How then shall we know, recognise, (OIDA) the voice of the Lord?
Here are a few helpful pointers. There will be other ways as well.
- On reading the Bible, suddenly a verse seems to be “hightlighted” from the text. And it answers a question, or helps with a problem.
- The same can happen with a verse from a hymn, a line from an expository writing, or other written sources. But we need to be ready for this to happen and recognise it when it does.
- Spoken words from a friend or counsellor that suddenly illuminate the problem area.
- A flash of insight that catches our attention, like a sudden “download” of information into our brain.
- A dream. One needs discernment to know that it was from the Lord.
- A voice that seems to come from the back of our head, and is the voice of the Lord. This last item requires patient waiting upon God for us to be able to hear. Brother Lawrence waited in solitude until he could hear and recognise this Voice, but having learned, he could then hear it even amongst the clatter of pans in the kitchen.
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21.
“Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” Deut.8:3, quoted by the Lord in Matthew 4:4.
The Lord said that His sheep hear His voice. This is not an option for a few specially selected members, but the gracious provision for all the flock. We all need to practise the awareness of the Lord’s presence in our lives.
“Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection” (c. 1614 – 12 February 1691) served as a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in Paris. His book, Practice of the Presence of God is available from Amazon as a 2010 Reprint of the 1896 Edition.