Many things have happened for me lately. Since moving to the US a year ago I have been under a great depression, struggling with my mood and how to control it. I have finally switched anti-depressants, and so far, so good! The family as well has had a rough year, which I think everyone is finally pulling out of.
We have a dog, she is pregnant and due next week. Yet, the most exciting thing, I have begun to organize a Prayer Ministry at my church!!! I finally feel like I am fulfilling the purpose God put me on earth for. I always knew this was my calling, but I was never at such a place in my relationship with God that I could successfully fulfill this calling.
I’m a middle-aged, stay-at-home-mom, who suffers from bipolar disorder, who has walked away and back again to God… How in His right mind could He ever use me?!
What is discernment? It is the ability to judge right from wrong. In a spiritual sense, it is the ability to sense what is from God and what is not. It is not discerning spirits, which is the ability to see or sense good or evil spirits, but some people with discernment do have the gift of discerning spirits as well.
There is a false idea within Christian circles that God gives us certain gifts and that’s it. I have even been told people only have two spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are just that, gifts. They are given by God, through the Holy Spirit, and we can have more then one. If a gift does not come natural to us, like discernment, we can go to God and ask Him to give us the gift of discernment. (Isn’t our God amazing!)
The other false idea about gifts: They’re automatically all there when you get them, no need to strengthen them to make them better!! The couldn’t be further from the truth. Its like playing a sport. You might have natural talent, but if you don’t work hard you will never improve.
How to Hear the Voice of God
We hear Gods voice in His word, through our thoughts, through conversations we have with others, and through our everyday life circumstances. Discerning the word of God is the first step to strengthening your discernment.
Each day in our prayer time, God wants to talk to you. If you’re not already praying everyday, I suggest you start! It is here in this special time that you will begin to hear the voice of God. How can you tell it’s God? He will never tell you anything that is outside His word, the Bible. Always check what you hear with what the Word of God says.
It may take some time, but after a while you will begin to notice the difference. Eventually you may even distinguish between the voice of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. So what does the Voice of God sound like?
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Be Bold and Brave
At first, you will be unsure if you are hearing the Voice of God, but don’t give in to doubt. Take a bold step and respond, reply to God. God may indicate you need to take an action, so be brave, step out in faith! What happens if you are wrong? You’re wrong, try again. Discernment is a skill.
What happened the first time you tried to hit a baseball with a bat? If your like most people, you failed, a lot! But then, one day, you connected with that ball and you watched it soar across the field! Bravely step out in faith! Even if you get it wrong, God will be there cheering you on like the supportive father at a t-ball game! No matter what, you’re going home a winner in His eyes!
God rewards the brave, and the obedient. My daughter “helped” me with the laundry last night and put clothes into the dryer that should be hung to dry. Was I irritated? Yes. But I was far more proud of her for taking the initiative, something she has been afraid to do this last year. How much more with the Father in Heaven reward you for boldly being brave and taking a step closer to Him by strengthening your discernment.
God is the still, small voice inside, a gentle nudge, a pulling in your heart. It takes time to develop your relationship, and to understand when God is speaking to you. Trust in Him, and follow your instinct. Over time it will get easier, and the sound of God’s voice will become easier to hear.