Of course, if we harden our hearts and refuse to listen to God, there is a price to pay. But if we are seeking Him, He promises we will find Him (Matt. 7:7-8).
Consider how the Lord continued to call young Samuel until Eli helped him understand he was hearing the voice of God (1 Sam. 3:1-9). Or how God confirmed His directions when Gideon tested Him (Judges 6:36-40). Jesus continues to reach out to us, too—He answered Thomas’ doubts (John 20:24-29) and stopped Paul in his tracks as he headed to Damascus to persecute Christians (Acts 9:1-19).
But sometimes, in our desperation to hear something, we run the risk of convincing ourselves we're hearing from God when we’re not. In his message “Listening to God,” Dr. Stanley says that when we are seeking to hear from the Lord, we must make sure that it’s His voice we are hearing rather than our own thoughts or someone else’s ideas. He says we can identify God’s voice because:
God’s voice is always consistent with His Word. Any message must agree with what the Lord has already said in the Scriptures.
His voice is quiet. God often speaks to our hearts through His Holy Spirit in an inaudible but compelling way.
The Lord speaks clearly. If we’ll tune our hearts to Him by setting aside time to read His Word and listen for His Spirit to speak, He will give us clear guidance.
When God speaks, we have two choices: accept and obey, or deny and retreat. People who have ignored the voice of God know it. Perhaps God called you into the mission field but you chose to pursue another vocation instead. Or maybe you simply made decisions you knew to be unwise and against God’s teachings.
While we can’t go back in time, God can redeem our mistakes. Whenever we turn to the Lord and listen, He blesses our devotion. Are you waiting to hear God’s voice? Keep reading His Word and be ready to listen today.