We had a leaky pipe in our basement last week. This has happened before, and somehow I’m always the one to discover it.
Oddly enough, I never discover it because I find water spots anywhere. There was no water on the floor, nothing on the adjoining wall to indicate a leak, and no other visible evidence of a leaky pipe.
I discovered the leak because I heard the faintest sound coming from the furnace room that isn’t normally there. It sounded like someone saying “Shhh…” in a barely discernable voice.
The sound is so soft that it’s easy to miss, but each time I hear it, my brain registers that something is amiss.
I walked into the furnace room, flipped on the light, and found absolutely nothing. I ran my hand along the wall and couldn’t feel a thing. I surveyed the floor and couldn’t see a thing.
But I knew something was up. I’d heard that sound before, and I recognized it now.
Sure enough, upon closer inspection, there was a bit of water glistening on part of the wall and on the floor nearby. I was hearing the sound of a tiny stream of water hitting the sheetrock.
The plumbers soon came to fix the leaky pipe, but my mind remained stuck on it and how the ways God speaks are so similar to that stream of water.
God can speak in any number of ways, but four ways he commonly uses are seeing, feeling, hearing, and knowing. (Havilah Cunnington has an excellent teaching on this that you can access through Truth to Table or Bethel.TV.)
In this plumbing situation, I didn’t see any water. I didn’t feel any water, either. But I heard a sound that was familiar to me from previous experience, and I knew immediately that there was a leak.
So often this is exactly how my relationship with God goes. (Like, I couldn’t have planned this analogy better! Ha.) I’ve never seen an angel or demon (although I know people who have). I can sit through an amazing worship set and feel absolutely nothing except that I like the song, while people around me are in tears and exclaiming how they feel the Lord’s presence.
But I am totally a knower. I know how things are going to turn out before they turn out. I know when a decision is right or wrong for me. I usually know what kind of character a person has, and I often have that unexplainable sense of “just knowing.”
I also hear God speak. Not audibly, but in that still, small voice the Bible talks about. (Read here how I learned to recognize his voice!) Just like the leaky pipe, his voice is so quiet that it’s easy to miss, but I’m tuned in because I’ve heard it before. I have built a history with God, and things he has said to me in the past have proven accurate, so I know when I hear that still, small voice in my spirit, I should listen up.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.1 Kings 19:11-12 NIV
It’s not that I never feel or see in the spirit realm – sometimes I can feel God’s emotions for a person, and I have a very active dream life – but in most cases, I know and hear more. Each of us usually has one or two primary ways of recognizing God’s voice, but he can speak to us in any way he wants. And just about the time I declare that he doesn’t speak to me in a certain way, he begins to! 😉
Just like the stream of water that would’ve been so easy not to hear, God is always speaking, but our ears aren’t always tuned in. Can you hear his voice? Can you feel his presence or his emotions? Can you see what God is saying through a dream or vision? Do you know what his will is for a situation?
Anyone can hear from God. He is speaking to YOU. Sometimes we just need to tune in and learn how to recognize his voice.
Whether you see, know, hear, feel, or aren’t sure you’ve ever heard the voice of God before, I pray that you recognize God speaking this week! 🙏🏼