The Thick-as-Syrup Sound of God

hear God's voice 2

Do you ever long for that thick-as-syrup conviction that you’ve distinctly and unquestionably heard God?  That you know He is with you, you know what He was saying and you could walk it out because you know that’s what He wanted for you?

If you want to find your voice, you need to hear the voice of God. Mark Batterson

I’ve always had this insatiable hunger to talk with God. I used to dream of hearing his audible words, surely I wouldn’t second-guess myself if I could actually hear his spoken-out-loud voice like Peter, James, and John. Even my wicked self-doubt wouldn’t have the nerve to confront the cloud-piercing voice of God—would it? This week we have a beautiful group of women walking through the book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. And we’re talking about hearing the voice of God.

Read Chapter Four: That Still Small Voice Read: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119: Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 12:27

God wants to speak with us—we can hear His voice. Admittedly, an audible word from Him isn’t necessary {would freak me out, actually} but we can hear His leading as we learn to recognize His voice speaking internally to us. It’s daring, isn’t it? This idea that we can hear Him speak, but we can. And this week we’ve been talking about the many ways we can hear Him.

1. God speaks through His Word (Josh 1:8; Psalm 119). 2. God speaks through others (Eph. 4:12; 1 Cor. 12:27). 3. God speaks through prayer (Jer 33:3; Matt. 21:22). 4. God speaks through circumstances (Rom 8:28). 5. God speaks through the Words of His Son (Heb. 1:1-2; John 1:14-18). 6. God speaks through sneak previews (Rom 1:20; Psalm 19″1-4).

If you are doing the study with us, what stood out to you in Chapter Four?  How can that help you find your voice? I’m also wondering if you ever feel God is silent–what do you do during those times? What do you wish God would say to you? Please share your comments below.

 Merry Christmas

In order to honor Christmas with our families, we will be taking a break from our study 12/20-12/29, but we will return on Monday, 12/30 with Week Five. Please know that we will be praying for you during this time. But we are here for the next week and want to connect, so please share with us your thoughts this week? {Are you facing a difficult time this Christmas season? Need some hope and encouragement during the holidays?  Jo Ann’s newly released book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Using Your Story to Make a Difference is now available.}      

17 thoughts on “The Thick-as-Syrup Sound of God

  1. Good Afternoon Jo Ann & Ladies,
    I am now behind as I started a week late & could not fully connect last week. So please forgive however I see we have Christmas week off & I plan to allow myself the gift of forgiveness & reconnection.
    I am not even able to fully imagine all that God has planned for me & all of you through the Blessings we are embarking on in this privilege of being allowed to find our voices in a safe environment, Thank You Jo Ann for being brave enough to write this book! I am trying to share it with my mom as well as my new book buddy. In what I have read so far it spoke directly to me & the Spirit has guided me to share it with mom as we were looking for a healing tool.
    I am particularly touched with the fact of sharing about God speaking to us. Because I know He does. In our hearts, minds & souls. In our circumstances, situations & being brave enough to reenter community. That is the hard one for me. So many times I have been devastatingly hurt by others & it is doubly hard to accept when it happens within the faith community. So many times the green eyed monster (Satan) is so active in churches, parishes & where people gather trying to live out there calling.
    I however am confident in the Spirit of the living God to do the work through His Son & our free gift of His spirit within us.
    I know that Jo Ann & others gathered together here are seeking to be tools of healing!
    I loved the Scriptures Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:10 spoke to me personally as I sat in chapel meditating on it!
    I am online @ a library right now & they are about to close that is why I cannot go into more detail. but I will soon.
    Blessings Dear Ladies I am honored, humbled & privileged to be part of this marvelous group.
    Blessed & Merry Christmas

    • Marie, I am loving your words today!! I don’t think any of us can really comprehend what God has in store for us and I believe God wants it this way (check out Ephesians!). I have seen firsthand His creative hand in my life and He’s done things that have truly taken my breath away. It’s not how I planned my life but His ways have been so much better and bigger.

  2. I have to confess that I sometimes cringe when I hear “God told me this” or “God told me to tell you this”. Because the question I want to ask is, how do you know it’s God or a strong feeling? When I was wrongfully confronted on something by a friend, she told me that “God was just leading her to have this conversation” but God did not seem to exist and there was no Scripture to back up what she did. I think we need to be careful not to use “but God told me this”. Sometimes that can be used to keep people in line and it’s like using the Lord’s name in vain. It has been used against me several times. I’m glad Joann outlined how we can discern God’s voice.

    • In your situation I can see where that would be hard to hear. At the same time, when you hear God speak, you KNOW that it is God speaking. Of course, if you do question it backing it up with scripture is good. In my experience (personally and seeing it in the church family) those who say God is leading them in a direction are being taken out of their comfort zones to do something to serve in some way to honor God or further spread His message.

    • GodsGirl, it is easy sometimes for others to use God as a reason to counsel but the motives may not be godly. I think you are right, we should all be careful of the words we say and how we use discernment in guiding others.

    • I agree totally. I’ve seen this abused quite a few times. I can only imagine the confusion and discouragement that comes from that. It’s happened to close friends of mine in devastating situations. It can be really damaging. I’ve read of other examples of people believing God told them something that when the message was followed things went badly awry for them or others. I believe God does lead and guide but I agree we should use caution with “God told me this” or “God told me to tell you”. I believe this chapter is vital in my walk with God right now. I have the tendency because of the misuse I’ve seen to question that God is really in something without major indications. I want to learn to discern His voice more clearly.

  3. I’ll be honest I have not fully finished the chapter yet. But I am so happy to see what I have read about hearing from God, because I have had so many people question my saying that lately, because they feel that God can not guide them in little things as well as big. So when I refer to God guiding me in specific situations, they make it sound as I am relying on feelings, when I know this is not the case in this situation.

    Sometimes others can make you question what you know to be true. Yet I will not let someone else make me question God. I know that He has told me that I will do certain things. I also know that since there is no such thing as coincidence, I have seem Him lay opportunities before me. I move forward, even when that means moving afraid, because I want to be obedient to Him, and I want to hear “Well Done.” More I want to see the changes that He will make in the world.

    I stopped just a few pages shy of finishing the chapter. I stopped on the topic of Selah. I want to spend some time thinking on that this week, and I will finish the chapter tonight I hope.

    • Deanna, I think many times people (including me) just aren’t really sure how to hear God. I grew up in a home with morals but not Christ-filled. I am just beginning to understand what it means to hear God. I do think it’s different for everyone. Emotional choices are often not the best and I think God does give us a lot of wisdom when it comes to making major decisions with a clear mind. And Satan is always on the prowl looking for ways to get us to question God. Keep going!!

      • I understand, I was not raised in a Christian home either. Yet for me, when I hear Him it is generally unmistakeable. Probably because I am so hard-headed that I would fail to see it otherwise. That and I often pray that He guide me in such a way that I couldn’t possibly miss it.

        Sometimes it is also because of what He says to me that I know it is all Him. Sometimes it is not anything I would desire to do on my own, yet I can see how He can use it. Then sometimes I can’t, but I know when I don’t know that He does.

  4. In re-reading the chapter and questions I realized I’m much more comfortable with certain avenues God uses over others. Anyone else struggle with that? Usually, when I’m seeking His guidance on something, I pray about it, seek out godly counsel from several sources and watch for His hand in an opportunity or situation. I feel uncertain and less comfortable if it’s an impression I or someone else has had. Maybe that is a lack of faith I need to work on. I love and cling to James 1:5 and pray it when seeking His voice in a situation I’m unsure of. This chapter is one of my favorite chapters. The experiences with God’s comfort at church service after being told of cancer and when JoAnn’s daughter was in the car accident are such faith builders. Love this chapter!!!

    • Donna, I think for each of us God communicates in a way we can understand. He made you so he knows what your love languages are and how to talk with you. If there is an area you wish to hear from him more then pray specifically about that. Other people’s testimonies can be so powerful and God uses those to reach our hearts in a way nothing else can. So glad you enjoyed this chapter, it can be very encouraging!

  5. I’m very frustrating right now. I’ve been working really hard on this book as I have A LOT OF BAGAGE to deal with. I’ve read chapter 4 and came to the questions and I can’t even answer one. It’s very frustrating. I don’t know if God ever talked to me. I don’t think that I have ever heard him talk to me. I know I have pushed him away and when I send emails or talk to someone…I will tell them you are in my thoughts and prayers… just wondering if my prayers are worth anything. I feel foolish because I can’t answer one simple question. I don’t know how to listen to Him if he talks to me. I don’t have that connection and it’s making me feel frustrated. I just don’t know what to do ;( makes me feel very sad

    • I have been there. Sometimes I have to make time to intentionally listen. Sometimes even that didn’t help me. But mostly I realized over time that I had expectations around hearing God that were making me doubt things that I know was Gods leading at that time, it just wasn’t as obvious to me then. So I would encourage you to release any expectations and look at how maybe He has lead you through His word, instead of hearing Him. We can almost always see if we look how His word has helped us to change.

    • Carole, even if you feel like you’ve never heard from God or listened for his voice it’s not too late to begin NOW! God is patient with us, more than we can ever imagine. Your prayers are heard. It’s like learning a new subject or trade. You must take each day one at a time and give yourself room to grow. There are those who are so much more affluent in their faith than I am that sometime I feel like a baby in my faith. But God knows where you are and when you make the choice to trust him he will bring others in to help you. Try sitting alone for 5 minutes and just talk to God in your mind or out loud. Tell him you want to hear from him and whatever else in on your heart. It’s intentional steps that make the difference.

  6. Today I want to talk about how quietness elicits a word from God. Jo Ann mentions this when she talks about David.

    I spend time in the mornings doing devotions and quiet. But somewhere along this journey over time I developed another habit. One that some may decide would never work for them (and I totally get it).

    In the midst of my mess when I would go to bed at night I would lay in the quiet and mentally beat myself up for all the ways I get it wrong. Since I had a tendency toward negative thoughts this was never good. Once I started journaling I would do the journal at night also. Then at some point over the last few years, I started speaking to God in that quiet space, after I journaled but before going to sleep. What started as a good thing because it was changing my negative habits and refocusing my thoughts, now has a side effect I did not anticipate when I started it.

    By the time I am done talking with God, no matter how tired I am beforehand, I tend to find myself awake, and then find it hard to get to sleep. Sometimes this leads to inspiration for writing on my blog, or an idea that God wants me to pursue, or just clarification on something. But it generally results in my being wide awake until the early morning hours.

    Yet this is my quiet time, before the day starts, and at night once I cut the computer off. Oddly it doesn’t always equal more sleep, although I do get some rest as I lay there waiting on sleep to come, and in those moments I just sit with God for awhile and ponder His plans for my life.

  7. I often feel God is silent or perhaps saying wait . . . and wait . . . and wait some more. I feel like I’ve been in transition (in many different ways) for so long, and I just want to be settled. My other big challenge is being silent long enough to hear what God might be trying to tell me.

    • Bethany, the waiting can be extremely tough and so can transitions. I’ve gone through a lot of those over the past 10 years and most of them were not fun. But I can look back now and see where God was taking me and some of the why’s through it all. Praying for you as you continue this journey and seek God’s heart. He wants to commune with you.

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