Saturday, 5 October 2013

Do You Hear Voices?

There is an amusing little quip that goes something like, “I hear voices, and they don’t like you.” While personally I find that funny, I realize that not everyone does. Many people often associate the thought of “hearing voices” with some sort of schizophrenic condition, and while I recognize that, I mean no disrespect to those who do suffer with such an illness. I cannot begin to imagine the mental struggles such people go through. May God grant them healing and peace.

However, as a Christian I am cognizant of another inner voice, and that is the voice of God. The Apostle Paul speaks of the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2Corinthians 6:16), and if we think of the human body as such, is it also not logical to think of the temple as a place that includes voices; not the voices of demons, but specifically the voice of God lovingly in fellowship with each of us individually? I think it is.

Consider something that Jesus once said,
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take what is mine and make it known to you.” (John 16:13-15; NIV)
If you are a true Christian, you will hear voices; you’ll hear the voices of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just as the mystery of the Trinity speaks of God as being three in one, perhaps we could also speak of the voices of God being plural and yet also mysteriously singular.

In the preceding verses from John’s Gospel, Jesus said that the Spirit will be telling us nuggets of truth from God; He will be speaking and making the things of God known to us. In other words, there will be voices involved, for speaking logically must include a voice (or voices).

Someone once said, “I have been saved, I am being saved, and I shall be saved.” Though I do not pretend to full understand that, I do believe that sanctification (growing as a Christian) is an ongoing process that includes God speaking to me in a variety of ways, including from inside this old worn-out body of mine that He chooses to use as His temple.

Consider a few thoughts from Henri Nouwen:
Do you really want to be converted? Are you willing to be transformed? Or do you keep clutching your old ways of life with one hand while with the other you beg people to help you change?  
Conversion is certainly not something you can bring about yourself. It is not a question of will-power. You have to trust the inner voice that shows the way. You know that inner voice. You turn to it often. But after you have heard with clarity what you are asked to do, you start raising questions, fabricating objections, and seeking everyone else’s opinion. Thus you become entangled in countless often contradictory thoughts, feelings, and ideas and lose touch with the God in you. And you end up dependent on all the people you have gathered around you.  
Only by attending constantly to the inner voice can you be converted to a new life of freedom and joy.
A non-Christian friend of mine often has told me to “trust my gut feeling.” Perhaps he was saying the same thing as Henri Nouwen. Perhaps, though he doesn’t understand the concept of the Christian’s body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, he was also telling me to trust that inner voice.

Do you hear voices? Maybe it’s none other that God speaking to you. You say that you still not hear the voice of God? Maybe it’s because there is too much clutter in your life. Try unplugging from TV, radio, iTunes and Internet and other junk for a while. I know He’s there, and He probably has something that He wants to say to you.
So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts … “ (Hebrews 3:7)
Henri Nouwen quote taken from: The Inner Voice of Love
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  1. Thanks Will, I can very much relate to this and in agreement. I do not hear audible voice, I would say it's more like a silent voice of thought. Peace!

    1. Blessings, Chris. Thanks for the comment :)