“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)
So far we’ve covered two elements of hearing God’s voice:
The above passage, from Luke 11, illustrates another unique element in hearing God’s voice. A normal (read: healthy) parent will always desire to take care of their children. This is expressed in a myriad of ways, but the heart behind it is unconditional love. In Luke 11:11-13 Jesus reminds us of this and goes one step further to let us know that God’s love is greater.
While it may not be immediately obvious, there is an element to hearing God’s voice hidden in this passage: God wants us to hear Him! He wants to give His Spirit.
I shared this example when last speaking at church as an illustration: When a wife wants a husband to hear her, she makes sure he can hear her. It doesn’t mean he always completely understands what she’s trying to communicate, but when she wants her voice to be heard, she makes sure it is. (And the reverse is very much true, too.) God wants to speak to us. Sometimes the message isn’t completely comprehendable, but He still wants us to hear Him. Much like, from the above example, the husband needs to make a conscience choice to listen, we must make a conscience choice to listen to God’s voice.
It may seem like a contradiction, but developing a habit of regular prayer that includes not saying anything goes a long way to allowing the Holy Spirit to give correction, edification, and direction in our lives. Remember Jesus said in verse 13, “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.” The Holy Spirit is our Counselor.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26 (NIV)
The original Greek word translated “teach” in John 14:26 means a discourse with others to instruct them. God wants a dialogue with us that leads us to a better understanding of who He is. When we know Him better, we can better model His character and love to others.