A Different Perspective

Hearing From God


There are many Christians who are unable, or it might be better to say, have not yet been able, to exercise the gift of hearing from God.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with them, but what I reckon they have in common is that THEY DON’T BELIEVE that you can actually hear God speak to you, except you read something in the Bible and it sort of ‘jumps’ at you.  They are suspicious of people like me, who say that we ‘heard’ God or ‘God said’ or ‘the Spirit revealed to’ us one thing or the other.

I am sure many think we might just be pretending, or deluded or maybe just plain wrong…playing at a religion we do not understand.  Especially as there have been many pretenders, deluded folks and plain wrong, false teachers, who claimed to have heard God say so and so.  It is okay to doubt such people who make such proclamations (1 John 4:1), but it is highly unbiblical to doubt the gift!  And it would only be reasonable of us to question or doubt your claim to a relationship with God, if you doubt His ability to speak to you too…

For example, I doubt many people who speak in tongues, but because of what is written about this ability in the Bible, I can never doubt the gift, even though I don’t have it myself.  I am quite certain that the majority of tongue-speaking Believers today are speaking gibberish by their own power and not as they are led by the Spirit (Acts 2:4).  And when I see a congregation full of people ‘speaking in tongues’ and NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON who can interpret, I truly wonder about whether or not these Believers know the Scriptures at all (1 Cor 14:27-28).

I know that not all have the ability to speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30), just as not all are gifted in prophecy.  Regardless, there is a pressure within the Pentecostal movement, with a teaching that all who have the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues, which compels many to fake this ability.  I almost succumbed to this myself, but I realised, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that if I faked it, then I would be shutting God out with my unbelief and insincerity.  I would be quenching the Spirit’s power in my life, and showing that I don’t truly have faith in God.

So, it is okay if you are among those who are unable to discern God’s voice, unless you read it in the Bible.  Do not try to fake it.  We are not all gifted the same.  We do not all have the same quality or strength of faith.

But I really don’t think it is because God didn’t give you that ability, because He does want to communicate with all of us, and He does so in a way we will understand and appreciate.  I think the reason you don’t hear or you can’t discern His voice, is for the same reason that many don’t believe in God…a lack of faith.  If you think God has stopped talking to His children, as He did to the Prophets (even though Jesus said that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the Prophets who came before (Luke 7:28)), or that God can or would NEVER speak to you without going through the Bible, then do you really expect that you would HEAR or TRUST if He did speak?

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (Jam 1:5-7).

If you desire this gift, it is just as accessible to you, as it is to me, as long as you are in Christ.  Jesus tells us that His sheep hear His voice, and they follow.  That they will not follow a stranger (John 10:27).  So do not be afraid that when you listen for Jesus, the devil will tell you lies instead (Matt 7:8-11)!  If you know God at all, you will be able to discern His voice from the enemy’s, by His Spirit of Truth.  For we know that “…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).

The thing with this gift, is that, like every other ability, if you fail to develop it, you will lose it.  But as you train yourself in listening to God and discerning His voice, you will be able to hear Him more and more, and be able to discern His will and leading in your daily life.  If, because of fear or disobedience (let’s face it, many times we don’t ask because we don’t want to obey!), you shy away from developing this ability, then you show yourself to be like the double-minded man, who is unstable in all his ways (Jam 1:8).  You will be as those who have a form of godliness, but deny its power (2 Tim 3:5).

You can hear from God too, and be sure of what He says to you.  It may take some time to grow in confidence with this, but remember that each person’s walk of Faith is different.  You’re not in competition with anyone.  You should only desire to know God more each day.  We should all desire the greatest gifts (1 Cor 12:31), that increase our ability to love God and others more.

The truth is, we might not be right 100% of the time.  We may get it wrong or misunderstand, like a child who is learning to speak their mother tongue.  But the fact is we are COMMUNICATING with our Father, and this pleases Him…  It will always take faith to communicate with God, and our faith also grows as we do so regularly.

So Brethren, “…quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess 5:19-21).  Do not doubt, but have faith.  All things are indeed possible to him who believes… (Mark 9:23).

Photo credit: http://www.crossway.org.au

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10 replies »

  1. If we cannot hear directly from God then the Bible is not reliable. It is amazing to me that many who believe the Bible is an authoritative source do not seem to comprehend what it says. Throughout the pages of the book I read about people, ordinary common people, receiving revelation and instruction from God. There are promises of a Spirit to teach all things. And yet somehow the book (and our own ability to read it) has replaced God as the Savior.

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    • I so love your contribution. My thoughts exactly. Their profession of belief in the Bible and disbelief in the gift of prophesy and hearing God today is a contradiction. It shows that they do not truly believe as they claim to. Especially those who fake the gift of tongues!

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  2. Great post! 🤗

    You raised so many valid points. I was thinking along this line just few days ago why many Christians don’t hear God, and the HolySpirit told me it is because of lack of relationship with him. You see many Christians are still ignorance about the role of the HolySpirit in their lives. I would have loved to expound more on that statement but the network is really bad here, I don’t even know if this comment will deliver. H

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    • Thanks Immanuel 🙂 You are right… Many do not have a relationship with God, and the truth is that many are AFRAID of such intimacy! They are afraid of being wrong, of being deluded, and also afraid of hearing God ask them to do something they are not ready to do. It is easier to say He doesn’t speak, than to listen! Same with the world that says He doesn’t exist! It is a shame. But the higher you grow in intimacy with God, the more you gain…and the more you sacrifice…and the more you stand to lose if you fall. It is like walking a tight rope, but God is gracious. Even when we fall, He helps us to stand again 🙂

      Bless you!

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  3. That was an amazing read Ufuoma and once again I was blessed, as I read through, I had to make references to the bible to validate what you were saying and I completely agree with majority of what you’ve said but you lost me on the part where you talked about being in a congregation of people and not having even one person interpret the tougue and you said you doubt if they even knew the scriptures.
    Well being in a congregation of people without one who interprets the tongue they speak shouldn’t mean anything or give the impression that they don’t know or understand the scriptures because speaking in tongue wasn’t made for man but for God. So it’s okay if people are speaking and there’s no one there to interpret.
    Paul talking about interpretation in 1 Corinthians 14 was more focused on the inability of speaking of tongues to edify the church because unbelievers or babies in the faith may not understand what is being said so he admonishes that in a church gathering, there should be someone interpreting and even if there was none, it didn’t mean it meant nothing because in the first place it was mysteries to be understood by God and not men. In the end, men give the interpretation of the tongue but do not fully comprehend the meaning as it is mysteries.
    In all of this, just as Paul tells us to desire the gifts of the spirit, I believe every believer should also pursue the gift of tongues and also prophecy like we read.
    The gift of tongues in the personal life of a believer is so important because you pray beyond the understanding of anyone or any principality straight to God. The bible also tells us that sometimes we pray amiss, so when we pray in tongues, like the bible says, the Holy Spirit prays the will of the father for us.
    What basically I’m saying, and getting from Paul’s teaching is that in a church gathering, prophesy would edify the church more only because there is mutual understanding but doesn’t limit or reduce the power of tongue.
    In your post, you in some way made it seem like it’s totally okay if you don’t have the gift of tongues as we’ve been blessed differently with gifts but I feel it may give the impression that if you don’t have it, its fine, just operate in the gift you have and leave that one. I believe that from 1 Corinthians 12, the gifts of the Holy Spirit we’re more defined, meaning given to an individual in a greater capacity than other gifts. Because someone can be blessed with the gift of prophesy and still have the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge only in a smaller capacity.
    When the spirit of God rested on the disciples, they all spoke in tongues. At least that’s what the bible says and that didn’t mean they all had the gift of tongue. It was just the Holy Spirits choice to manifest His presence that way.
    I’ve typed more than I wanted too but my point is I believe Very strongly that speaking in tongues should be a gift every believer should have from my understanding of 2 things in the bible. To help you pray the will of the father and pray about things you don’t even know are happening and also in spiritual warfare. We understand and perceive in part. Praying in tongues gives the spirit the right to pray the prayers that need to be prayed to defeat principalities and powers operating in other realms.
    Obviously like you said, not by your own power but by the spirit of God. I believe so strongly that God is willing to give the speaking in tongues gift to every believer, even if just for their personal relationship with Him.

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    • Thanks Rubie, I really appreciate your contribution… It’s long enough to be a post! Okay, you said:

      “What basically I’m saying, and getting from Paul’s teaching is that in a church gathering, prophesy would edify the church more only because there is mutual understanding but doesn’t limit or reduce the power of tongue.”

      I agree with this. Why I said it makes me wonder if these Believers know the Scriptures was because Paul actually said for people speaking in tongues to shut up in Church, unless there was someone around who could interpret to the benefit of others! So to do contrary to this counsel is to be disobedient – especially as the majority of believers take the Bible to be the complete and inerrant word of God.

      Paul’s preference was for prophesy and teaching in Church, and speaking in tongues only where there is an interpreter. What is happening in our Churches today is that almost everybody boasts the gift of tongues, while it appears that no one truly has the ability to interpret (even though this was the case among the early believers! In fact, even the unbelievers heard their own languages being spoken (Acts 2:6)!) . And where as speaking in tongues publicly, with or without interpretation is practiced and encouraged today, prophesying is DESPISED!!! Those who claim to have the gift are looked upon with suspicion and mostly told to SHUT UP in Church! So, the way Christian fellowship is going is absolutely contrary to what Paul taught.

      Now, I know that I should desire the best gifts, and while speaking in tongues has its merits, and I do desire it (I still ask for it), it is not the best. Prophesying and teaching is far better because of the impact it has for others (1 Cor 14:19). And love is the best (1 Cor 13)!

      I like what you said about what happened when the Spirit manifested in tongues and they ALL spoke in tongues. I liked that you can appreciate that this didn’t mean that they all received that gift…and no one expected that they all would, nor were they pressured to. Why? It is God who gives gifts. We do not collect them or pick and choose them. And Paul acknowledge that not all will speak in tongues, just as not all have the gift of miracles and healing (1 Cor 12:30).

      Desiring or asking for a gift doesn’t guarantee that you will receive it. Marriage and singleness are both gifts, but we mustn’t assume that all will be given the gift of marriage (even though much of Christian practice and teaching implies this, also contrary to Paul and Scripture). God gives us the gifts to the good of His Kingdom and glory of His name.

      If you have more to say on this, perhaps you will be interested in writing a piece for me to publish under the A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE category.

      Please note that I do not shun speaking in tongues. I fear God enough not to do so. I just know that just as there are many fake miracle workers and prophets, there are also many fake tongue speakers, especially as they are the most numerous, while true Believers are scarse!

      Sincerely, Ufuoma.

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      • I totally understand your point now and it’s more directed at the state the church is in right now which to an extent contradicts or rather not in full obedience to Paul’s teaching on Prophesy and teaching being more profitable to the church rather than tongue speaking which seems to be glorified in churches today.
        And sure! I’d love too.
        If you’d drop your email that would be fantastic.

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