Discerning God's Voice

February 8, 2017
by Martin Wiles

Psalm 119:169 – O Lord, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. (NLT)

One text message can change the course of a life.

She really didn't want to come to church that Sunday night. After all, they were just showing the movie, God's Not Dead. But her husband wanted to come, so she obliged. Near the end of the movie, concert goers in the movie were encouraged to text "God's not dead" to every contact in their phone. Though she wasn't in the movie, she felt the urge to text her son who was struggling with an addiction. Little did she know that he was about to take another hit. Receiving the text from his mom at that critical moment changed his mind. She discerned God's voice.

I recently discerned God's voice as well. My wife and I were eating at a local restaurant. Four highway patrolmen sat at the table next to ours, one of whom I was acquainted with. God's Spirit urged me to perform a particular act of kindness for them. It was Memorial Day, as well as the day that we were honouring medical responders, firemen, and law-enforcement personnel. Reason prompted me to consider the cost; God wanted me to act on His prompting. So I listened.

God promises believers that we can discern His mind, and the psalmist wanted to do just that. Unfortunately, I've missed many opportunities because I either didn't discern His voice or lacked faith — faith that God would replace the money that the act of kindness would cost.

God gives us the ability to know the mind of Christ, but it doesn't happen automatically. Just as keeping in touch with family and friends helps us to know them, along with their likes and wants, so the same happens in our relationship with Christ. Through prayer, Bible study, and meditation, we learn Who He is, what His desires for us are, and how to please Him. His Spirit may indwell us, but unless we stay in constant contact with Him, His Spirit's promptings will grow fainter and fainter.

Let's stay close to God so that we won't miss the opportunities that He sends. And when He sends them, let's take a leap of faith, and act upon what He tells us to do.

Prayer: Father, give us the wisdom to recognize Your voice and the faith to obey it. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>

Greenwood, South Carolina, USA


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Martin!


    Amen and blessings to you.


    Same thing we have been discussing in church re prayer. Thanks!


    Yes, Martin, we never know what will happen when we heed God’s call to provide for another. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Beautiful. God’s Spirit confirming your spirit to show His affection for our First Responders. God bless you for your listening heart.


    Greetings and blessings in the Name of the Lord Jesus, the voices we listen for. This has happened to me many times! Sometimes the message is pleasant and guiding, sometimes it is unpleasant and reprimanding, but it is still God’s message which I hear.


    Thank you for sharing this message. Like you, I have missed the discernment of God’s desire. My personal toughest, though, was being ready to decline my being assigned an acting a role in a Lenten vignette at church last year. “Thanks for asking, but drama isn’t my thing. I can’t do this.”, was the response I was prepared to give to the leader. But God said, “Yes you can, for My sake you can. Do it for Me.” And so, I did. And ever after I find myself more ready to listen for God’s voice. “Yes you can, for My sake you can. Do it for Me.”
    (Alabama)


    I really love this devotional as I firmly believe we hear God’s voice often and sometimes miss out as we are not paying attention.
    I am not wealthy but I have often been prompted to do something involving money sometimes without knowing why.
    Most recently it involved a friend who is constantly in debt, just a poor money manager, and I get impatient because I am a good money manager most of the time.
    She asked me to order something for her and I suddenly felt prompted, very strongly, to make it a gift. I resisted and the urge got very strong. So I did. And am not sorry.
    I find when it involves money the cost is usually replaced, in some other way.


    I call these promptings “Whispers of Love'”.


    Great lesson Martin. Thanks for sharing your experience encouraging us to listen to God’s voice.
    Blessings.


    Dear Sir,
    God richly bless you for the word shared.
    It’s a reminder to me to be constantly be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
    May He lead us all our days.
    Stay Blessed,
    (Ghana)

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