep heading in the direction you're going, or take a step of faith and really get to know your Father on a truly intimate level (Mat 16:13-20). However, there's only one option that satisfies.

Note: In my last post, I mentioned my first time hearing the Spirit. At the time, gas was cheap and not even an issue. I had no idea what the future held. Many years later, how things have changed. Now, gas prices are crazy high and make headlines every day. However, I'll never need to worry about that. Yes, Jesus loves me. ~:-)


Anonymous said...

Waka Waka Shing-ding.

Anonymous said...

Mystery solved - this blog is Windows centric.


Dathan Ellis said...

Windows OS or Internet Exploder? ~:-)

Anonymous said...

Awesome Dothan! It's Jeff btw. Had to say I was anonymous because I don't have either of the accounts listed

Allison said...

Next time you drive to Target you better go in! One of my favorite stores...Oh wait, that's right your not a girl that likes to shop! Jesus would have had me go in for sure - he likes to shop too!:)

Dathan Ellis said...

Thanks Joff!

Dathan Ellis said...

I don't think Jesus likes to shop. Actually, I'm pretty sure he hates it. He's a guy.