I thought I’d share a story about hearing God’s this week. I hope this encourages you if you have ever felt that you had trouble hearing God’s voice.
“I Can’t Hear God’s Voice”
As a teenager, I felt really frustrated about hearing God’s voice. I read plenty of books about prayer and about hearing God, but I often felt so confused about whether thoughts I had came from God or from my own mind.
This was really troubling me one Sunday. I was about fifteen years old. The pastor shared a message about the Israelites stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. There was no escape from a natural perspective. But God and Moses divided the Red Sea and made a way of deliverance.
The pastor gave an “altar call” for people who felt like there was no natural solution for their problem. Long lines of people came up, waiting for prayer. It was customary for people to receive prayer ministry after the Sunday morning message, but I had rarely seen so many people line up to receive prayer.
I sat in the pew, moping and feeling like I couldn’t hear God’s voice. The devil accused me of being a spiritual failure. I almost went up to receive prayer as well, and then sat in the pew feeling condemned because I felt like I should have asked for prayer, but I didn’t go up.
Yeah, the devil used to really play games with my mind. Thank God for delivering me!
“Go Stand There And Cry With Him”
As I was sitting in the pew and feeling miserable, I looked over at the people standing on the side and waiting for prayer. I saw a friend standing there and crying.
He was an older friend, whom many of the kids in our youth group looked up to. It wasn’t common to see him crying like that. I wondered what was going on.
Then, suddenly, I heard “Go stand there and cry with him.”
It was not an audible voice, but it was as clear as if it were. Now I often act on slight impressions that I feel the Lord is giving me. Sometimes the best way to find out if it’s God speaking is to step out. But at that time, I would not have moved if I had not been absolutely sure that God spoke to me. And I was sure.
I went to my friend, put my arm around his shoulder, and started crying with him. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew God spoke to me.
“He’s Gonna Marry Her”
When the prayer counselor asked my friend what was going on, he said “I really like a girl, and I really, really don’t want to get involved with anything that’s not God’s will. I’m going to tell her how I feel today.” He had gotten into a relationship before that wasn’t the best, and he didn’t want to make any bad choices.
I immediately heard, as clearly as if it were an audible voice, “He’s gonna marry her.”
I was in shock. I, who felt like I couldn’t hear God’s voice, had just heard Him as clearly as if it were an audible voice. It wasn’t as audible, but it just as well could have been. I couldn’t explain it. But should I tell him this? It seemed like it usually wasn’t a good idea to share these kinds of prophetic words. God hadn’t told me to tell him anything, only that he would marry her. I kept silent.
After the prayer minister prayed for my friend, he said “Well, I guess you’re going to have to talk to her and see what God does–unless God just told Jon here that you’re going to marry her.”
I couldn’t believe he said that! God had just told me he would marry her. But I still didn’t say anything.
The feelings were mutual. He did marry her. They’ve been married for quite a while now, and I thank God for how He is working through their lives and marriage to minister to others.
I told my friend about what happened after he had already married her. He said “It’s really encouraging to hear that know, but it’s probably good that you stayed silent and didn’t tell me at the moment.”
God pulled me out of introspection that Sunday, showed me that I really could hear His voice, and got my focus on what he was doing in other people’s lives. I spent the next half-hour or so laughing and laughing, overwhelmed by God’s goodness. I laughed because when I saw what the Holy Spirit was doing in people’s lives, all of the works of the devil looked so small and unimpressive.