Does God talk to you? What does His voice sound like?
I was talking to someone yesterday who said today anyone who says they hear God talking to them will be locked up as insane. I thought that interesting since I had just shared a message using the words, “God told me …” I was a little afraid he might have handcuffs in his back pocket.
If what the man said is true, then I may just have to be locked up. Because once I started doing what I know God told me to do over 30 years ago, I’m hearing from Him a lot more. I hope I never stop.
Let me be clear. I have never heard God speak audibly. It’s a knowing in my spirit. It’s a sensing, a resonance. And yet, I do know what His voice feels like and sounds like in my spirit
My rational voice
I know the difference between what my rational voice sounds like in my mind. It’s a little like a teacher voice, trying to reason out everything. Many times the rationalizations are built on lies, plain and simple.
The enemy’s slick voice
I know the voice of the enemy. He talks to me in a variety of ways, but it’s the feel of his voice, slick, like a commercial. He usually plays on my self-centered, selfish and always physical desires. The more I say no, the more subtle he gets.
God’s sweet voice
Thankfully, I also know the soft, sweet, gentle voice of my savior. I can only remember once that the feel of His voice was stern. That’s when He was correctly me about something I was writing.
It actually changed the direction of my memoir and directed the title, Sweet Grace. I was writing a chapter about how overeating is a sin and God hates sin. I had written it the night before and the next morning, before beginning to write, I laid on the floor in surrender to Him, a habit I had adopted.
I was planning a long prayer time. Instead it seemed the minute I hit the floor, I felt I received a message spoken sternly to my spirit.
God’s in the grace business
It went something like this: “What you just wrote is wrong. I don’t care about what is sin and what sin isn’t. I care about people.
“So what if compulsive overeating, drugs, pornography and a million other things are sin. That’s why I died. That’s why I invented grace. Remember grace? It’s not just a girl’s name.
“It’s what I do. I’m in the grace business.”
Most of this is my book, Sweet Grace, but for some reason I wanted to share it with you today. When I was seven and stole candy from the grocery store which led me to realize I was a sinner and needed Jesus, He gave me grace for all my sins, past, present and future.
I never really contemplated it much until I started writing my memoir. Why would God do that when He knew how I would mess up with this same substance over and over again in my life? He did it because none of us can live perfectly on our own.
He needs a people to usher in His kingdom here on earth. He has a work force of grace-filled messy people who don’t do everything perfectly.
He doesn’t expect perfection, but He does expect repentance. He doesn’t want us to live in guilt and shame. We make mistakes, repent, turn around and go the other way, away from our failures.
When we do that, He brings all the resources of heaven to bear on our behalf.
Grace for our weakness
As God told Paul, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”1 Paul says that it is “a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness … I just let Christ take over and so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”2
Grace is this amazingly perfect God-ordained invention that makes the whole kingdom work right. It adds power, strength and movement to our lives when we are in tune with God’s plans.
Back to the original question, what does God’s voice sound like. It is always in perfect harmony with His Word. His voice explains He is and how He works in the world.
That’s why His voice will first and foremost always sound like grace, sweet, sweet grace.
1 2 Cor 12:9
2 2 Cor. 12:10
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.