Reminders: The Voice of God
by Ardith Hoff
A friend told me that his new girl friend told him that she often talks to God. His sarcastic question was, “And does He answer?” When she said, “Yes!” He was shocked, and continued to probe. “Is he a bass or a baritone?” he asked. She told him that she didn’t have to hear His voice to know when God was “speaking” to her. She said that sometimes He sounds like her mother reminding her to think before she speaks, or to be careful whom she listens to, and sometimes He sounds like her dad telling her to, “STOP DOING THAT!” when she catches herself doing something she shouldn’t be doing. Other times she said she heard her father’s softer voice telling her how important it is to care for others. She said she heard the voice of her pastor reassuring her that, with God’s help, everything will be okay. The boyfriend was not impressed. He said he told her she was crazy.
We all have the ability to recognize God’s voice. While we might not literally “hear” if God is a tenor, baritone, or bass, everyone who has invited God into their lives knows when He is speaking to us. We get a feeling, or like the, “girlfriend” we get the memory of a voice of caution, reason or encouragement.
Some people believe that they have gotten a specific call to service as a pastor or a missionary. Some actually feel the hairs on their neck stand up or a chill or flood of warmth washing over them. Some have a vivid dream in which they understand that God is letting them know what He wants them to do. For some, an inventory of their gifts and talents makes it clear what they are meant to do, but for others, the “call” is less obvious. For them, it is worth prayerful discernment––meaning to be open, asking God to make His call clear, and to trust that He will equip them for the role He has planed for them.
“If any man serves me, let him follow me, that where I am, there shall also my servant be. If any man serves me, him will my Father honor.” John 12:26