Which voice is louder?

Out on my morning walk, I was chatting with God as I rounded a corner. I glanced ahead and saw the “lollypop” man’s car up ahead. (This is the person who stops traffic for the school children to cross the main road. He holds a stop sign like a huge lollypop.) I glanced backwards and noticed him across the other side of the main road. I hadn’t seen him as I had walked up the footpath. I immediately felt a sensation within me to go across the road to speak to him. I chose to ignore this feeling and walked ahead, justifying my action by saying to myself, what would I say or do as nothing stood out to me. I glanced backwards again and noticed him observing me. I also noticed that he didn’t appear to be injured so he probably had no need of healing prayer. I walked forward again. One voice inside my head was saying “Keep going. You’re past him now. You can’t go back. You will look foolish. Besides, you don’t know what to say or do.” I immediately recognised this voice as not from God. It wasn’t encouraging. It was full of doubt and feeding insecurity. It didn’t appear to be benefiting anyone.

The feeling of needing to cross the road to speak to him persisted. By this time I had walked on another 30 or more steps. I turned. I could not let go of that feeling that urged me to cross the road to speak to him. I knew that feeling was God. It definitely wasn’t me. I wanted to finish my walk and I was enjoying chatting with God. That was my priority – chatting with God, not stopping to share God’s love with a relative stranger. I needed to get home where my two kids were both sick with colds but enjoying spending some extra time in bed reading and sleeping.

I crossed the road. I realised that even though I had been assisted by this man to cross the road at least 25 times, I didn’t know his name. I introduced myself and asked his name. I shared a number of encouraging words with him that I really felt were true – about his faithfulness, diligence, trustworthiness, etc. None of these words were startling. Anyone in his position could be similarly described. I didn’t mention God or pray for him but what happened next was gold. This man started pouring out his heart. He shared deep things with me about himself. This man actually smiled at the end of our conversation and I realised that I had rarely ever seen him smile. It was as though he felt valued and encouraged.

I re-crossed the road, with his help, and went on my way. I am glad that I didn’t miss that opportunity that God prompted me to share in.

How often do you stop and go with the God prompts or rationalise away the feeling by allowing the ‘voices’ and thoughts in your head to be louder?

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy!

Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3)

1. Children / Families Activation: Write the names of every member of the family on individual pieces of paper and put them all in a hat. Every family member then gets to pull out a piece of paper and ask God for a picture or word for that person based around a beach scene. Draw the scene and where that person is, what they are doing and why. Ask them to see where God, Holy Spirit or Jesus is in the picture. Try and draw out of the children more of what they see. Share with each other.

2. Group Activation: Have people pair up. Get people to imagine they are at a busy harbour/port with an open sea ahead of them and a river feeding into the harbour. Get people to ask God where their partner would be in the picture and why. Spend a few minutes asking God to show them more of the scene and what exactly their partner is doing. Then share it with their partner.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you what type of water vessel (eg boat) He sees you as and why, whereabouts, where going etc. Press in deep with God and ask God heaps of questions, listening for the answers. Journal the responses.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you who He would like you to give a prophetic word to. Ask God to show you them in a scene with water. Try and visualise/imagine with God more of the picture and what type of water, whereabouts, what they are doing, where is God/Jesus/Holy Spirit in the picture etc. Deliver this to the person in an encouraging and edifying manner whether spoken or written word or in a picture.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to show you what sort of water vessel your church or group you are part of is and why, what is ahead of them, etc. Flesh it out with God, asking Him questions to clarify and seek more of the picture. Write it out, making sure it is encouraging, edifying and comforting. Ask God which leader you should pass this on to and follow your group or church’s accountability guidelines.