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  • Writer's pictureA'Leeyah Ponder

Discerning the voice of God: What does it sound like?

Hello Family,

Have you ever heard God speak? What did it sound like?

I encourage you to answer these two questions in the comments at the bottom of the blog post.*


**TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive topics will be discussed in this post. The content is centered around mental health (i.e. depression, suicidal ideation, etc.)**


The first time I heard God speak was back in 2015. As shared in a previous post (Navigating Depression), during my suicide attempt I called out to God. I couldn’t take it anymore. The issues of life were far too overwhelming to handle, and I felt my life and the lives of those I loved, would be better if I was dead. I was terribly afraid of going to hell, so when I called out to God all I could say was how TIRED and SORRY I was. I remember hearing a still small voice comfort me with a gentle phrase, it's okay.” All I could do was cry… How could the God of the universe set aside time to speak to me in such a deep moment of desperation and darkness? Why me?


I can’t recall hearing God’s voice again, at least not clearly, until I got saved. I would pray and ask God to speak to me, but very rarely was I willing to listen. In the summer of 2016, I ended up giving my life to Christ and getting saved at a Youth Choir Retreat that my church hosted. What time, prayer, and the Holy Spirit is continuing to teach me is God is speaking, but I NEED TO BE LISTENING.


You can crack open your bible and find countless stories throughout the old and New Testament of God speaking to people. I’ve learned God will use ANYTHING to communicate to the children of God and others.

 

God has spoken/speaks directly (Genesis 3:16, 8:15-16) to people, through Angels (Genesis 17:8-12; Matthew 1:20-21), and through scriptures (John 1:1). God gave a donkey the ability to speak in Numbers 22:28-30 and sends the word through prophets throughout the bible. So, it’s safe to say God is not holding back when it comes to speaking to the children of God; however, our ability, and willingness to listen, can affect whether we hear God.


In Matthew 13, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” (v. 10, NLT) Naturally, Jesus provided a mic dropping answer, as He did OFTEN throughout the gospels. Here’s what He said (Matthew 13:11-15):


11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:


“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:


“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

 

My question to you is this: Is your heart calloused, or hardened towards God?

 

For example, I went months IGNORING God back in 2022 and by the top of 2023 I heard God say, Fast. Ironic, but God knew that fasting would be a good way to “kill’ my rebellion and soften my heart to hear God’s voice. I didn’t hear God when I was rebelling and ignoring, but I also did not want to. My heart was hard after going through a rough situationship ,moving to a place where I had ONE friend, and facing countless mental health issues to no avail.


I WAS SOOOO MAD AT GOD, so I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR GOD. SIMPLE.

 I'm sharing these two experiences with you of times where I heard God speak to me, because it's helpful to know that God can speak to us in different ways depending on the season of life we're in. God is gentle, kind, patient, loving and so much more (Galatians 5:22-23). So, God is not going to force you to hear nor listen. As a believer, we can’t live by physical food only. We need spiritual food that can sustain and bring nutrition to our spirit.

 

I encourage you to hop into Matthew 4 in your free time to read the entire scripture, for the sake of context. In summary, Jesus was in the wilderness fasting in preparation for the mission work He was called by God to do in the world. Satan was trying to tempt him to do a miracle that would enable Him to create food since He hadn’t eaten for several days for the fast. This is how Jesus responded…

 

 

Matthew 4:4 reads (I added a few translations for a little ✨razzle dazzle ✨):

 

(MSG) Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
(NIV) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
(NLT) But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
(KJV) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

As we grow to hear God’s voice, listen, and understand God’s direction may we understand that God is always speaking. Learning God’s character through reading Bible stories, instruction, Jesus, the Prophets, the children of God, and the disciples is the easiest way to get familiar with the Voice of God. God sounds like the Word of God (the Bible).

 

Let’s Pray:

Father God, please forgive me of my sins and any area of my life where I’ve chosen to listen to the noise around me instead of you. God I pray that you will soften my heart to understand you, open my ears to hear you, and open my eyes to see you. Lord help me to foster a relationship with you that will allow me to get more familiar with your voice and your character. Help me to not become impatient and frustrated when seeking your face and your voice. God I thank you for answering this prayer. Thank you for giving me the courage to listen when you speak and act with obedience when you give me instruction. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

I love you. Jesus Loves You MOST! Love and Be Loved.

Hang in there. Keep your head up, and if you can’t that’s okay too.

Stay encouraged. Be Fruitful.

XOXO Miss Ponder

 __________________________

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:

Call 9-8-8 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (United States Lifeline)

Are you in need of a therapist? Check out: https://therapyforblackgirls.com/ 

Looking for a specialty therapist? Check out: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us 

 __________________________

CITATIONS:

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

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