Perceiving and enjoying God’s voice has become the most exciting adventure of my life. His voice brings His essence and embrace. As He speaks, He overwhelms me with His love. So perceiving His voice is an encounter with Him.
Experience has proved that I needn’t fear that Jesus will speak because His voice brings His presence, and His Person is always kind—even when correcting. He honors like a bridegroom honors His bride. His consistent goodness teaches me to trust Him.
My first indication that the Lord is speaking is that His voice arrests my attention. Sometimes His communication is unmistakable. But His words can also sound like my own thoughts and imagination or the input of those around me. Then I wonder, “Is the Lord speaking or am I only beguiled by my own mind, will, and emotions?”
I asked the Lord once about the dilemma of identifying His voice. What He revealed surprised me. He said that ninety percent of the time when I stopped long enough to wonder if He was speaking, it was indeed His voice. Then I was horrified because I had so often dismissed His whispers resulting in blatant disobedience. My rule: If I have to stop and ask, “Is this the Lord?”—it is probably God! Discernment about how to proceed then follows the acknowledgement that He is speaking.
I now long for the Lord’s communication. His thoughts are pure wisdom, so opposite my natural inclinations. When He speaks, He brings truth to bear, broadening my limited understanding with His counsel. In the midst of His fresh revelation or instruction, I often find my understanding has shifted so unexpectedly that one moment I do not know, I am not aware; the next moment I know something so conclusively that I involuntarily say, “Oh! Now I understand.”
As my spirit perceives His communication and immanent presence, peace often enters and spreads out, or pure joy bubbles up from within. Unbidden tears can follow. I think it is His kindness that invokes a response at many levels. His voice invokes my respond—which becomes the next segment of our ongoing conversation.