| The Voice Of God ~ As It Comes To Me
By Paul Christensen (Takanini, Auckland, New Zealand
I have discovered that God is speaking to us all the time. The reason we don’t hear Him as often as we need to, is that we fail to recognize His voice when it comes to us.
I had been a Christian for two years, and had been introduced to the Church, Bible, Prayer, Discipleship and Fellowship, but I still had an “emptiness” in my life. I had not been introduced to God on a personal level. After a number of incidents in my life, when God dealt with me over some issues, I started to seek Him in earnest in order to establish a personal relationship with Him. I came to the point where I so needed to know Him on a personal level, that I believed that there was no point in continuing a Christian life unless I knew God as a Person, and had the assurance that He knew me.
One night in 1969, I got out in the middle of a park, and introduced myself to God. Immediately, I felt as though all the lights went on inside of me (this was not an emotional experience), and I sensed a voice in the back of my mind telling me, “Paul, We’ve been waiting for you to come to Us for a long while.” This voice was not an audible voice; it seemed to be a strong thought in my mind, the nature of which I had never perceived before. It had a calm, encouraging, accepting tone that made me know that I had at last met the Lord, and He accepted me as His son.
During the next three weeks, I asked all the questions that I wanted to ask Him about the Christian life, and He answered them all. One of the questions was: “How do I know that I am going to continue hearing Your voice?” He answered, “When I hear your voice a lot in prayer, then you will hear My voice more often.” This gave me the freedom to spend as much time as I could in prayer, talking out all my dreams, hopes, concerns and ambitions; and as a result, I continued to hear and recognize that calm, reassuring voice through the years, through all the “ups and downs” of my life, until this day.
It has taken me 35 years to get free of the fear and influence of man; to be able to recognize and confidently trust in the voice of God in ministry to others. This is a blessing now, because I am being used more in the prophetic, and have seen others blessed through the voice of God speaking to them in the words of prophecy that I have given them.
How It Works:
God is a spirit; therefore He speaks spirit to spirit. It is like a computer speaking digital language, which has to be translated into sound tones through a modem to be able to communicate over the telephone line to another computer. The modem at the other end then translates the analogue tones back into digital language for the other computer to “understand”.
When the Holy Spirit communicates to our spirit, our mind then has to try and interpret what our spirit has received. When our spirit receives communication from the Holy Spirit we “sense” that something has been communicated, but we cannot put words to it until our mind has been able to interpret the input to our spirit. This is why we can get things wrong sometimes. It is also why all New Testament prophecy is to be evaluated by others who are experienced in the prophetic.
The input to our spirit may be interpreted in various ways: Scriptures, pictures, dreams, words, impressions, prophetic acts, acts of faith, and so on. Many times, the input can come as a new realization of some Scriptural truth that we never thought of in that way before.
This is different to the way God spoke in the Old Testament. Old Testament believers were still spiritually dead ~ because Jesus had not yet been crucified, and had not risen from the dead yet. The Holy Spirit came on men of God as an “anointing” for a specific purpose. We don’t really know how the prophets received the word of God ~ we think that they may have received input through this special “anointing” where the Holy Spirit was able to speak directly to their minds. Others may have received dreams. We know that Joseph, the husband of Mary, had regular dreams giving him guidance about the safety of the infant Jesus. Abraham was visited by angels. Jacob received visions.
But after Jesus Christ became our Substitute on the cross, and rose from the dead, He sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to indwell believers. Then Christians became “alive” in their spirits, and the Holy Spirit indwelt them, setting up a continuous spirit to spirit communication.
The exception to the New Testament rule was the conversion of Paul on the Damascus Road. The Lord communicated with him directly for a special purpose and, through his ministry, he had regular visitations by angels. We do not hear of others having the same experiences, so we can conclude that the main way of communicating from then on was, and still is, by a direct Spirit to spirit link, with the mind interpreting the input.
How Prophecy Works:
This may not be the same for everyone, but this is what happens to me. When someone asks for a word of prophecy for them, I wait on the Lord for what I call a “seed thought”. This is usually a Scripture. It comes as a definite thought that seems to take precedence over the other thoughts in my mind. Sometimes it is as clear as crystal; other times it is not so clear and I have to use my faith to start the prophecy. Once I get the “seed thought,” I say it in faith, and then a flow of thought will start. I give the thoughts exactly how they come without trying to interpret them. When the flow of thought stops, then I stop.
The reason why it is important that I say the thoughts exactly how they come to my mind is because the Holy Spirit knows exactly how to have the greatest impact on the receiver of the word. Because the word comes through me, it does not necessarily require me to be impacted by it. My role is to give the word in obedience and faith whether I have any emotion about it or not. It is important for me not to allow my natural mind to try and interpret what is being said, or try to change the prophecy to make more sense to me, because I may lessen the impact on the receiving person. I leave it to the receiving person to determine whether my prophecy contains the voice of God for them. This is the test of whether a prophecy is relevant or not. But in saying that, it is good to have the prophecy taped (or written down) so it can be listened to or read later on, because many prophecies not relevant at the time may become relevant with the passage of time. Remember that Joel’s prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, approximately 800 years after he gave it!
Some Brief Examples:
Recently I was asked to give a word to a person because they sensed that an angel had told them that I was to give a prophetic word for them. I found this quite unusual, but I asked the Lord for a “seed thought”. The thought came very quickly, interrupting my prayer, so I said,“Okay, Lord, let’s go.” I gave the word in faith, and some of it was quite specific. I told the Lord that either I was going to be completely right, or completely wrong. When the person gave me feedback she emailed the prophecy back to me, highlighting what she felt were the relevant parts for her. All except one or two lines of the prophecy was highlighted. She also told me that she had written a set of questions to be answered before she asked me for the word, and when the word came, all those questions were answered. I had no emotional feelings while I gave that prophecy, so I gave it in complete faith and obedience; yet the voice of God spoke through the prophecy to her.
Years ago, when I was helping with the ministry at a “Teen Challenge” camp for young adults, I was asked to pray for a young lady. As soon as I put my hand on her shoulder, I had a strong thought, “This person is afraid of the opposite sex.” Because I was relatively inexperienced in the prophetic, I was almost too afraid to say it to her, but I knew that I had to in obedience to the Lord. I made the statement to her and she collapsed, sobbing. I found out afterwards that she had a counseling session with one of the female counselors for that very issue in her life. My word to her was a powerful confirmation that the Lord was going to set her completely free from her fear and bring her into normal relationships with men.
Another notable time was when I was ministering in a house-group in Foxton (New Zealand). After giving a study from Psalm 20 , I put the “hot-seat” in the middle of the room and invited anyone who needed a word from God to sit in it. Every time I laid my hand on a person’s shoulder, the word came and I gave it. The others started getting quite noisy in their praise, because the words were accurate. They actually jumped out and cheered when I told one person, “Lord, give this man a financial miracle!” Because I was a stranger to this group, I had no way of knowing what their needs were; and I certainly did not know that the man I prayed for concerning a financial miracle was having serious financial trouble in his business. What impressed the group was that I was even more amazed at what happened than they were!
An Important Foundation:
To finish off with, we need to know the most important foundation for clearly hearing the voice of God and effectively moving in the prophetic: we need to have the absolute assurance of where we stand in Christ. The greatest hindrance to moving in the prophetic is our sin-consciousness. It stops us from having the openness to hear the voice of God, and it stunts our faith to be able to act on it. In our natural state we have our weaknesses, sins and shortcomings. They will always be there. But God has provided the answer so they do not hinder us from moving in the prophetic. When Jesus died on the cross He took our sins upon Himself, and set us completely free from the guilt and the power of them. He was made sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. This means that we are completely covered by the Righteousness of Christ. This enables the Father to look upon us as if He was looking upon Christ Himself. When the devil accuses us before God, Jesus is right there to be our advocate to tell the Father that we are clothed in His Righteousness and therefore out of range of any accusation that devil may make; even if Satan is absolutely correct with his accusation.
Because of His Righteousness, we can stand with Christ, before the Father without any guilt, shame, or sense of inferiority. We can come boldly into the Throne Room of the Father and fellowship with Him. When we know this in our hearts, and have the full assurance of that, then we can freely open ourselves to the voice of God, and boldly use our faith to give the prophetic word to those who request it from us.
Here is the Scripture that should set you completely free in the prophetic and give you the confidence and boldness to hear God’s voice and to do what He commands you:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. In Christ He chose us before the world was founded, to be dedicated, to be without blemish in His sight, to be full of love; and He destined us – such was His will and pleasure – to be accepted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in order that the glory of His gracious gift, so graciously bestowed on us in His Beloved, might redound to His praise.
“For in Christ our release is secured and our sins are forgiven through the shedding of His blood. Therein lies the richness of God’s free grace lavished upon us, imparting full wisdom and insight. He has made known to us His hidden purpose – such was His will and pleasure determined beforehand in Christ – to be put in effect when the time was ripe: namely, that in the universe, all in heaven and on earth, might be brought into a unity in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-10 ).
This is the hidden purpose: that we as believers, through the grace of God, are made able to fellowship with God as true sons and daughters without any guilt or inferiority ~ to have the same standing before the Father as Christ Himself has.
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-glorious Father, may give you the spiritual powers of wisdom and vision, by which there comes the knowledge of Him. I pray that your inward eyes be illumined, that you may know what is the hope to which He calls you, what the wealth and glory of the share He offers you among His people in their heritage, and how vast the resources of His power open to us who trust in Him”(Ephesians 1:17-19 ).
We can not only have this privilege with God, but we can also know it by having it revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. This means that there is absolutely nothing stopping us from hearing and putting into practice the Word of God that comes to us through His voice speaking to our spirits and our hearts.