A native New Yorker was walking the busy streets of mid-town Manhattan with a Native American man one weekday at lunchtime. Police whistles were blowing, diesel trucks were growling, and taxis were honking their horns. Suddenly the Native American man said to his friend, “Stop! I hear something.” He proceeded to walk about twenty feet over to a trashcan. He lifted the lid, tilted it over, to which a baby raccoon quickly scampered out of it. The New Yorker was dumbfounded, and asked, “How did you hear that with all the noise?” The Native American simply replied, “You’ll see.” Several more city blocks into their journey, with whistles still blowing, trucks still growling, and taxis still blowing their horns, the native American secretly pulled out a few coins from his pocket and threw them behind him. The New Yorker immediately stopped, pivoted, and looked for the change. The Native American looked at his friend and said, “We hear what we want to hear.”
Hearing God’s voice is a choice. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice.”
God is always speaking. He is speaking through your trusted friend. He is speaking through your spouse. He is speaking through your pastor. He is speaking through your circumstance. He is speaking through songs. He is speaking through nature, “for the heavens declare the glory of God.” He is speaking through His word when you read it. He is speaking to you by His Spirit deep within your spirit.
Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24), and “Take heed how you hear.” (Luke 8:18) The first directive tells us to do what He tells us to do; to obey; to fully follow, because it’ll lead us to life and to hope and to new beginnings. The second directive – “Take heed how you hear” – is instructing us to discern His Voice from the noise.
It is vital to know what to receive and what to reject. It is of utmost importance to know what to believe and what to shoot down and rebuke, because what you believe is who you become.
How can we know? What does the truth grid look like? What is the metric? Here’s how you filter out the noise so you can discern God’s voice: Does what someone else is telling you, or what you are feeling and hearing within yourself, agree with the New Covenant? Does it agree with what the broken Body and shed Blood of Jesus purchased? Does it agree with the finished work of Christ on the cross?
About the Author
Pastor John Wagner serves as an Apostolic Team Leader for Covenant Ministries International.