Listening to and Hearing God's Voice:
All of us need to hear G-d’s voice, but for most this is very difficult. In reality I took it for granted. Then my Iraqi daughter Lina said to me one day, “Daddy you always talk to us about hearing G-d’s voice but I can’t, He doesn’t talk to me”. I then started to think HOW? If my dear Lina did not hear it must mean that many others can’t hear as well. She was one of the most spiritual people I knew. I started to teach her and others how to hear G-d. It was not very long before she was coming to me saying G-d was saying to her about me. I told Caroline my wife back in the UK what G-d was saying to Lina. Caroline reminded me that this was not the first time this had happened and young people in Baghdad had come to me before telling me what our Lord was saying. She told me that G-d was telling the young people because I would not listen to what G-d was saying to me about me.
This was actually very true and that day I learnt a major lesson! G-d will speak to us about our self. It is possible to hear God's voice? Since G-d is a person, who desires intimacy with those who he calls his friends. God wants us to listen to his voice - he created us for that very purpose. In fact, I believe everybody hears G-d speaking. The real question is - is it possible to learn to reliably recognise G-d's voice when we are listening for it?
The answer is most definitely YES!
G-d is not human – G-d is Spirit. So we would expect that listening to G-d might be a bit different from listening to another person. Is not that much different, because humans also are spiritual beings, made in the image of G-d, and created for communion, and therefore communication, with him. G-d has built numerous ways into the creation by which we hear Him speak. Some of these are:
1. Human conscience
2. Awe of his created world
3. Our spirit can respond to his Spirit
4. He can 'speak' thoughts into our mind
5. The witness of the Holy Spirit - e.g. inner peace
6. He speaks through other people
7. Spiritual gifts, such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, wisdom, knowledge, discernment of spirits
8. Dreams and visions
9. His written word, the Bible
10. And the primary revelation of God - his Son Jesus Christ
In addition, G-d has provided ways for us to test and confirm whether what we are hearing is accurate and if we are really listening to God. This is because His is not the only voice we might hear. We can, of course, listen to our own thoughts, but it is also possible to hear the thoughts of others and of angels and evil spirits.
There are a number of effective ways for people to sharpen their spiritual hearing and discernment, For example, did you know that the human imagination is not only intended for us to make things up? Or, did you know that human memory not only recalls information from our past, but it is crucial to our ability to imagine the future?
I want to finish with three ways G-d has spoken to me. Two of them through young people and one directly to me this week. The first was through my Iraqi son David (Dawood) It was about 4 years ago. I had a very important meeting one evening with some Islamic leaders. I was due to go there with some Iraqi politicians and their security. David said “Daddy you cant go to the meeting tonight”. I said it was very important and that I had to go. He then told me that G-d had told him that I must not. I had never taught David about how to listen to G-d he just seemed to know when it was G-d talking. He became increasingly insistent even laid down in front of the door to prevent me going out. Eventually I gave in. The next day I learnt that most of the people I was meant to go had been killed in a serious attack when I should have been with them. I learnt that night that the voice of G-d had indeed come through a young teenager.
The next was earlier this year. I had another session of my stem cell treatment. The day after it I am usually back at work as normal. That night when Lina was sleeping she dreamt that Jesus came to her and told her that I had to stay in bed another day. Lina was the young person I had taught about listening to G-d. She was the person that my wife said G-d had told because she was one of the few people I would listen to. I did listen and I was far better after the treatment than times before.
The third voice came just three days ago. It was during my 20 minute rest that I try and have each afternoon. In a dream I remembered that I had certain dreams in my life all of them had come true apart from one. I had always wanted to work in Anaesthetics, I did. I wanted to be a priest, I am. I wanted to work in the Middle East, I do. Then finally I wanted to get married and have a family. I have this but I wanted one extra thing in that family, I wanted a daughter who would one day work with me and travel with me. It may seem a strange dream but I am rather a strange person. G-d said to me ‘you have a daughter, her name is Lina, she is about to start working with you, she will travel with you and I have given her the 5 year multiple entry visa to the UK”. I woke up, the TV was on and playing G-d TV. Andrew Warmack was speaking about dreams and how G-d wanted to give us our dreams because he loves us so much and wants the best for us. I suddenly realized that our Lord had indeed given me all of my dreams in ways I could not have imagined. I do indeed love Lina like my own blood children. If she was born in the UK she could not be in Iraq with me. She has been to the UK twice with me and call Caroline, Mum Caroline. It is unheard of to hear of an Iraqi getting a multiple entry visa to the UK for 5 years. This to is the work of G-d.
So in this situation G-d spoke to me through something that had already happened, a dream and the TV. So we need to be aware that G-d does indeed speak to us in a multiple of ways. We just need to listen with all our senses.