How Is Hearing God Different from Hearing Voices?

By Nancy Virden (c)2023

True science and faith are only incompatible when we decide to believe only one can be accurate. An acceptance of the premise of both allows us to see see the beauty in the Master of Science’s love and intentions.

Still, we will not understand everything. God is so far above us in power and wisdom that our minds cannot fathom what he comprehends. Science is obviously dynamic with theories coming and going. Acceptance of the limitations of human knowledge frees us to experience both science and God in profound ways.

Pictures from NASA come as close to blowing my brain to bits as anything can. It is even more difficult to comprehend the enormity of the universe in the context of God as Creator because I know him to be personal and close. Sometimes, to save brain cells for more common use, I have to stop thinking about galaxies, stars, and infinity.

I put my trust in this Almighty God as he has described himself in the Holy Bible. While some may find that foolish, they have not managed to produce anything better. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teachings, then you will know the truth” (John 10:1-30). This is why reading and knowing what the Bible says about God and ourselves and others is crucial to understanding his voice.

One of Jesus’ teachings is that those who embrace him as Savior and Lord will hear his voice. He likens us to sheep and he the shepherd; his sheep hear their shepherd’s voice while those who reject him do not. This voice is not typically auditory as if you and I were speaking to each other. It is an inner knowing, sometimes with articulate words and sometimes with a sense of direction and peace that follows prayer and listening.

Elijah was a follower of God who strived each day to honor him. The story of Elijah’s desperate depression, possible suicide attempt, and the weeks following is found in 1 Kings 18, 19. God spoke to him in a gentle whisper. Was this audible? I doubt it, but maybe.

Adam and Eve walked with God before sin came into the world, however, the Bible teaches no one has seen God. So how is it they talked with him and felt his presence? God is Spirit, and still today we can walk out our daily lives with him near and speaking to us. Sometimes I need reassurance and God will remind me of scripture that answers my need. When I need to know what choice to make, he will answer my question with a sense or a word that crosses my thoughts. I look forward to the day I will be with him in person in heaven where communication will be as it was in Eden, with no interference.

Meanwhile, God’s voice does not tell us we are worthless, or that we should hurt ourselves or another person. God’s voice is not damning and cursing and pointing out all our flaws or anyone else’s flaws. He never tells us we have no hope for change. God’s voice does not teach us to fear conspiracies or to be paranoid. He does not give us magical powers or help us to read minds. Nothing that tells us we are equal to God or that anyone or anything is equal to or superior to him is from God.

Those harmful “voices” may be self-talk, hallucinations (an act of a misfiring brain), our imagination, or spiritually evil. The abuse of drugs and alcohol can produce such negative “voices”. So can playing around with the occult. Some mental disorders will challenge us in this area through no fault of our own. Science helps us to discern this as does God’s Holy Spirit.

Be surrendered to Christ Jesus and then the Holy Spirit will live in you as a permanent voice whenever you decide to listen. This is no guarantee you will not struggle with a mental disorder or consequences from past choices that affect what you “see” and “hear”. Just understand that the incomparable God is for you and not against you.


Today’s Helpful Word

John 14:25-27

 “I am telling you these things now while I am still with you.  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.  I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”-Jesus

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.


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