God speaks to us through His word and through other believers. He also speaks directly to our hearts.
. . . And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
-1st Corinthians 2:10-12
One of the greatest benefits and mysteries of the Christian life is that Christ lives within our hearts! He does this through the Holy Spirit, who becomes one with our spirit. I wish I could fully explain this, but the Bible itself describes this as a “mystery” (translated “secret” in the NLT). While I can’t fully explain it, I can testify that I have experienced it. Because God lives in our hearts, He speaks to us through an “inner voice.”
This experience is not easy to describe, but I’ll try. When God speaks to our hearts, it often comes in the form of a strong inward desire—we feel compelled deep within to do something (or maybe not to do something). Christians usually say something like, “I feel God leading me to . . .” This is our way of saying that God has spoken to our hearts.
God’s peace is also a major factor in hearing His voice. The Bible promises that God’s peace will be with us when we follow His will (Philippians 4:7). When I am making the right decision, I have a great sense of peace about it.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.
The Bible describes Christians as sheep who recognize the Great Shepherd’s voice. The longer we know God, the better we are at recognizing His voice. I’ll give you a simple example. If you were to call me on the phone for the first time, you would probably have to identify yourself. Call me a few times a week and I would soon recognize your voice immediately. It kind of works the same way with God. As we grow spiritually we learn to recognize His voice.
I want to give you a word of caution about this “inner voice.” The Bible states that our hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). We can be experts at fooling ourselves into thinking something we want is from God. People have done great harm to themselves and God’s work by making bizarre claims about what God supposedly told them. This is why we need God’s word and other believers to help us discern God’s will.
More from my site