Five years ago, I had a strong desire to know how God speaks to people. I encountered a number of Christians that were so confident about their discernment abilities that they made statements like “The Lord told me… The Lord instructed me…” Seriously, I envied them. I wanted that too. What kind of food were they eating that I didn’t eat? I wondered! As a result, I embarked on a journey to discover the voice of God.
First of all, I needed to have general knowledge of how God spoke to his children. To achieve this, I read books, searched the internet, listened to teachings, people’s testimonies and talked to people both known to me and strangers. As a farmer harvests at the end of the season so did I become acquainted with how God speaks. I learned that He spoke through music, scripture, dreams, visions, audible voices, nature, thoughts, people, and convictions or put impressions upon one’s heart.
I discovered that there are times God speaks to us but we don’t understand him. In times like these my destiny pusher advised me to pray to the Holy Spirit for revelation (John 14:26). She also advised me to create an environment that would enable me to hear the Lord better. This meant choosing a good time to be in the presence of God with no distraction. This, for example required me to pray early in the morning before the rest of the world was awake, having my notebook, pens, and bible or anything that I might be needed ready as well as putting my phone in silent mode.
James 1:22 says “Be doers of the word, and not just hearers, lest you deceive yourselves.” I tried to act upon everything that I felt the Lord told me during prayer or meditation. With time, I realized that I no longer prayed or acted according to my own plans but rather according to the plans and timing of God. For example, there are times when I felt like challenging people during conversations but ended up keeping silent simply because my inner voice told me to do so. I should mention that I wasn’t sure that what I did was one hundred percent correct but I still acted. Amazingly and with active observation I learned to differentiate between God’s and other voices. This was a lesson in trust since I had been told that God would guide me through this journey. I kept questioning how He was going to do this since, as I had come to learn, He was not going to present himself in an obvious form. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed because I wanted my experience with God to be the way I pictured it. Sometimes I worried about the reaction of my family, friends, and workmates to decisions I made that contradicted their expectations since I listened to what I believed was God’s voice. Amidst all this, I had the realisation that it was God’s acceptance that mattered most. So, despite my fear, I continued with this consolation in my mind.
As earlier mentioned, I had set expectations of how I thought God would speak to me. I expected to hear an audible voice, see Jesus or at least angels in my dreams and discover a unique formula of sieving through people’s words to take in only what was from God. I thought I would get a quick easy way of sorting thoughts in my mind, so that I would only meditate and act upon those from the Lord. I couldn’t wait to find out how God spoke to me through nature. Would I hear a tree speak to me? Would it be a stone? May be the stars at night as I marveled at the beauty of the sky? I know it sounds bizarre, but those were my actual thoughts. However, my destiny pusher put a stop to all this. She advised me to be open to whatever way the Lord used since he knew what was best for me. For instance, I had had a recurring dream, for years, when I was on my period. It was about two years ago when I started actively praying about it. Believing that God spoke through people I sought help in vain. In January 2022, when this dream resurfaced, I cancelled it in prayer and once again inquired of the Lord what it meant. But this time, I chose to be confident that God would respond at the right time and I did not let it get to me like before. I trusted in His timing and solution to whatever underlying issue existed. Amazingly, in a meeting at Church on 19th February, without my usual ‘hunting for answers/revelation,’ the facilitating Priest interpreted the dream and advised on how to effectively pray about such ‘dreams.’ With this assurance I did the needful and left the rest to God!
On this journey, I encountered and still encounter a number of challenges. One thing I can’t forget is how disappointed I was when I learned that there was no discernment template. Interestingly, each book I read or teaching I listened to seemed to fall short when it came to providing a well laid out structured guide to hearing God. Having gone through this, I changed my mind by accepting that God wanted a unique relationship with me. I stopped looking for a template and convinced myself that if other people mastered discernment, I too could.
In Mark 12:30 Jesus taught “…and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” This meant that God had to take the first place in my life. Contrarily, I idolized prophecy. I loved and looked forward to being told what someone had seen or heard about me from God. It didn’t matter so much whether the message was good or bad since the messengers oftentimes gave me prayer directions. For as long as I had money, I never hesitated to go to men of God to pray for me. As they prayed, I anxiously waited to hear what God had said about me. I admired to be prophesied on like other people. Little did I know that this stagnated my spiritual growth and I became susceptible to false prophecies and being taken advantage of. In fact in 2015 I was disappointed by a prophecy that did not manifest. That is when I got to know that not every message I received from ‘people of God’ was from the Lord. I grumbled in silence because I had really been convinced that the message was from a God sent person. I later learnt that personal discernment was very very KEY.
As I progressed with discernment, I realized that patience too was important. I had to adjust to the fact that God spoke to me in His time, and He was not easily moved to act my way. This was disappointing because I expected God to align Himself to my urgency. For example, if I got a dream that I didn’t understand and prayed for revelation I expected it immediately I slept again. If I fasted for three days about something I expected God to speak and act during that period. Any delay frustrated me. Wasn’t God seeing that I was putting in effort? I wondered! Thankfully, God graciously gave me the gift of patience and I accepted, that He, at the right time, would answer me.
As time passed, I learnt that God specifically spoke to me through dreams (Job 33:15). I was one of those people that could get more than two dreams in a single night. As far as I remember I had been dreaming since I was sixteen except that I didn’t know that dreams were of spiritual significance. In spite of this major discovery, I was still challenged in interpreting them. Indeed, as I had been told, God would help me. He connected me to people that helped me to grow in this area. In addition to prayer, I listened to people’s testimonies and teachings on the subject. If people knew how helpful their testimonies were especially to young Christians, perhaps they would eagerly share them. I can’t deny the fact that I read books for guidance as well. Since I desired to independently interpret my dreams, I endeavored to share my thoughts and research before my destiny helper. Each time I got the interpretation right, I celebrated because I knew I was growing. With time I stopped calling people for dream interpretations. I prayed and patiently waited on the Lord for the revelation. In various ways, the Lord faithfully answered me.
While this journey wasn’t a walk in the park, I am glad to say it bore fruits. I grew from ignorance to understanding, fear to confidence, logic to trust, selfishness to selflessness, and impatience to patience. Importantly, I learned to recognise the voice of God. This greatly pleased me because Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” I could now confidently count myself as one of the flock. I am still learning other avenues that God uses to speak to me. But overall I am glad that I have achieved significant progress. It is now on you to discover the unique ways God communicates to you. Trust me, you will not regret it, and neither will He disappoint. For no one has genuinely searched for God in vain.