14 December 2011

His voice, His presence

Today is the day we share God-Bumps and God-Incidences at Jennifer Lee's place.  I have chosen to rework a post from 2008, for I believe it bears repeating.

One might expect God to speak in an audible, thundering voice, but for most people this doesn’t occur. The voice of God is most often experienced as a fleeting, spontaneous thought, in many ways much less dramatic than one would imagine, but no less powerful.

God also speaks through His written Word when it suddenly seems alive in a new way, speaking His truth into situations in your life. I have had words seem to leap off the page and felt a yes in my spirit, amazed that it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. That same yes in my spirit accompanies His voice, no matter what form it has taken. Although He will often speak to me in a style similar to my own, He speaks things I know I would not have thought of in my own mind. He doesn’t seem rushed. There is no sense of pressure. In fact, in my experience, if there is a sense of urgency, or pressure to act immediately I am almost always sure it is not God speaking, but the enemy.

His voice, whether audible, seen (as in dreams and visions), or sensed, will always line up with His Word, the Bible.

I have only heard His audible voice once. One morning, I was still in bed, in my quiet time of prayer, and my husband was down the hall in the den checking mail on the computer and preparing for work. I heard a male voice speak my name Karin.  I shouted down the hall “Yes, what do you want”. My husband said “What do you mean?” I said “You called me.” He insisted that he had not spoken. “But I heard my name” I said “and there is no one in the house but you, me and the cats”. He then wisely spoke to me the same words Eli spoke to the young Samuel:

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” 1 Samuel 3:9 NIV

All I could do was pause in wonder, thanking the Lord that He would regard me.

I had been praying one night, asking the Lord to show me His love in a tangible way. The next morning, while still in bed, again during my quiet time of prayer, with one of my cats curled up beside me, I could feel God’s arm around me. I remember telling the cat “We’re not going to move, God is holding us.” Some years later I was talking with the Lord and reminded Him about how He put His arm around me. I could sense Him laughing as He replied My arm? My child, that was just My little finger. I thought, of course, He is so very big, I would fit in the palm of His hand.

Some years ago, I began to hear a quiet, gentle, metallic tinkling sound like wind chimes. This could happen anywhere, and there were no chimes present. After the chimes I would sense a thought from God, a short word of comfort, encouragement or direction. This happened so often that I began to realize that He had gifted me with the sound of chimes as a sign that He wanted to speak to me, so each time I head them I would become silent and still, waiting in faith for Him to speak. He never disappointed me. I regret that in the busyness of life I often miss hearing and have even totally forgotten the chimes for long periods of time. When I remember and mention to the Lord in prayer that I have not heard the chimes or His voice, I sense Him saying simply You have not been listening.

Joining Jennifer and others today at Getting Down With Jesus


Laura said...

I love to hear stories about how God speaks. So encouraging and lovely, Karin.

Jay Cookingham said...

We should listen more...thanks Karin for a wonderful insight!

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

I have never heard the audible voice of God. I've prayed to hear it, but haven't ... YET. :)

I wonder if God just knows I might faint or have a heart attack if I heard Him speak aloud.

Maybe I'll pray for chimes instead. That's a really beautiful thought.

Glad you linked, Karin. Love this.

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