John 10:27 | Luke 21:33 | Luke 6:27-28 | Psalm 119:11
Make sure you listen to the guy with the wings & halo…not the guy with the pitchfork!
Having a little voice in your head does not make you crazy. Everybody has that little voice–the one represented by Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s version of Pinnochio.
Jiminy Cricket was Pinnochio’s conscience and arguably, the Voice of Reason in his little wooden ears. (Is it a coincidence his initials are J.C.?) Your little voice is your conscience, too. But doesn’t it seem that your conscience is just a speaker for playing messages from multiple sources: God, your own mind, and who-knows-who?
Like when you have the choice to jump in and back up a friend or keep walking. Your mind says, “She needs help!” and then, “Yeah, but then those other girls will treat you like you don’t even exist.” Then you hear, “Don’t be afraid; just help her!” followed by, “This will get ugly.”
How can you tell who is speaking to you through your conscience? How do you know who to follow if you don’t know who is speaking?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.John 10:27 NLT
Try this: close your eyes and listen to whoever may be near you in the room or outside. Can you tell who is speaking? If so, how? Through familiarity.
It takes continued exposure to get to know someone’s voice. And once you know their voice–even without seeing them or having any introduction, you know who is speaking.
That is how you get to know God’s voice: through continued exposure. The more you read his Word and spend time with God in prayer and worship, the better you will become at distinguishing his voice.
Once you get to know someone, you move beyond knowing the sound of their voice to knowing what things they might say. Your grandmother was probably never the type to call something ‘lit’ or ‘dope’ (unless it was actively burning or harmfully intoxicating). That said, you would be suspicious if you heard those words in a message from her.
“Granny told me to tell you, ‘Those stolen shoes are dope.’” Did she, though?
More than the language, would Granny encourage you to wear stolen shoes? The same logic applies to messages from God.
Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.Luke 21:33 NLT
God will not say one thing in the Bible and tell you something entirely different in your mind. Musician Steve Taylor may have put it best in his 1984 lyric: If the Bible doesn’t back it then it seems quite clear / Perhaps it was the devil who whispered in your ear!
The more time you spend with God in worship, the more you will know His nature. Is the voice in your head telling you to retaliate in response to classmate’s offending you?
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”Luke 6:27-28 NLT
Retaliation sounds a little out of character after reading that, doesn’t it? The more you have the words of the Bible in your heart–and in your memory–the easier it will be to know God’s voice with confidence.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.Psalm 119:11 NLT
If you want to know J.C.’s voice (and we don’t mean Jiminy Cricket) you have to spend time continually exposed to his Word, the Bible. Furthermore, you have to commit his Word to your memory. Not only will it keep you on the right path, it will help you get to know God’s voice.
Questions for Group Discussion
- Have you ever ‘heard God’s voice’? Were there actual words involved? Was it a feeling? Did you ‘just know’ the answer?
- Can you give an example of a time the little voice in your head gave you bad advice? Where do you think that came from? Selfish desires in your own heart? The devil? Something you ate?
- Do you know someone who seems really good at hearing God’s voice? If so, how do you think they got that way? What do they do that might be working? Do you think they would be willing to show you how you can get good at it, too?
The Least Flashy Challenge Ever
So you want to learn how to know when God is using the little voice inside your head to talk to you? Read his Word.
Sometimes the answer is so simple it needs a little marketing to make it more appealing. This challenge is that simple. Maybe the real challenge will be for you to decide to do this despite the fact that we are not going to provide any of that marketing. Can you handle it?!
We challenge you…(drum roll, please)…to do a Bible study. (Cymbal crash.)
Pick any reputable Bible study. Complete it alone, or with a friend. Answer the study questions on paper, or out loud. Use the King James Version, or any other version (you’ll find many of them on the Superbook Bible App!). Do a short one, or a long one.
The details are not important; just do the thing. Can you handle such a stark challenge? If so, show us.
Have fun learning to hear God’s voice!