Use Your Inside Voice
Use Your Inside Voice
You sit in a restaurant when suddenly a child begins yelling to get the attention of a parent. As if rehearsed, the parents turn and say, “use your inside voice.” If you are a parent, or have cared for a child, you’ve had a similar circumstance; they can be frustrating and annoying. Yet, some of us have been the child, screaming and ranting at God because of our misfortune. We say to ourselves, if only God had warned us; but the truth is. we are surrounded by warnings. If only we had paid attention to them.
Traffic lights warn us of upcoming changes in the flow and direction of traffic. Pedestrian lights let us know when it is safe to enter the crosswalk. Security systems, fire and smoke detectors monitor the safety of our homes. Movie, music and video game ratings systems warn us of the content of these media. Yet, sometimes God’s warnings come to us as a feeling or voice from within. You may have heard Him when you approached the intersection and had a feeling that you needed to stop. As a truck goes flying through the intersection, you realize you could have been the morning news. You take a deep breath and silently thank God before moving on.
You may be tempted to call that inner presence “intuition”; but, before you give yourself too much credit, ask yourself, has it always been right? We rely heavily on intuition; “however, one’s feelings can be wrong, and not all inner leanings should be heeded” (gotquestions.org). The Bible (Proverbs 16:25, VOICE) warns us:
Before every person lies a road that seems to be right,
but at the end of that road death and destruction wait.
We pray for deliverance, and “we want it now.” When we pray, we’d like God to respond with a booming voice from the heavens, but He doesn’t always use a burning bush to get our attention. God sometimes whispers to us through that inner feeling or voice warning us something’s not right. But if God can use your feelings and inner voice so can others.
The questions then become-, how do we know who is whispering and what are their intentions? If the feelings or voices that you hear are condemning you for your situation, it’s not God. If they belittle you or spark anger, it isn’t God. If they are guiding you toward behaviors or decisions that promote you instead of God, it’s not Him. Romans 8:28 (CEB) tells us:
“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
A.J. Tozer (The Pursuit of God) tells us that some people find God in a way that others do not by simply demonstrating a sense of “spiritual receptivity” or being open to the “something” that urges them towards God. Gotquestions.org (previously cited) states:
“For a Christian, intuition can be greatly enhanced by the Holy Spirit. He is the fountain of wisdom and understanding. Those who “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25) have the privilege of God’s own perspective on many life decisions as He guides us through His Word.”
Leaders are required, regardless of their environment, to make decisions. We can rely on facts, background research and data in most instances; however, there are times when all we have to work with is our intuition. In these instances, relying on our own understanding can have catastrophic consequences. Instead, James 1:5 (GW) instructs us:
“If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. “
We all have the capacity to cultivate our spiritual receptivity through our reading of the Bible, mediating and reflecting on God’s Word, having faith in His goodness and through obedience. Intuition can be developed into a gift that steers us toward better decisions, and away from the effects of self-indulgence, arrogance, and harmful relationships. It is like exercising, it pays off by strengthening and developing our spiritual receptivity. So, the next time you find yourself struggling with a decision go to a quiet place, turn to and reflect on the Bible, mediate on His word, listen attentively with great expectation and then “use your inside voice.”
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