Welcome to the next post in the A Biblical Foundation to Hear God’s Voice series. Today we are talking about the characteristics of God’s voice as found in the Word and why it’s necessary to know them. The characteristics of God’s voice are a great place to start with knowing His voice well.
A friend mentioned she couldn’t wait to hear how I describe God’s voice. I would describe it as indescribable. 😉 I don’t know that I can describe it well, but we can know the characteristics given by the Word of God.
After high school and some college, I was substitute teaching at a private school. With a thin wallet and unreliable hours, I looked for a more steady source of income.
I received an offer to teach full time at another school almost an hour away. The pay was great. I had been praying for something just like this opportunity! I was living with my parents and my dad helped me find the school on a map, and we were talking about how I would need to drive some back country roads to get there. Not ideal, but it didn’t really seem to be a problem.
I went to my room to pray about it and sat down on my bed with a happy heart. I started talking to God, and asked Him very simply if it was His will for me to take this job. Immediately a resounding “NO” struck my ears with such force I thought it was audible. I was shocked that God responded this way to me.
Timidly I started asking other questions but…nothing. It was not important to know the why behind His answer but to obey it. We are commanded to trust Him. (I didn’t like that. I always want to know why. But it was a good lesson to learn.)
I was shaken to my core in awe. It would be fantastic if God spoke like this all the time, but He doesn’t. I have learned that He often speaks via different means.
Why We Need to Know the Characteristics of God’s Voice
We are in the family of God because of Christ’s work on the cross, defeating sin and offering us mercy and forgiveness. I don’t wait until my kids are a certain age or maturity before I begin speaking to them. It’s the same way with God speaking to His children. He doesn’t wait until you’ve been saved 20 years before He will allow you to hear His voice. That’s wonderful!
However, it’s our duty to discover the characteristics of God’s voice as we grow in spiritual maturity.
Does God speak to us through only one avenue? No, and if we believe that, we could be crossing dangerous ground. For example, adamantly thinking one is so “close” to God that he believes God only speaks through His (audible) voice/voice of the Holy Spirit. That person could easily be deceived by a wrong voice.
God does stuff on “God-level,” not human-level. God speaks to us in more than one avenue because it’s safer. We have our fellow Christians to help us make sure we’re not going off on the deep end. We have the Bible that helps us know if what we’re hearing or not is truly…well…biblical.
What Are the Characteristics of God’s Voice?
God may speak to us thunderously, leaving us “thunderstruck” (See 2 Samuel 22:14; Job 37:2,5; Psalm 104:7; Exodus 19-20 (When God came to declare the 10 Commandments, etc., it was accompanied by thunder and lightning.); 2 Samuel 22:14.) Or He might speak in that still small voice like He did to Elijah (1 Kings 19:12-13). Either way, the characteristics of His voice will be evident:
Reminds us of His promises
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 ESV
The lordship of Jesus is evident
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 ESV
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me. John 15:26 NASB
He will never lie
See Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2
We will have peace
“Peace I leave with you…” John 14:27 NASB
He will guide us into and speak truth
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13 NASB
And will glorify Jesus
[The Holy Spirit] will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:14 NASB
He will draw you closer to Him
It will be filled with wisdom
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NASB
When We’ve Heard God’s Voice
As we go through life and we think we’ve heard God speaking to us, doubt often follows.
When we know the characteristics of God’s voice and apply them to what we’re hearing, then it helps to shut off that doubt. The more we know and obey His Word, the more familiar we will be with His voice.When we know the characteristics of God’s voice and apply them to what we’re hearing, then it helps to shut off the voice of doubt.
Which are your favorite characteristics of God’s voice?
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