The Voices You Need To Know
Voices are sounds that all of us use to differentiate one person from another. Your voice is part of your persona. When you familiarize yourself with a person, you familiarize with that person’s voice; assuming the person is not dumb, or you not deaf. Once you familiarize with person’s voice, you can immediately identify the person just by that sound.
In Christian lifestyle, there are voices that you should endeavor to be familiar with. These voices are subtle, and are usually hushed by the noise of several voices around us. The Bible acknowledges this truth:
“There are, it may be, many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.” (1 Corinthians 4:10)
There are three cardinal voices every believer should endeavor to be acquainted with, out of so many.
1. The Inner Voice of The Holy Spirit
The voice of the Holy Spirit is the most important voice that every Christian ought to be acquainted with. The Holy Spirit, who resides in us, leads us in various ways. The Bible says:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
As a child of God, you are meant to be led by the Spirit of God. He is your Helper (John 14:16). All He wants to do, is to guide you in every aspect of your life. Many Christians have been delivered from several mishaps by this kind of voice. He can help you make effective and successful business and personal decisions.
Many in Bible were acquainted with this voice of the Holy Spirit. Habakkuk knew the sound of His voice (Habakkuk 2:2). Elijah described His voice as a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12). His Voice is commonly known in our Christian circles as an inner voice. This voice is inaudible, and the most frequent way by which He speaks.
How Can You Hear This Voice?
Pay attention to your thoughts. One of the main ways to hear His voice is through thoughts that pop up in your mind. He is a spirit and hence connects with your spirit when He speaks. This spirit language is relayed to your mind as spontaneous thoughts. For example, haven’t you been performing an activity and a thought drops into your mind to pray for a certain person? You felt it was God telling you to pray. How did His voice sound like? What about the inspirational ideas that drop into your mind when reading His Word? Do you remember that thought that came to you to use a particular route, and amazing things happened? Or the thoughts that came to your mind by accident as a business idea? That was the voice of the Holy Spirit. His inaudible voice comes as a flow of spontaneous thoughts. Pay more attention to them.
2. The Voice of Your Spirit
This voice of your spirit is normally comes in various ways. One of the most common is your conscience. Your conscience serves as the guiding seat. It guides you especially in decision making of what is right or wrong, and lingers emitting warning signals in various subtle levels when you commit a wrong deed. Paul makes mention of the conscience in His epistle:
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 9:1)
However, your conscience can made almost ineffective when you constantly go against its warnings. The Bible calls it a “seared” or damaged conscience.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with hot iron..” (1Timothy 4:1-2)
On the upside, as a Christian, your conscience works best with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The Spirit of God takes the Word of God in you and transforms it into an operation manual for your conscience. Studying and meditating on the Word of God is the best way to embolden your conscience, which will in turn help guide you effectively.
Another way your spirit speaks is the voice of perception. This is what many normally call intuition or gut-feeling. It is usually considered more prevalent in women than men. All the same, it is within everyone since mankind is a basically a spirit living a body with a soul. We have all experienced it one way or the other, especially when it warns us of dangerous people or dangers to come either upon us or those we care about. Heeding to that voice has saved us countless times. Paul “perceived” an impending peril on his escorted journey to Rome.
“Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives." (Acts 27: 9-10)
He had the gut-feeling about the impending peril and warned them about it. However, his warning fell to deaf ears and the disaster came to pass. Luckily, because of Paul, God spared the lives of the crew when they listened to his instructions. The cargo wasn’t spared – the result for not heeding to this particular voice. This video below narrates the entire story.
Book of Acts: Chapter 27
3. The Audible Voice
You may have come across many Christians who can hear God’s voice audibly or read about them in the Bible or various Christian books. It is an impressive ability and many seek to hear this kind of voice everyday of their lives. God however, rarely speaks through that medium. He uses the inner voice most of the time. Nevertheless, when He does speak in that manner, He normally borrows the voice of an authority figure in your life. Pay attention to that, instead of expecting an earth shattering loud voice. That may happen, but it’s even rarer than the rarest. Why did I say that? Is that even biblical? Yes, yes it is. It happened in the life of Samuel, when he heard God’s voice audibly for the first time.
“…that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, ‘Here I am!’ So he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ And he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ And he went and lay down. Then the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ He answered, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’” (1 Samuel 3:4-6)
In Samuel’s life, Eli was an authority figure; that was why God ‘borrowed’ Eli’s voice. Samuel immediately recognized the voice as Eli’s and run to answer him. It may be that you heard a voice that sounded like that of your parents, boss, pastor, teacher or sibling, but looked around and found none of them anywhere close to you. It may be the audible voice, you’ve been praying for. Like Samuel, once you begin to discern that God speaks that way, you can answer like Him; and with time and consistency, get used to this rare kind of voice. God usually uses this kind too when speaking to you in dreams. He assumes the figure of an authority figure or mentor. You can watch the story of Samuel’s encounter here.
Book of Samuel: Chapter Three
4. The Voice of An Angel
Angels are messengers from God to help you out in many situations or simply deliver a message. Angels are part of our daily lives even though they rarely reveal themselves. Have you ever felt an invisible hand push you, usually to save you from danger? Yup. That’s an angel. They always work behind the scenes.
Hearing their voice is also rare, but important if you happen to do so. There are times where you would hear your own voice speaking to you, but this voice doesn’t feel or sound like the inner voice you normally hear. The voice of the Holy Spirit is gentle; however, this voice sounds a bit stronger or more authoritative. That is the voice of an angel. This voice sometimes comes to you to encourage or comfort you. Angels usually do that. It happened with Jesus:
“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:43
The early disciples were familiar with angels and their voices, this was evidenced in the Book of Acts:
“Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and told that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, ‘You are mad.’ But she insisted that it was so. They said, ‘It is his angel!’" Acts 12:14-15.
Judging from the many times they had encountered angels, the early disciples knew them. They also knew that the angel that was always with Peter assumed his appearance and voice. There have been strange stories where angels have assumed the appearance of people (when they are not around) and performed deeds by this. The Bible also speaks of encountering angels in the form of people.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2.
It is essential you know the four voices so that you are not led astray by the strange ones. The voice of the devil or demons are strange voices. They usually come as spontaneous thoughts too, enticing you to do wrong. Thoughts to steal, thoughts of lust etc. that suddenly drop into your mind from nowhere. It is best to immediately discard those thoughts when they come, paying more attention to them will make them very familiar to you.
Spend more time in prayer, occasional fasting, and studying God’s word in order to help you become more sensitive to these voices. The last thing I will leave you with is this. Endeavor to obey these voices immediately you sense them, they will not only guide and protect you; you will become more and more familiar with them.