Hearing The Voice Of God And Discerning The Signs Of The Time

During His time on earth Jesus Christ said that His sheep hear His voice and follow (see John 10:27).
John 10:27:
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
The voice of Jesus can manifest in different ways in our lives, such as in dreams and visions (see Joel 2:28).
Joel 2:28:
28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Important Aspects To Help Understand The Voice Of God
If we want to understand the essence of God's utterances fully we need to know His character and time schedule, which He connected to the people of Israel.
According to Zechariah 2:8b, Israel holds the place of God's eyeball with Jerusalem functioning as His pupil; therefore, we as gentiles benefit from surveying our life and environment through Israel. This way we are able to see God's direction rightly and assess it with enlightened eyes.
Zechariah 2:8b:
... 8b – for whoever touches you (note: Israel) touches the apple of his eye –
The revelation we receive by this approach, contains prophetic direction which helps us position our life in the centre of the will of God and in His peace, just like Epaphras prayed for the saints in Colossae (see Colossians 4:12).
Colossians 4:12:
12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
To hear the voice of God, it is equally important that we:
  1. spend time in God's presence
  2. focus on God's purposes
  3. do not stop to ask God for prophetic guidance
  4. endeavour to grow in love toward other people
  5. keep attention on the signals our body sends
  6. more fully develop our love for the scriptural word of God.
The Training Of The Holy Spirit
When we become aware of God's voice, it is important that we submit to the training of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to interpret the prophetic revelation we receive correctly.
Books about prophecy may be helpful here.
When we, the people of God, receive prophetic revelation from God, it is needed that we understand the meaning of this revelation in order to produce fruit.
At this juncture it is advisable to be connected to a prophet/prophetess or to a mature prophetic person, who will help reveal the prophetic meaning.
Understanding revelation is the core of interpretation of the things God wants to express.
Changing Our Focus
To be able to hear the voice of God rightly we need to come closer to God (note: to seek God), where we sense His presence, even if we don't fully understand the directive of God at this point.
The closer we come to the revealing character of God, the more His presence intensifies: this is connected to better comprehension and also warmth/heat (note.: the character of God is fire; see Hebrews 12:29).
Hebrews 12:29:
… 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
The process of coming closer is mostly connected to a change in focus, as we get distracted from our every-day-life, when such an incidence occurs, we get to the bottom of this unusual appearance of the LORD (see Exodus 3:1-4 i.c.w. Matthew 7:7).
Exodus 3:1-4:
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
Matthew 7:7:
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Interpretation Of Revelation
Knowing and understanding the word of God form the base for an exact interpretation of prophetic revelation.
A pure heart as well as walking in the spirit of wisdom and revelation are important, if we want to be able to interpret the prophetic revelation of the LORD correctly (see Matthew 5:8 i.c.w. Ephesians 1:17-18).
Matthew 5:8:
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Ephesians 1:17-18:
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, …
Hindrances, That Prevent Us Understanding The Directive Of God Rightly
We, the people of God, cannot understand His prophetic directive properly, if our hearts are not in unison with God, as is the case, when we are proud or unteachable, for instance.
Our heart attitude can be a further hindrance to rightly interpret revelation, when we do not have the right attitude towards the people we are serving.
Humility And Faith
Humility and faith are fundamental components to transmit the guidance of God to the people in a respectable manner.
Discerning The Signs Of The Time
To be able to discern the signs of the time rightly, we need to be born again and spirit-led and need to give faith priority over acquired knowledge (see John 3:3 i.c.w. Matthew 16:1-3).
John 3:3:
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Matthew 16:1-3:
1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Knowledge And Faith
If we place our acquired knowledge over faith, then we move in a knowledge about God, but not in really knowing Him.
To truly know God means, in this context, to have a living relationship with the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This “Knowing-Him” carries eternal life (see John 17:3 i.c.w. John 3:16; John 14:6).
John 17:3:
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 3:16:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 14:6:
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Knowing The Word Of God And The Trained Character
To go further into the subject of discerning the signs of the time, we also need to have a good knowledge of the word of God and a well grounded character.
Take Simon Peter's trance in Acts 10:6.9-23 for instance: it contains things, which encourage our spirit in our walk of faith, if we know God's word well enough.
In the above mentioned scripture the Holy Spirit called Simon Peter's attention to preaching to the heathens three times, while he stayed in someone’s house, who had the same name as he.
Acts 10:6.16.19:
6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” …
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. …
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. …
The name „Simon“ means„answer or God answers“, and in this context the number „3“ stands for the new way in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, as He was resurrected after three days to sit at the right hand of God.
In Peter's case God answered the prayers of the centurion Cornelius and paid attention on the gifts which he had given freely to the poor (see Acts 10:4).
Acts 10:4:
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
The following 10 questions can help us to become aware of the signs of God as Simon Peter did:
  1. If the experience were a dream, what would be its meaning?
  2. Regarding the statement, is there a word game hidden in the sign or incidence of the LORD?
  3. Is there an analogy between the symbolic event and the events in the church of Christ, i.e. the personal church/fellowship, nation or the world?
  4. Is there proof that it is a divine point in time?
  5. Do these events coincide with any special dates, such as holidays, biblical feasts or anniversaries?
  6. Are there any special numbers connected to this event?
  7. How do these events conform to the symbolic language of the bible?
  8. Looking at the event, can I see proof of a paradigm shift, especially from pride to humility, in people?
  9. Should I place this event into a prophetic time line?
  10. How does God want me (or others) to respond to the revealing event?
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm
Übersetzung: Margit Kelly