This is great word from John Wallace about “hearing” God’s voice. John gives us practical tools of how to hear Him and even shares how we can block hearing Him if we are not careful. It’s so important in this day that we hear Him better and train ourselves to hear Him much more clearly.
There’s clear direction and wisdom He’s going to pour out that will be of the utmost importance to heed to. Many are reporting both hearing and seeing Him more than ever before. God IS calling us higher.
Last November the Lord began to speak to me about this new year. He said, “2010 will be a great adventure.” I thought to myself, “As if the last 40 years haven’t been?!” Nonetheless, I began to reflect on going on an adventure: How do you prepare yourself? What do you need to take along? The Lord assured me that He would be the expedition leader. So, most of all, it would be critical to follow Him.
Reflecting on what it means to follow Him led me to John 10. Here, of course, our Lord is rebuking the Jewish leaders and encouraging each of us. He, Jesus, is the answer to our Lord’s promise in Ezekiel 34 to provide for His people a “good shepherd,” in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel. Jesus cannot help but be referring to that promise when He said, “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11). Jesus says that His sheep will know Him by hearing His voice. And they will follow Him.
It is Critical to Hear His Voice
Clearly a prerequisite for following our Lord, especially following Him as He leads us into this adventure, is hearing His voice. Never before has it been so critical to hear His voice…clearly.
One of the characteristics of an adventure is that it almost always includes surprises. It takes the quality of flexibility, the willingness to change directions, to carry on in the adventure. We may think we know the way to go, but only the expedition leader knows how to get us there. We may have to change paths. We may have to climb mountains, ford rivers, cut through jungle. There may be times of walking uphill or times of walking, almost running, downhill. But we must so keep our eyes and ears open to the instructions of our Leader, our Shepherd, that we continue to follow Him.
I believe one of our top priorities this year is to cultivate the art of hearing the Lord. There are many hindrances we experience to BLOCK our doing so:
1) I just don’t WANT to hear the Lord because He may rebuke me, may ask me to do (or stop doing) something I don’t want to.
2) I hear too many other voices—especially my own voice or “taped” voices in my mind. I hear the voices of well-meaning friends and family. I hear the voice of demonic enemies.
3) I have a theology that God stopped speaking over 2,000 years ago when the Bible was finished. Since then God has gone on a speaking strike and acted uncharacteristic to His nature…the One Who calls Himself the Word.
4) I don’t get quiet enough to hear Him. I fill my life with noise—external and internal.
5) I pass off His voice for my “imagination.”
6) I’m waiting to hear a Charlton Heston-like voice boom in my mind or all around me.
There are many other ways to block His voice from reaching us. This year I believe we need to have an increased sensitivity to these ways that we miss His communication to us. Asking the Lord to make us more aware, repenting of not wanting to hear, repenting of believing a “non-speaking-God” theology, getting quiet. We really must hear His voice this year. It’s more important than ever!
How Then, Does He Speak?
How then, does He speak? Through His word (incarnate/Jesus and written/Bible), pictorially (giving us visions, dreams, “pictures” of the supernatural in the natural things we see), through impressions, His voice speaking in our minds (or, more rare, audibly), through other Believers using gifts of the Spirit (prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, teaching, exhortation, etc.), and visitations of the Lord and His angels.
God is a speaking God! He is speaking every single day. He desires us to hear Him and hear Him better. We can start where we are. We can cultivate a hearing ear and an obeying heart. We risk it…learning to differentiate His voice from others’. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” BECAUSE OF PRACTICE is how we have our senses trained. It takes practice to hear the voice of the Lord. But we have Him on our side: He wants us to hear Him!
It’s going to make a difference. The world is going to be thrown into much more confusion. There will be voices everywhere this year. He has a great adventure ahead of us—Kingdom exploits and life transformations. All we have to do is just follow the Leader.
Blood n Fire – Dallas, Texas
About John Wallace: Currently, John and Suzanne are Community Leaders of Blood n Fire Dallas, a community with a vision “to reach, raise up and release the younger generations to advance the Kingdom of God among the poor of the earth.” John Wallace was born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. After graduating from Shawnee High School, he attended and received a B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, John and his future bride, Suzanne Martin, met. John then graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. After graduation John served as a dentist in the U.S. Army for two years. John and Suzanne moved back to Dallas for almost 10 years of private dental practice. From 1981 to 1986 John attended Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Theology degree. He has subsequently pastored local churches for the last 24 years. John and Suzanne have 6 children: Jason (wife Alison), Brennan (wife Lisa), and Lindsey (husband Chris), and two grandchildren, Austin Wyatt Wallace and Caleb Sage Wallace.