Posted: 10/21/2013 at 7:11pm
Our Geiger Counter of Guidance: Hearing the Voice of God
James W. Goll
Thank you for all of your prayers for my family and me in this season of adjustment. One thing I have always tried to do is remember the ABC's, especially when change is happening all around me. That is why I want to share an excerpt from The Beginner's Guide to Hearing God, titled "Geiger Counter of Guidance."
In these times we need to be moving according to the leadings of the Spirit and not moved by the media, world events, people's opinions or the latest news report. We need to, like John the Beloved, lean our head upon the chest of our Messiah, listening for the very heartbeat of God and cultivating a friendship with Jesus.
True guidance is not just a one-time thing or a one-time event - it is finding the Guide Himself. Remember, Jesus did nothing of Himself. He only did those things which He saw the Father doing. This is our model and example. Let us "look to see" what our Father is initiating. Then we need to DO IT!
These are times when we truly need divine guidance and wisdom. For some solid foundations in this area of discerning the voice of God, I encourage you to read The Beginner's Guide to Hearing God. It is an excellent source to start learning how to hear the voice of God.
May you grow in your knowledge of the love of Jesus this week as you listen to His heart!
In Christ Jesus!
James W. Goll
Our Geiger Counter of Guidance
"Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
"Although the Lord has given you the bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher, will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left." Isaiah 30:18-21
Perhaps you have come a long way in your journey of learning to hear God's voice. But as for my life, I always have to review the A, B, C's! Reflect back with me for a moment...from the starting block of realizing our need to hear God, we became familiar with our personal tutor, the Holy Spirit, given to guide us into all truth.
Yes, there are many courses to take in the lost art of hearing God. We must have a working knowledge of the Word of God. We must have the spirit of revelation, according to Ephesians 1:17-19. But now I want to give you some important guidance lessons for wisdom for the journey. We have been given a "Geiger Counter of Guidance."
Hear the Clicking?
Do you remember playing games as a child? One child would be blindfolded and the others kind of steering them around. Some object in the room would be selected and the one blindfolded would have to try to find it. Shouts of, "HOT!", "No, COLD!" proceeded from the children participating in the room. Hot, of course, meant you were getting closer to the desired object. Cold meant you were going in the wrong direction. It was fun, remember?
There is an interesting instrument called a Geiger counter. Its use is actually similar to the game I just described. A German physicist invented the Geiger counter in 1945. It is an instrument used for detecting the presence and intensity of radiation (as cosmic rays or particles from a radioactive substance) by means of the ionizing effect on an enclosed gas, which results in a pulse that is amplified and fed to a device giving visible or audible indications. The thing I remember is the distinct clicking sound it makes.
The closer you get to the substance and the greater intensity of its matter, the louder and faster the clicking noise becomes. I have often thought that is a lot like hearing God's voice once you put all the pieces together. There is an inner witness that you learn to pay attention to. You check in with the Holy Spirit; you listen to your "knower"; and you bear witness or you don't. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit there is a divine guidance system that comes with the package.
Are you getting warmer - closer to the desired subject?
Or are you getting colder - further away from the will of God?
Do you hear the clicking...?
Ten Principles of Divine Guidance to Help you Find God, Not Just His Will
Number One: The Will of God is Made Known in the Word of God.
Now let's start by getting real basic. One day you read in Exodus 20:14, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." That registers in your spirit and remains. Not long after, you are walking in the mall and you hear some inner nudge say something like, "Look at that person. They really want you!"
But because the Scripture is hidden in your heart, it is easy to reject that thought. You don't even have to evaluate whether that voice was God, you know it isn't. You know because you have read the Word and have hidden it in your heart. So our first guidance principle is always the will of God is made known in the Word of God. God's Word is the final judge in all guidance.
Number Two: The Will of God is Confirmed through Circumstances.
Years ago in my senior year of college, I was quite zealous for the Lord. I probably needed a little bit more tethering in those days, but I was so on fire for God and I didn't care anymore about the pursuit of credentials in this life. I was ready to quit college at the end of my first trimester of my senior year, needing only 20 more hours to complete my degree.
I was ready to quit university, but I diligently sought the Lord's direction. "Oh God, I just want to forget this stuff and get on with my real calling." I don't know for sure how I said it, but it was something like that with an addendum: "But if You want me to finish out this year, I bid You to do something. Show me Your will!"
Then a surprising thing happened. I was ready to quit in November with only six months to go till graduation. Somehow I received another scholarship and was given a Religious Leadership Scholarship at a secular university to help me financially complete the rest of my year. So I decided, "That's a pretty good circumstantial sign. I'd better go ahead and complete what I have finished!"
I realize there are some exceptions to this one, but God does guide us circumstantially as well. I'm glad I completed that degree.
Number Three: The Holy Spirit Speaks from Where He Dwells.
Where does God dwell? God not only dwells in Heaven, but if you are a child of God, and if you've been filled with the Holy Spirit, He lives within you. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, "We are the Temple of the Living God." He speaks to us from where He dwells. Where does God dwell? Colossians 1:27 tells us plainly, "Christ in us is the hope of glory" (Scriptures paraphrased).
Have you listened to your heart lately? What is beating in your heart? The Holy Spirit is Heaven's Representative in all-true guidance. John 16:13 states, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."
Number Four: Divine Guidance Comes from Meeting God's Conditions.
Isaiah 58 is an incredible passage of Scripture where God's chosen fast is brilliantly described in detail. It speaks about honoring God and the observance of the Sabbath. Removing the pointing of the finger and feeding the poor are also addressed. Several key conditions and the attitudes required are listed.
Then God's corresponding promise is listed in Isaiah 58:11, "And the LORD will continually guide you." But the conditions are listed first.
The passage quoted at the beginning of this chapter (Isaiah 30) gives us marvelous promises: The Lord will be gracious to you; He will be your Teacher; You will hear a word behind you. On and on it goes... But conditions are laid out that must be met as well. "When He hears the sound of your cry..."
What are the conditions that must be met for your promise to be unlocked? Has He heard you really cry out to Him? Meet the conditions and His eye will surely guide you.
Number Five: True Guidance is Accompanied by the Peace of God.
There is peace in the midst of a storm. Peace does not mean there is no storm. Peace does not mean there's no warfare either. There is a center of quiet that is in the midst of the turbulence of life. True guidance from God does not push you; it brings peace and satisfaction.
James 3:17 remarks, "...the wisdom (which comes down) from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." I love the order. Pure, peaceable, gentle... Isn't that everything you would want hearing God to be all about? Don't you want to bear good fruit?
Number Six: Much Guidance from God Comes Unaware.
Much of our guidance comes undetected. We're often unaware that we are being guided. Why? Because of His marvelous ways! Also because we've asked Him to continually guide us! We want to do His will.
Psalm 25:9 wisely depicts, "He leads the humble in justice, and teaches the humble His way." I love the ways of God. Again, a condition is spoken which unlocks the provision. Humility is the doorway whereby we learn not just the will of God, but the ways of God.
Thank You, Lord, for Your gentle nudges, whispers in the night and even what seems like pushes and shoves at times. Even Your electric cattle prodding's are wonderful. Thanks for guiding us even when we did not acknowledge it was You.
Number Seven: Divine Guidance Does Not Mean We Know All the Details.
Oh-oh, that isn't what you wanted to hear. Now the Lord wants us, in a sense, to have a rooftop view. But along the way it's often only the knotholes that we get to look through. There are those special times perhaps, in revelatory giftings and experiences that we see A, B, C and even see a portion of the end of the matter of X, Y and Z. These experiences are for a great, awesome purpose. They're to ruin your life, so that you will never, ever be able to be a successful, boring Christian again. You will know you have a destiny in God and you will pursue the God of destiny no matter what!
But most of the time, you will only see what is in front of you. A word of wisdom - enjoy life. Life is more than just another meeting or hot word. Life is precious. Live it to the fullest and for His ultimate glory!
Number Eight: The Process of Guidance is Not Always Pleasant.
Isaiah 55:8-9 declares, "...My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"
There is Good News though. The New Testament teaches us that we can have the "mind of Christ." But still, guidance isn't always pleasant. He calls us to authentic apostolic lifestyles where bearing our cross is not a pain but a delight.
God has made a decision in His walk with you, that you will never remain in a static position. And when you start freezing up, God just says, "Change!" That's when guidance doesn't appear to be very pleasant, because there are breakings that occur.
Then it's time to choose His way over our way. It might seem painful for the moment, but the end result will be His life expressed through us in exchange for our own efforts. Choose Life. Choose His ways!
Number Nine: Hearing God Speak Should Prompt You to Action.
Daniel 11:32b promises, "but the people who know their God will display strength and take action." I want to be a person of faith and who does exploits in the name of the Lord. Don't you?
If there's been a failure or a fumbling, cry out for the great mercy of God. I've been learning our God is the God of the fiftieth chance. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Wash yourself in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and learn from the past. But forgetting what lies behind, press forward into the upward call of Christ Jesus. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the words of Christ. Let's show that we are a genuine community of faith and get to movin' for Jesus' sake!
Number Ten: Guidance is a Skill to Be Learned Over a Lifetime.
It's not a one-time experience where you heard God speak once and then you rehearse the same old testimony all the rest of your life! It is a skill to be learned over a lifetime and passed on to others.
One time I was sitting at my office desk getting ready for an appointment when the Holy Spirit whispered to me, "You are now hearing Me through a gift." Interesting. So I listened some more since a gift was being activated! The still small voice continued, "But when it comes to you and Me, I speak to you through a relationship."
Be like John the Beloved and lean your head upon the chest of your Messiah and Master. Listen for the very heartbeat of God. Cultivate a friendship with Jesus. True guidance is not just a one-time thing or a one-night stand, it is finding the Guide Himself.
Here is my parting word of wisdom: Hearing the voice of God is a lifetime relationship that can never be taken away.
Blessings and Grace,
James W. Goll