By Tony Stoltzfus
How to Hear His Voice
Hearing God’s voice through Questions for Jesus isn’t hard. You just have to ask Jesus a different kind of question than you are used to—one that’s about the deep desires of your heart. Here’s a quick overview of how it works. First, the question. Try asking this one and see what wells up in your mind and heart in the next 30 to 60 seconds:
“Jesus, what do you like about me today?”
The first thing that comes to you is usually best (Jesus is eager to speak this way!) It may be words, a picture, a thought, or just a sense of God present with you in a certain way. So immediately write down whatever comes into your heart and mind, without questioning it or trying to figure it out. Then, after you’ve recorded it, evaluate it with the ‘sounds like test’: does this sound like the Jesus I know from the bible? Is it consistent with his character as revealed in scripture? If it is, you just heard God speak to you.
Now, take another minute and just let it touch you. Accept it as true, let it be reality, soak in it. Experiencing the living word is what changes your heart, not intellectualizing it.
We are specifically asking Jesus for a rhema—a personal, experiential word that touches our deepest yearning. A Sunday-school answer or what you already know the bible says about God’s love-won’t do. Praying your desire means having a live, experiential encounter where Jesus reveals in the now how much he uniquely loves you as an individual.
The heart speaks the language of experience, not concepts and reasoning. That’s why rhema is so important: you have to experience God’s touch to transform the heart. Knowing and quoting good theology isn’t enough. Your heart longs for an intimate encounter with the lover of your soul!
We make this way too hard because we want proof that what we heard is really God. We are obsessed with the question, “Is this God or just me?”—so afraid of hearing wrong that we get paralyzed and can’t hear at all!
The question is not, “Will I hear something when I pray these prayers?” He will speak—he’s already promised to. The question is whether you will believe that what comes to you is from him.
Can it really be that simple? To find out, let’s examine the “Is this just me?” question in scripture. If this is really a crucial question, one would expect that early Christians were asking it as well. Surely the New Testament would tell us clear steps to differentiate between God’s voice and the voice of our own heart, wouldn’t it?
If it does, I can’t find any trace of it. There are passages about distinguishing the voice of God from that of the enemy, but the New Testament writers never even addressed the “just me” question! Our objection was a non-issue for them, because they lived in a culture that assumed God speaks, while we live in one that assumes he doesn’t. We get all wrapped up in knots trying to hear him when we already do—we just don’t feel confident that we can believe it.
What Jesus Believes
Jesus clearly says, “My sheep hear my voice.” According to him, you hear him. You can already do this, and you are doing it now. Case closed. So, are you willing to believe what Jesus believes about you?
So be confident—you can do this. The hardest part of praying your desire is allowing yourself to believe that the still small voice you are already hearing is the voice of God.