We (my husband and I) are teaching a series on Hearing God’s Voice in our church this month. The moment we were invited to teach on this, I have been seeing several well-known Prophets announcing their events on “How to hear God’s voice”. Coincidental? Or this is the time that our God wants us to return to paying attention to his voice?
I will share some of our notes here with you over several weeks. There are many voices vying for our attention. Someone once said, “what you focus on, you empower”. I know you want to empower what is good for you. There is no other voice that is more trustworthy than the voice of our God.
The Trinity speaks to us through many means – both internally and externally. Let us starts with “Internal Impressions”. This is one of the most common ways that God speaks to me. I used to think that “impressions” are not as important as “seeing in the Spirit.” I complained many times that I don’t see, I can’t see like my husband, who is a Seer. It is not fair! How many of you think that way? It is not true! If God speaks to us through impressions, they are equally significant to open and close visions.
Father convicted me it takes as much faith to obey and act on inner impressions as it is with receiving visions from him. He is looking for co-operation from us. Faith without works is dead! (James 2:14) The other truth that he has convicted me with, is to stop declaring over myself that “I can’t see”! I started to believe that I too can see in the spirit, and I would thank the Lord for any slight visions or blurry visions I saw. Visions began to break open over me! I pray it would be so for you too. Believe and you will see.
What are impressions?
God often speak to us through our thoughts, our senses and inward visions. They are like the whispers of God. They come so naturally to our mind and heart that we might mistake that they are our own thoughts and desires. For this very reason, we often disregard them.
As you read this, music is playing all around you. But even if you close your eyes and focus all your energy to listen for it, you cannot hear it because your ears are not built to pick up radio waves. If you want to hear the music, you need to switch on the radio and tune to the right frequency of your station. In the same way, God is always speaking but we need to learn the different ways he speaks to us and how to tune ourselves to them. God wants an active relationship with you, but it is impossible to have a relationship with someone without communication. As a good Father, God is proactively communicating with you, His child. We need to do our part and learn to “tune our receivers to His station.” And let me assure you that it is easy and possible.
God’s implanted thoughts and leadings
Have you ever experienced a bible verse just “drop” into your mind or remember having a life-giving word to speak to a friend in need? These are God implanted thoughts which we intuitively or inwardly hear.
Paul had several leadings of the Holy Spirit which sounded like “inner impressions and promptings”:-
1. “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (Acts 20:22, NIV). Being “compelled by the Spirit” are what we would now term as the prompting, the drawing or leading of the Holy Spirit”. Many times, I have felt the strong leading of the Holy Spirit to pray or felt compelled to pray. Those were the moments when I saw family members having a breakthrough in salvation or divine protection.
One day at work, I felt compelled to pray in tongues the whole day. The only way to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading was to keeping going to the toilet to pray in tongues and get back to my work throughout the day repeatedly. I did not have the peace to stop praying until the office hour was over. That evening we received a phone call that one of my older sisters was haemorrhaging and needed to be hospitalised. She came right and was discharged from the hospital later. I knew in my heart that it was God who intervened and saved her life. The Holy Spirit knew in advance what that my sister needed someone to intercede for her. God intercepted an untimely death and today my sister has become a believer of Christ.
2. Apostle Paul said, “Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.” (Acts 27:10) Paul “perceived” – an inward prompting from the Holy Spirit. A knowing in his “knower”. He has been practicing listening to God long enough to be aware of the way God whispers to his spirit. So must we – keep practicing hearing God’s promptings and act on them.
Knowing by the Spirit are internal promptings by the Holy Spirit, which cause you to understand something without prior knowledge. A good example is when you “perceive” that you cannot trust someone you have just met. Or that a situation will pan out ok. If someone were to ask you how do you know. All you can say is “I know”, or “I have a gut feeling”. And they have proven to be true. This is what we call “perception from the Holy Spirit.” He lives inside of us and therefore we can feel what he feels.
3. Acts 15:28 records this kind of knowing when the apostolic council in Jerusalem put this statement out: “… it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us.” Here we see an internal witness or “knowing” that gave the apostolic counsel great confidence in moving forward with the letter that they would send out to all the churches. They had discussed and prayed and listened to the Holy Spirit before deciding. This decision could not have been easy because it contradicts their culture and upbringing. They did not just had another committee meeting on their own. They took time to listen to the Holy Spirit together. (Please read the full chapter of Acts 15 to understand the important decision they had to make.)
Impressions from God can be :-
Intuition — the ability to understand something instantly with no conscious reasoning (an inner knowing). Mothers often have intuition as it relates to their children. They don’t always know the details offhand, but they may have a feeling that “hmmm, something isn’t right here.”
Prompting — a gentle nudge to do something; a fleeting thought. The thought may be that someone or something “crosses your mind” out of nowhere. Or you get an urge out of the blue to call and “check on so-and-so.” Or that you’re supposed to do something in particular that day.
Check — feeling of uneasiness or restraint; gnawing discomfort you cannot explain; feeling something is not right; this is a red light in your spirit or an alarm bell going off inside of you or you have a loss of peace.
For example, everything is looking great in the naturally. It is exactly what you want. You are riding your mountain bike, having fun, when you suddenly feel to slow down or stop. When you do that, a car from nowhere suddenly came down the road. This has happened to my husband more than once. It pays to listen to the “check” in our spirit.
Abiding Peace — restful feeling; sense of release; quiet assurance; deep sense of security. This is a green light in your spirit to go ahead with whatever you are doing. It could look like this : You walk into a house and feel in your spirit that this is a “go” and “yes” to buy it. Or you have been asking God about a certain upcoming decision and you feel restful and assured to go ahead with it. No nagging hesitations.
About 20 some years ago, Father God told us He wanted to give us a house. We had no money in our bank to go into a mortgage. Yet, we had the excitement to look for a house to buy. Our thought was if God is giving us a house, he will also provide the finance. To cut the story short, we ended up buying the first house we saw, and the money came in for us get a loan. We had the abiding peace throughout the entire process of buying this house.
Desires — God loves to download desires into our hearts. Philippians 2:13 “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Are you having desires or dreams that are greater than you? They are most likely from God. Not only does he loves to give you the desire to please him but also the power that you need to fulfil it. I love that!
The desire to see people healed has been increasing in me for years. At a meeting that we were hosting, we gave a word of knowledge that God wants to heal deaf ears. A lady responded, and we prayed several times for her ear to open up but nothing was happening. Whilst we were praying, I kept hearing the Holy Spirit saying “Ask her is she is a Christian.” My logical mind reasoned that she has to be because this is a seminar for Christians. Since she was not receiving her hearing, I stepped out in faith and asked her the question. She said her grandmother is a Christian. I asked if she has personally accepted Jesus as her God. She finally replied that she has not. We shared the gospel with her and she willingly invited Jesus into her heart. We prayed for her ear one more time and instantly she could hear!
I believe God did not have to wait till she believed in him before healing her. But he knew that her moment of salvation had arrived. Not only is she still healed today, but she is also now pastoring a church that she and her husband had started. God knew what he was doing when he first placed the desire in my heart to see his healing manifested on earth. Let us be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
1. Quiet yourself and choose one family member or friend in your mind or heart.
2. Pray and ask God to give you an impression or a sense or a thought of what He is saying to you about this family member/friend.
3. Now ask God how to pray for this family member with the insights he just gave you.