How to Effectively Hear God’s Voice in Another

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4 NASB 

Have you ever heard someone tell you that they have “A word from the Lord”?

In the past you may have been the recipient or a giver of such a word inspired by the Holy Spirit that was meant to admonish or exhort another. Today I want to encourage you by sharing what I have learned (through His grace) about effectively presenting such words in order to bring God the utmost glory. May you be further equipped to present yourself as an ambassador for Christ when sharing a message with others.

First, I’d like to review a few important prerequisites that you and I should observe in an individual providing a word from the Lord:

1. The messenger should be a God-fearing Christian. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s extremely wise to ensure that the person providing a word from the Lord is a believer and not a follower of mysticism, new ageism, or any other deceptive form of religion.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28 ESV

2. The messenger should read, know, and believe in the Bible. The word that they are speaking should align with the Word of God. Be wary of a message from anyone who spends more time reading books by Christian authors than the Bible that God Himself has authored.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV

3. The messenger should live a life worthy of the admonishment given. When we obey God’s commands, there is no room for sin to dominate any area of our lives because Jesus occupies every space. If a person is knee deep in a particular sin and tries to provide exhortation to another in the same area of sin, it can result in confusion about the righteousness and justness of God and apathy towards that sin. For example, I would recommend being wary of any individual that gives you a word about seeking a life of sexual purity who is openly involved in sexual immorality (meaning they refuse to obey by that same admonishment). No one but this person who gives the word is glorified.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Next, assuming that all of the above characteristics can be seen in the messenger, here is how the message can be communicated to best glorify the Lord.

1. The messenger must come from a stance of humility. They understand the word is from God and therefore make no attempt to add or remove anything from it, no matter what the associated cost may be in giving the admonishment. The messenger must keep in mind that they are merely a vessel being used by the Almighty, not because they deserve it, nor because they are His favorite (He has no favorites). Only in His great wisdom has He decided to use them, and they have obeyed (which is still by His grace).

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8 NLT

2. The messenger must communicate the message in gentleness and in truth. Not only should the word align with Scripture, but it should be gently spoken. Beware of speaking harshly or using coercion to persuade someone to hear what you have to say. Also, beware of using force or manipulation to get the person’s attention. The messenger’s role is not to control the actions of the receiver; that is the pure right and duty of the Holy Spirit. Use extreme caution when speaking on behalf of the Lord. As His ambassador, it is a great privilege, honor, and duty to represent Him well.

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 ESV

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 ESV

Join me tomorrow as we discuss two more real-life examples to demonstrate how to practically apply today’s teaching. You will not want to miss this. May your hearts be encouraged, and may God’s will be done in each of your lives. To God be the glory!

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