Words of Hope: What Voices Do We Listen To?
One of my daughters enjoys true crime podcasts. She told me of a real estate agent who sensed something was wrong with a couple that wanted to see her listing. The agent told friends and family about how uneasy she felt but kept passing off the intuition as silly. She thought she should have someone go with her to the showing but decided against it. I asked my daughter what caused her not to trust the clear warning messages that she received. It is an age-old question. Why did Julius Caesar resist the premonitions of his wife, begging and pleading with him not to go to the forum? Throughout scripture, people are listening intently for messages from God. How do we discern the voices that are speaking?
The problem also lies in the trouble that not all voices speaking to us are good. In Shakespeare’s MacBeth, he listens to the voices of the witches whose first prediction comes true and sets his mind on edge to know and influence the future. Some of the evilest acts committed have been blamed on listening to demonic voices.
How do we discern the voices speaking to us? It is an important question. If you were to talk with the Pharisees, they would be adamantly convinced their way was holy, righteous, and in alignment with God.
I liked discussing this topic with Dad. My dad advised that to hear what God is speaking is to take the urging or request to the furthest outcome. Is this voice offering the most loving choice and by what means must I take to reach this end? For the Pharisees, they believed the most loving choice was the elimination of Jesus because He was upsetting the system. Their means for carrying out their plans was His death and execution.
I consider how to discern what voices are speaking in my life. Does this voice lead me to greater peace, wisdom, love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-discipline? Does this voice lead me to greater intensity, anger, bitterness, revenge, fear, suspicion, and panic? How do the beloved others in my life discern the way forward? What is their track record for wise counsel? What action steps are needed and what are the possible consequences of following these action steps or conversely, not following them?
I believe God is speaking, and He has messages for me. Slow down, buckle up, stop talking, write that note, you are loved, walk in grace, judge not, stop and consider the birds and the flowers. As I grow more familiar with God’s voice, I learn to hear more clearly what He is saying.
Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. – Jeremiah 33:3