Discerning Jesus' Voice
God is larger than any logical or physical limits we might put on him. He speaks in ways that might seem incomprehensible, as well as ways which seem like everyday methods that we might dismiss in the blink of an eye. When we consider how to recognise the voice of Jesus, perhaps we should ask:
What does the voice of God look like?
What does the voice of God feel like?
What does the voice of God smell like?
What does the voice of God taste like?
What does the voice of God sound like?
Does it seem strange to consider the voice of God as smelling like something? Because the spirit of God and his voice are synonymous, we can replace the word ‘voice’ with ‘spirit’, which changes these questions:
What does the spirit of God look like?
What does the spirit of God feel like?
What does the spirit of God smell like?
What does the spirit of God taste like?
God is spirit and the Holy Spirit will speak to each of our spirits in various ways. Hearing the voice of Jesus is a spiritual matter and should not be thought of in logical or physical terms like natural hearing.
For example some people feel his presence, either through an inner sense, a feeling of warmth and comfort, or through physical sensations in their body. Other people hear God’s voice through the scriptures, which resonate with the person as they read the bible. Other people will have a sense that they know something, deep inside their being as if the knowledge popped into their consciousness (which is conviction in their spirit). Some people will see visions, either in their imagination or through a spiritual experience.
All the methods of hearing God’s voice have one thing in common: we need to grow in maturity to learn how to interpret his voice by inquiring further of the spirit of Jesus Christ.
Small Still Voice Of God
People who move in the revelatory gifts (prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge etc) often hear God through what is described as a small, still small voice inside their spirit or heart.
The inner voice of God is likened to a small still voice, which can be mistaken for our own thoughts. Somehow we can know what it is God is saying, as if the voice were our own thoughts. People who practice the prophetic gift have attuned the sensitivity of their spirit to recognise and discern Jesus’ still, small voice.
Why do we call the voice of God small and still? The saying comes from when Elijah met God. God’s voice is not boastful, prideful or self seeking. His voice (spirit) is gentle, loving and kind. His voice woos us closer into him and leaves us desiring more of him. His voice is the most compassionate of all, it is the one voice that has the power to go into our depths and find the places we need love most and speak words that will empower us, heal us and bring us back to strength of spirit. His voice is able to speak life so that even those who have died, will rise to life and live!
The spirit of Jesus, or his voice, is the spirit of prophecy. So when we hear from Holy Spirit, it is similar to how people who are prophetically gifted, hear God. God teaches us, guides us and leads us into truth.
Sometimes people hear an audible voice of God, just as Samuel did when he was first called to be a prophet over Israel. As we develop our spiritual senses, we may be able to recognise the presence of Jesus through all senses. A familiar scent, a familiar sound, patterns of light that appear out of nowhere (different to reflections of physical light).
For example, sometimes I will recognise a certain woody smell that is not caused by any scents around me. The smell sometimes appears in a room and I know God is with me. So I attune my heart into the presence of Jesus and commune with his love.
Some also recognise the presence of God through the sight-sense of their spirit. For example, some people have seen a cloud of white mist around people, or sparkling gold and white lights hanging in the air in places where there is no light source. Their spirit senses are picking up on God’s presence, or the presence of spirits of his Kingdom realm who are nearby.
When angels are present some people can hear chimes, like wind chimes, or see twinkling or shooting lights. The ethereal substance of the spirit realm is conveyed to our senses, passed through our physical sensory processing from our spirit.
Spiritual experiences are given by the spirit of God and understanding the mysteries of spirit is by the wisdom of God. Both are gifts of the Holy Spirit and given freely to those who ask. There is no formula anyone can give that will “unlock” these abilities, for they are not super powers and not related to maturity. They are gifts of God! There are, however, spiritual practices and principles that help us to tune into the spirit realm and grow in God’s gifts.
One of these tools, which helps to go deeper in the voice of Jesus, is the practice of dwelling in the secret place.