Internal Audible Voice of God
Let’s take a look at the internal audible voice of God. The internal audible voice of God is the voice of God which you hear so clear, so distinct, so real but somebody who is next to you would not hear a thing. But it would be so powerful, so authoritative that when you hear it you actually would think that the voice was audible to everyone in that environment.
The first example we see is 1 Samuel 3:1ff –
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel was serving the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had just gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle* near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly, the Lord called out, “Samuel! Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He jumped up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. What do you need?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go on back to bed.” So he did.
6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you need?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go on back to bed.”
7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So now the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you need?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Yes, your servant is listening.”
11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family. 13 I have warned him continually that judgment is coming for his family, because his sons are blaspheming God* and he hasn’t disciplined them. So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.”
Samuel had not yet learnt the art of distinguishing the voice of the Lord. In other words you can train yourself to hear the voice of God, so he was not yet trained in the art of hearing the voice of God so he assumed it was the voice of Eli which means the voice of God would be so distinct to be like the voice of a human being. Eli did not hear the voice of God which was speaking to Samuel and yet it was audible enough to Samuel for him to think that Eli was calling him. Eli then perceived that it was the voice of the Lord that was calling Samuel and he told him how to respond. When he did, God spoke to him and commissioned him. And the bible says Samuel was such a prophet in Israel with a mission to anoint the King which is King David and it was a turnaround in the life of Israel. The bible speaks of Samuel that not a single word that he ever spoke fell to the ground. Most prophets would be accurate but none of them would be 100%. But this prophet was so sharp because of the commissioning of God when he appeared to him in an audible voice. But the audible voice was not even like the voice that spoke to Moses because with Moses He spoke face to face with an external audible voice, but to Samuel he spoke with the internal audible voice. So Eli did not hear it but Samuel assumed it was Eli’s voice.
Turn to Ezekiel 14:1-4 – let me paint this picture for you to understand.
Then some of the leaders of Israel visited me, and while they were there, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that lead them into sin. Why should I let them ask me anything? Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: I, the Lord, will punish the people of Israel who set up idols in their hearts so they fall into sin and then come to a prophet asking for help. I will do this to capture the minds and hearts of all my people who have turned from me to worship their detestable idols.
People have come to consult the prophet and they are seated in the same room before him. Then he says the word of God came to him telling him to speak to the elders of Israel. So God carries a conversation with the prophet in the presence of the people and yet they don’t hear that voice. So it was not an external audible voice otherwise God could say you know what these guys are just bluffing kick them out of your house. But he says no let me tell you about these people, this is what they are like. They didn’t know that God was carrying a gossiping session with the prophet about them. And then God says now speak to them. So they did not hear that audible voice but the prophet heard it.
Let’s get some clarity now. Let’s summarise it. The internal audible voice of God is a voice that is audible to you but not audible to people who are around you. So God speaks clearly, so distinctly, so authoritatively with such clarity that it will sound like somebody who is just seated by you who has spoken to you but yet it was inside you. It is authoritative not suggestive. When you have an impression, you have a sense that God has said something, it’s not authoritative, its distinct from the audible voice because the audible voice is commanding and authoritative, it’s almost like saying you do this and you have an urgency inside you that say I have to obey this voice, I have to do something with what I heard, that is the internal audible voice of God. It is possible as we discover, when you encounter the audible internal voice of God that you may not even recognise it just like Samuel. You may think it’s somebody else who is speaking to you. This is the most frequent form of God’s audible voice, when you hear a distinct clear voice. So you hear it as if you heard it from your physical ear, but it is only audible to you. You also discover that it is necessary to train yourself in hearing the voice of God. Train yourself in recognising the voice of God. As you train yourself, as you learn the art of hearing the voice of God you come to a point where you begin to distinguish the voice of God and say this is God who is speaking to me.