Hearing God: Is That You, God?

Hearing God: Is That You, God?

This morning, we’re continuing our message series, “Hearing God.”  Last week, we were challenged on the foundational issue of hearing God’s voice; identity.  We can to realize that most of us still have some goat in us and need Jesus to transform those areas of our lives so that we are completely His sheep.  In other words, we need to let go of some of the old person that we used to be and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into the new creation that He says we are.


This morning, we’re going to begin learning the practical side of hearing God’s voice.  Each week, we’ll start with this reminder that Jesus gave us found in John chapter 10.  Please repeat after me:


John 10:3-5

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

I am His sheep

I hear His voice

I won’t recognize a stranger’s voice


God is always speaking to us.  The issue of us hearing God’s voice is never a matter of His silence, but rather our willingness to listen to Him.  Of course, I must issue a disclaimer about this broad statement.  There are actually a few examples found in the scriptures when God was either silent or was apparently silent.


The first is when people would question God in how long He would remain silent.  In most of these cases, it always came back to the fact that they heard His voice, knew His will, but were refusing to live it out.  In a few other examples such as David being overwhelmed by His enemies, it was simply a matter of God’s timing being perfect and David becoming a bit impatient.


The other time when silence was recorded coming from the mouth of God was when Jesus remained silent before His accusers.


The last time when silence is recorded coming from the mouth of God is when the seventh seal will be broken during the end time tribulation found in Revelation 8 when there will be silence in Heaven for half an hour.


Though we have this disclaimer that there are a few instances where God was silent, He is always communicating toward us.


The way in which God speaks, well, that is as diverse as the universe that He created!  We know that we were created in the image of God.  We are always communicating with those around us, even if our mouths are closed.  If we were to attempt to write down the fullness of the language which we communicate with, we would exhaust ourselves.


Some of us should come with our own dictionaries!  Verbal words and phrases like younz, red up that mess, put that in a poke for me, pushing around our grocery buggy, fishing in the crick, dippy eggs, lolly gagging, worshing your hands, not those uns, but these uns, a little of this n’at.


Not only our strange phrases, but also saying the same word a different way can mean several different things.  My kids know when I say their name whether I need their help, whether I just want to talk with them, whether they are in big trouble, or whether I need to ask them a question.  All of this can be determined just by the way I say the same word; their name.


Then there are our gestures.  One thing that we can never shut up is our body language.  It speaks volumes even when we’ve trained ourselves to keep our mouths shut in certain situations!


Take a simple thumbs up for example.  It could mean that you’re doing a good job, could mean to a scuba diver that he desperately needs to be brought back up, mean to a crane operator to raise the boom, mean to a forklift operator to tilt the mast back, mean that you’re checking the wind speed and direction, mean that you like your wife’s cooking, mean to a baseball player good play, mean to Donald Trump that he’s going to make America great again, mean to a nurse that you injured your thumb, the list goes on and on and on.  A simple gesture can take on hundreds of meanings depending on the scenario.  We’re not even going to begin to try and decipher what our spouse’s eye rolling or head shaking could possibly mean!


God is not limited in the way in which He chooses to communicate with us.  There are infinite possibilities, but a few things that we can know for sure.  First, that God does desire to communicate with us.  Secondly, that He doesn’t intend for it to be difficult for us to understand Him.


As with everything else in life, we go to the #1 place to hear God’s voice to learn more about this subject, The Bible.  The Bible is verified, tried and true documentation on how God has spoken to His people in the past.  In fact, the Bible is the inspired word of God.  It was written by about 40 different people over the course of about 1,500 years through their own unique styles, cultures, and perspectives, yet still carrying the common theme and message throughout the centuries evidencing that it was all inspired by the same true author, the Holy Spirit.


If you are in the beginning stages of hearing God’s voice, then this is the place to be.  This is what we judge everything else by.  Jesus said that we would recognize His voice and would not follow the voice of a stranger.  We come to recognize someone’s voice by being in regular communication with them.  Then, when a stranger calls us on the phone pretending to be them, we very quickly recognize this falsehood.  The best way to recognize any counterfeit is to be intimately and fully aware of the authentic.


The written word of God is the authentic voice of God to filter everything that we perceive Him to speak otherwise through.  This is how we learn His true voice, His character, and His ways.  Then, when the deceit of a stranger comes our way in attempt to mimic His voice, we will quickly recognize it.  I would be lying if I were to tell you that the enemy and your flesh won’t try to counterfeit the voice of God, but there is a way to clearly recognize it.


We should be so familiar with the voice, character, and will of God spoken in the 66 books of this cannon that we can just as easily distinguish God’s voice from our own and the enemy’s in the same way as we can distinguish the voice of our mother from that of a stranger.


Think about it for a moment.  How many times has a thought crossed your mind and you know that it was the voice of a friend or parent who spoke those words to you previously?  We should be able to just as quickly recognize the voice of God when He speaks to us in our thought life.  We should be able to quickly recognize, “That’s sounds just like something that my God would say!”


How many times have we imagined a place and recognized that it was somewhere that we had went to on vacation and not simply some imagined location?  We should just as quickly recognize whether we’re imagining something just to reminisce about the past versus an image crossing our minds as a way of God communicating with us.  We should also just as quickly recognize whether we’re imagining something on our own or from the enemy as a fantasy or temptation versus the something from God.


Young Elihu was a bit upset with the self-righteousness of his friend, Job in the midst of his suffering.  He didn’t think that his older friends nor Job were really agreeing with the voice of God.  He reminded Job and his other two friends of this fact:


Job 33:14-18

14 For God does speak—now one way, now another—

though no one perceives it.

15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,

when deep sleep falls on people

as they slumber in their beds,

16 he may speak in their ears

and terrify them with warnings,

17 to turn them from wrongdoing

and keep them from pride,

18 to preserve them from the pit,

their lives from perishing by the sword.


Indeed, God does speak and in many different ways, but do we perceive it?  If you choose to put your faith in Jesus, then you are His sheep and you hear His voice and you won’t listen to the voice of a stranger.  This is God’s absolute truth about you.  Don’t ever lie to yourself and tell yourself that you can’t hear God!  Though we hear His voice, we do need to train ourselves to more quickly perceive it and understand it.


Whether it be a dream, vision, thought, audible voice, or any other way that we are communicated with, how do we test to know if it is God?


  1. Does is agree with the Bible?
  2. Does it agree with God’s character?
  3. Will it produce the fruits of the Spirit?


1 Thessalonians 5:20-22

20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.


I feel it is well within reason to apply this tip to any communication that we believe to be from God.  Test it all, hold on to what is good, and reject every kind of evil.  I would define evil here as either being from the voice of Satan or our own old, sinful flesh and define good as being from God.


If I have a gut feeling that God is angry with me for my mean thoughts about someone and doesn’t love me as much as He used to, “Is That You, God?”

No!  Romans 8 says that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus!  Reject that God’s love toward you changes for any reason!  God’s character is merciful, patient, and ever-loving.  This thought will not produce any of the fruits of the Spirit, but will definitely steal our peace and joy!

Now, is He angry with you for your mean thoughts?  Yes!  So hold on to that good word of correction and make changes going forward.  Hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.


If I see a vision of myself giving $200 to a family, “Is That You, God?”

Yes!  Generosity is a characteristic of God and in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, it is encouraged.  It definitely will produce the fruits of joy and probably peace in that family’s life and kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and love in your own.

Hold up, wait a minute!

Well, I sort of ignored the fact that in that same vision, I saw myself bragging to a bunch of people about it afterwards.  “Is That You, God?”

No!  God’s character is selfless and Jesus warned in Matthew chapter 6 not to do things to make yourself look good in front of others.  This produces selfish ambition, which is a fruit of the flesh, not of the Spirit.  This is likely God warning you actually not to give.


How do you know, “Is That You, God?”


  1. Does is agree with the Bible?
  2. Does it agree with God’s character?
  3. Will it produce the fruits of the Spirit?


Test every communication; hold on to what is good and reject every kind of evil.  With this basic filtering system in place in our lives, we will continue in the upcoming weeks to learn about different ways in which God can speak and how to better understand how He uses them to communicate with us.