The Three Factors: quality, spirit, content
Last time I wrote about Hearing God, I discussed how there were three lights: circumstances, impressions of spirit, and passages of scripture that must somehow lineup without which, they tend to discount the veracity of whether such a message could be a “voice” from God for you at that moment.
The most important quality of knowing God’s voice is the same as knowing a person’s voice…familiarity. It is our familiarity with God’s voice that allows us to recognize it.
Song of Solomon 2:8; 5:2a (NKJV)
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills.
I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying…
With a human voice, we recognize tone, modulation, style, and tempo. These would be characteristics of a voice produced by vibrating vocal cords. But as Willard says there is also a spirit in a voice that “would be passionate or cold, whining or demanding, timid or confident, coaxing or commanding.”
Matthew 7:28-29 (NKJV)
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
E. Stanley Jones answers the question “how can we distinguish God’s voice from that of our own subconscious?”
The voice of the subconscious argues with you, tries to convince you; but the inner voice of God does not argue, does not try to convince you. It just speaks, and it is self authenticating. It has the feel of the voice of God within it.
Willard says the characteristic spirit of God’s voice is one of “exalted peacefulness and confidence, and joy, of sweet reasonableness and of goodwill. … any word which bears an opposite spirit most surely is not from God.
God’s voice has the weight of authority. God’s voice has energy packed power to effectuate supernatural events. But because God’s voice is so authoritative and powerful, it does not need to be loud.
Finally, content is king. Whatever that voice says, it must affirm
Christ and it must be in complete agreement with the Holy, inspired and inerrant Word of God.
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