The Still, Small Voice

Surgery awaited my father-in-law, which weighed heavily on my mother-in-law. As the day of the operation drew nearer, her worry and concern grew stronger. Then came to her a voice with a question as resounding as if uttered aloud, “Don’t you trust me, Eva?” The voice was gentle, an invitation to believe in the character and power of the One who spoke it. The voice was clear and memorable, like those we receive through our natural senses. The voice was enough—Mom rested from fear and trusted in God.

God delights in speaking to us. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”1 We hear God through Scripture, of course, and in fact, we experience God when His Spirit ignites His Word in our soul. Yet He also nudges us through other workings of His Holy Spirit in us, sometimes as an inaudible “still, small voice”2 inside. People describe it as a thought that comes not through us, but to us—different than our own thought and thought direction, and true. A friend once likened it to “an ‘intersecting thought’ that comes to me from a seemingly different direction; it interrupts my thought process and redirects me in a new way—God’s way.” Another depicted it as “a thought weightier than my own—clear, distinct, and weightier.”

Yet we all know that we’re fully capable of reading “God’s will” into our desires, which can send us down the deceptive path of self-will. This is why mature believers “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”3 Said one man to me, “I test a thought against what I know from the Bible: ‘Is it contradictory, or is it aligned?’ God’s voice will always be completely consistent with God’s Word, character, plan, purpose, and glory.” It is also helpful at times to seek insight from our Biblically grounded and trustworthy brothers or sisters in Christ, not for them to make decisions for us, but to speak truth and wisdom for our prayerful consideration.

Jesus said it was for our good that He return to the Father and send us the Holy Spirit. 4 “He lives with you and will be in you,”5 He assured His friends. “He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears.”6 In turn then, we quiet the voices of fear and doubt and listen for His words of authority and truth. For He who loves you lives in you, and He speaks. We can trust Him.

Father, how humbling the thought that You would speak to me. How great Your love must be! Calm me, that I would listen for Your voice; speak that I would hear You. I trust you. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 Jeremiah 33:3
2 1 Kings 19:12 KJV
3 2 Corinthians 10:5
4 John 16:7
5 John 14:17
6 John 16:13

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