There are lots of people saying that they have heard from God or they are hearing from God but then you ask yourself “what do they hear? Do they actually hear an audible voice speaking to them?” From what you can pick up on, most people who do actually hear from God don’t hear an audible voice but still they would say that God has spoken to them. You also hear about people that have had out of body experiences and either God or an angel has spoken to them or even a departed saint that has spoken and yet they hear no voice with their ears so perhaps one of the sure signs of God speaking to someone is that they don’t usually hear an audible voice, it seems that hearing an audible voice from either God or an angel or departed saint is rare.
Of course we all want to hear from people who have actually had ‘genuine’ experiences along these lines of hearing from God and we want them to tell us what it is like. There are of course a lot of people in the bible who have heard from God and all of this might sound wonderful to most of us but here lies another good sign to look for when you come across someone who says they are hearing from God and that sign that you should perhaps look for is that a lot of these people in the bible didn’t find hearing from God altogether easy, for instance, Jeremiah heard from God and we read that it says, “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4,5). Well, the first part of this hearing from God for Jeremiah you would say is extremely interesting because here we have the Lord saying to Jeremiah “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” so you find yourself thinking, God knew him before he was even in the belly so he must have been in some kind of existence before he was even born because here we have God saying that he knew him before he was formed in the belly which if you take this literally then you find yourself thinking that there must have been some kind of pre-existence before we all came here and you do wonder if you are perhaps like Jesus. Jesus clearly had a pre-existence before he came here because whenever it uses the word LORD in the bible then it’s always talking about Jesus, even if it says “Lord God” it’s always talking about Jesus and the word LORD appears in the bible thousands of times from the very beginning to the very end and we read in the book of John that “The Word” or in other words, “The Lord”, was made flesh and dwelt among us. So here we read of Jeremiah who in this same sense was made flesh but of course he had an earthly mother and father unlike Jesus who had a heavenly Father and an earthly mother, so yes, you’d have to say that it’s all very very interesting and incredibly fascinating stuff. And then we read that the Lord goes on to say how He has ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet unto the nations so you might find yourself thinking “Cor, incredible stuff!” So what’s Jeremiah’s answer going to be to God? We read that he says, “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:6) So you find yourself wondering what Jeremiah’s tone was here, he sounds a bit like Moses when God spoke to him. Moses also said to God that he couldn’t speak and we read of Moses that it says, “And Moses said unto the Lord, Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither here to fore (not a leader), nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” (Exodus 4:10).
Clearly Moses was trying to get out of all of this, hearing from God was no doubt very fascinating to him, he sees a burning bush and out of that bush a voice speaks to him and tells him to speak to Pharaoh, Moses of course knew what it was like in Egypt because he’d grown up in Pharaoh’s palace so Pharaoh wasn’t going to listen to Moses was he now, or so Moses thought, and so Moses was trying to wiggle out of all this with his “I cannot speak” line of talk. We later on in the conversation that Moses was having with God read of how the anger of the Lord started to come into the equation, God had to put his foot down with Moses and insisted that he go to Pharaoh and tell him to “Let My people go!” but there was also some relief here because God said that Aaron, Moses brother, would go with Moses to speak on his behalf so quite a mixed bag you would have to say, hearing from God, somewhat fascinating and perhaps even scary because your life might be on the line so one sure sign of working out whether someone is a false prophet or not is the fruits – how easy are they finding all of this? Jeremiah certainly didn’t find it all easy, he found himself alone pretty much most of the time, there was no big audience because nobody believed him, they believed him once it was all over because they were now wiser after the event and they could now see that he’d been telling the truth that he was indeed a prophet of the Lord. We read of Jeremiah that he at times didn’t want to speak for God when he said, “Then I said, I will not mention him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9).
So hearing from God is also very often something that “chooses you” rather than you “choosing it,” these are all very very good signs to look for when you come across all of these so-called prophets and you really do have to thank God for people like Moses and Jeremiah and just about everyone in the bible, none of them found it easy but there are of course many fascinating stories too of how all of these different angels appeared to them and all of these wonderful visions they had but in all honesty you would have to say that they usually came out of great suffering. St John for instance found himself being persecuted in Rome, they tried to boil him in oil you hear and you hear that he wouldn’t quite boil the way that they wanted him to so they threw him on the lonely Island of Patmos so there he was rejected and alone and apparently he could do no harm anymore to the world at large and so what do we read that came out of his great suffering there on the lonely Island of Patmos? We read that he was in the Spirit, this means that he was in the Spirit of Jesus, and he hears a voice behind him and in his own words he says that he “…was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book.” (Rev. 1:10,11). And what was that book? It’s the book of Revelation and to this day, literally millions and millions if not billions of people have heard of the book of Revelation and all of this, it has to be emphasised came out of GREAT SUFFERING! And all of the deliverances that came out of the words of all the saints that have gone down through the ages and all the wonderful spiritual experiences that they brought to millions ALL came from the Living Word of God, the same Living Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself Who both lives and speaks to this very day and will go on speaking even unto the end of the world and in Jesus’ own words He says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!” He in this same sense is your fellow sufferer and can speak to you and encourage you every day. Thank You Jesus!