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The Prophetic Voice of God: Learning to Recognize the Language of the Holy Spirit
by Lana Vawser
Learn More | Meet Lana Vawser
The Birthplace of the Prophetic Voice
As I sought the Lord’s heart for this book, I felt His heart of joy and adventure. The adventure every day of seeking His heart and hearing His voice. The joy it is daily to connect with His heart, to hear His whispers of love and truth, and to grow in our understanding of the language of the Spirit. God speaks differently to each of us, and each moment He speaks is an invitation into encounter.
Every time He speaks, we are invited into a deeper place of intimacy to engage with His heart and what He is dreaming about and speaking. It’s the most beautiful place. It’s the place where our hearts are awakened by His kisses of truth, by His winds of wisdom, by His refreshing revelation. The words that flow from His mouth and resound from His heart are life (see Matt. 4:4). Jesus Christ is our life, and His Word and what He speaks is our true reality.
For many, there has been so much fear and trepidation around hearing the voice of God because, “What if what I am hearing is not God?” “What if I miss it?” “What if I step in the wrong direction on something that I heard and it turned out not to be God?” So many of these questions are birthed out of fear and anxiety. I feel that through this book, the Lord wants to break the fear of hearing from Him off you. He wants to awaken you to greater joy and the childlike wonder that comes from hearing His voice and grow in understanding how He is speaking.
Whether you are just beginning your journey to seek out how to hear from God or you know and understand how the Lord speaks, I prophesy over you today that there are new depths of His heart to be explored as you understand the prophetic voice of God. God is always speaking, and my prayer is that as you read through the pages of this book you will live even more intentionally and actively awakened to being tuned in, leaning in, positioned and looking for Him everywhere.
God is very unique in the way He speaks and how differently He speaks. As you read these pages, my prayer is that any boxes, limitations, or lies that you have believed about the way God speaks and what He might say to you if you lean in really close—all ceilings and limitations that would hinder your journey of hearing from God—will be suddenly broken off you. Excitement will ignite within you for the new depths of His heart that are before you, ready to be explored.
“My Sheep Hear My Voice”
First and foremost, I want you to know that God still speaks. He wants to speak to you, you can hear Him, and you are about to embark on a journey of hearing from Him in ways you have never imagined. He still speaks today, and He has much He wants to say to you.
- My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me (John 10:27).
You are a sheep! His precious sheep! So that’s your promise right there, that you can and will hear His voice.
- Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come (Jeremiah 33:3 NLT).
That’s an invitation! An invitation into hearing remarkable secrets about things you don’t know. So it’s an ever-increasing journey.
The word remarkable strikes me! It means “worthy of attention, striking.” Synonyms include extraordinary, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, miraculous, phenomenal, striking, outstanding, momentous, impressive, memorable, unforgettable, noteworthy, great, important, rare, surprising, fantastic, terrific, tremendous, stupendous, awesome, out of this world, wondrous.
That sounds like an amazing, fun, and life-filled journey to me—and that was and has been my experience! Come for a walk with me through these next pages and let me tell you where it began for me.
Over the years of seeking His heart and growing in hearing from Him, in my journey through the breakthroughs and the breakdowns, I have learned so much. One thing I have learned and continue to learn every day is that one word from Him changes everything! There is an incredible battle that takes place over our journey to hear from God because the enemy wants to hinder you and keep you from the place of deep intimacy with Jesus.
Your Greatest Weapon
I love what I heard Graham Cooke say at a conference: “Your intimacy with Jesus is your greatest weapon.” That’s where it all began for me.
Growing up I had such a longing and drawing to Jesus. As a young girl I would sit in front of the television at Easter and Christmas, and I would watch movie after movie about Jesus. Such a love for Him filled my heart. In 1996, I met Him—beautiful Jesus! My life was radically transformed by the peace that I felt the moment I met Him. I remember so clearly the unexplainable peace, joy, hope, and excitement that filled my heart.
From the moment I got saved, I had an incredible passion and hunger to hear from Him. I had such love for Jesus, such a deep yearning and longing to know Him, and my heart burned within me to hear from Him.
- They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 NIV)
The passion to hear His voice burned in me day and night. That’s when I began to position myself to hear from Him. I became very well acquainted with my bedroom floor! I had been told that the only way the Lord speaks is through His Word. Absolutely, He speaks through His Word, but there was a deep yearning in my heart to be engaged so deeply with Him that every minute of every day, no matter where I was, I would hear Him speak and see Him moving. Besides Jesus, my favorite biblical character was always Joseph. I was drawn to the story of Joseph and how God spoke to him in his dreams (see Gen. 37). Later on in his life, he was positioned in different places to engage with the heart of God and interpret what the Lord was saying through dreams.
The fire in me continued to burn. The cry of my heart was, “There has to be more!” Day and night He would show up, and His presence was so strong, His power so tangible, that I would weep for hours in His presence as He filled me with His Spirit. He was so close, like waves crashing over me, one after another. His love was so thick, so warm, so life-giving and soothing like honey. I would encounter His heart night after night, yet I would hear nothing.
Day after day, the hunger to hear from Him rose so much that I began to get discouraged. I would spend so long in the Word, but that “light bulb moment” just hadn’t happened. I never felt my breath taken away from knowing deep in the core of me that the King of kings and Lord of lords just spoke to me.
Until one night.
He showed up again! His presence was so heavy, His power flowing through my body so strongly. I never wanted to leave. And then I heard a whisper, so quiet in my ears, yet so loud in my heart: “I love you!”
Those three little words catapulted me into a journey of discovery. A journey of deep intimacy like I had never experienced before. Every day, I would wake and feel the invitation to “come away” and be with Him and hear what was on His heart. It really was the invitation into the divine dance of His heart. To be drawn in so close, to hear the rhythm of His heartbeat and partner with it. To be in the place of intimacy with Him where the words from His heart and the whispers of His love brought me to life over and over again. Each word flowing from His mouth was like the shock from a defibrillator bringing the dry, dead places of my heart to life. Each word was like honey, soothing the hurting places, the places where the enemy had whispered his lies to cage me and keep me from my beloved. Everything suddenly started to rattle and shake as I would hear such words of love and truth fill my heart. The chains began to fall off one by one as His words of truth enveloped my heart and soul and His Word came down like a hammer.
- “Does not my word burn like fire?” says the Lord. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29 NLT)
This season changed my life. The season of great awakening. The realization that He longed to speak to me and I could live daily in that place of deep communion with Him. He actually invites me into a place of such deep communion that I get to hear His secrets—what He is dreaming about for me, my life, and the lives of others.
- There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near Him and receive the revelation-secrets of His promises (Psalm 25:14).
Your Positioning Is Key
No matter what my day entailed, every afternoon I would feel His invitation to “walk with Him.” I began to awaken to the truth of this glorious journey before me of intimacy with Jesus and hearing His voice. In that season and every season thereafter, the key for me was my positioning.
I let go of the striving and “trying to hear” and the anxiety that brought, and I simply abandoned myself to be with Him. Whether I heard anything or not. I was chasing after His heart and His presence, spending time with Him, loving on Him, ministering to Him with my worship whether I heard anything or not. The invitation into the divine romance took my hunger to an even greater level—hunger for the closeness of His presence and His power that flowed through me and touched me. It was a fire that burned in me so strongly that I cried out to Him, “Even if You don’t speak to me, I will chase after You!” I was moving to the place of just enjoying Him. Like having a cup of coffee with a friend and enjoying their presence and learning about them, so it was with Him. A whole new journey opened up before me. My hunger for Jesus catapulted me into some of the greatest adventures of my life with Him.
Coffee with Jesus
So there I was, my heart burning with the words that I had heard from His heart. That whisper was so clear in my heart and rung in my ears—so soft, so loving, so tender, yet so loud and weighty that like thunder it would cause mountains to tremble. The peace that came from hearing those three little words, “I love you,” was like nothing I had ever experienced.
- God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend (Job 37:5 NASB).
So with my heart burning, I chased Him. Every afternoon I would walk through the luscious green fields, the wide-open spaces, near where I lived—the wind blowing against my face and through my hair as I cried out to Him to know Him. I was so hungry for Him, I decided to make even more room in my life for Him to speak and meet with me, so I began my weekly coffee dates with Jesus. I took my Bible and my journal and I sat in a café for hours on end, imagining Jesus sitting on the other side of the table, and I asked questions. These questions became the tipping point of my walk with Him.
“What are You dreaming about today, Jesus?”
“What do You want to say to me today?”
In the quiet little café with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee rising out of my mug, I found the place of being completely undone—undone by love.
As I asked Him the two questions burning in my heart, a sense overwhelmed me so strongly. It was as if this strong feeling was shouting, “Pick up your pen and write.”
I picked up my pen and opened my journal to a fresh, crisp, clean page. This heralded the beginning of a completely new chapter of my life—a new chapter of intimacy. I took a deep breath and felt like a tidal wave just began to flow through my hand.
I began to write line after line after line of beautiful truth. I wrote so quickly that at times my hand could not keep up. The pages were wet with my tears as I wrote, knowing the moment had come. I was in a holy space, a divine moment of connecting with His heart, and truth poured out.
“How delighted I am in you.”
“I am so proud of you.”
“You are My beautiful daughter; I rejoice over you with singing.”
I was suddenly immersed in and surrounded by love and acceptance like I had never known on this earth. The tears poured down from my face; my hands were charged with power; my writing was so scribbly because I could not keep up with the waterfall of declarations of truth pouring out over me. My heart exploded with joy as I wrote. “It’s Him! He’s speaking!” I knew with every fiber of my being that I had connected with the heart of God. I wrote page after page after page of promises until my hand came to rest and I knew He was done.
I looked down at my journal, and through tears I saw a beautiful love letter from heaven to me. A letter like one written to a little girl from a proud father. This letter of love, my very own, was from my Father in heaven to me.
Fear was a giant in my life that suffocated me in so many ways, especially when hearing from God. So the moment of doubt crept in: “Was that just me? Did I make that up?” Within a moment I came to my senses. Every line spoken I could have added a Bible verse to. It was such beautiful truth, and with every word I came alive! Such love and such peace like I had never experienced. Every word ignited a fire in my heart and soul that could not be contained. Coffees with Jesus became my favorite parts of the week.
The invitation from His heart continued to beckon me: “Come away and be with Me.” I longed to be with Him. Afternoons became a great delight as I walked with Him through luscious green fields, up and down hills, and I would ask Him questions. For years and years of coffee dates and afternoon walks, He showed me His relentless pursuit of me and my heart. He unveiled to me His yearning heart that longed to speak to me more than I wanted to hear. I realized that my hunger for Him attracted Him. I realized that He wasn’t waiting for me to “get it right” and then He would speak. I was awakened to the revelation that He is a God who is so longing for deeper relationship with me that He would work in me, calibrate my heart, teach me sensitivity, and journey with me to hear from Him.
On this journey, all of the swirling questions, “Does He still speak today? Does He only speak through the Word?” were so clearly answered. He absolutely speaks through His Word, but I now understood that He also speaks in the still, small voice.
- After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12 NIV).
Day after day, week after week, He would whisper words of truth to me. He began to speak to me about my destiny and what I was called to, igniting in me the desire to partner with Him to see the world changed for Jesus. As His whispers became more and more frequent, like injections of hope and life, I realized something significant about what happens when He speaks. When He speaks, it activates my faith and my ability to dream. Every time He speaks, His whispers bring me to life, catapult me into greater freedom, and ignite in me the spark of Matthew 19:26:
- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (NIV).
The calibration happened little by little through each whisper I heard, each verse I read, each story about Jesus and His life, each way He spoke to me on that journey. He was calibrating my perspective, my reality. Every word that flowed from His mouth and heart always brought me up higher. Every word cheered me on in this journey taking me from glory to glory, and His plans for me were so much greater than I realized (see 2 Cor. 3:18; Jer. 29:11). It was beyond anything I had ever hoped, imagined, or dreamed.
- That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT).
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you (Ephesians 3:20).
He Speaks, Things Shift
His words shift our reality and bring us into His reality. The truth is that He speaks; the words from His heart are always leading you and me into the truth that our reality is and should daily be:
- He answered, “The Scriptures say: Bread alone will not satisfy, but true life is found in every word, which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth” (Matthew 4:4).
God’s words bring us to the place where our reality is the supernatural—it’s what Jesus says to us, about us, through us, and for us. Learning how to hear His voice and discerning and understanding how He speaks is one of the most powerful weapons He has given us. As we hear, live in, and live from the words that He speaks, the circumstances around lose their power to shake us. We can be people who live in a place of hope despite storms; we can be the eagles He has called us to be, who live “high above” what we walk through on this earth. We can be people who know how to live in peace—the peace that surpasses all understanding—despite the wind, waves, and storms that roar. From the place of divine romance with Him, we live as overcomers, feasting daily upon His rhema and logos words to us.
When He speaks, His truth confronts. It exposes lies. It exposes limitations; it exposes containments. Like a proud Father on the sidelines watching His children running a race, His voice is the constant. It’s the constant place of life, encouragement, and hope. When we trip, stumble, or fall, His voice surrounds us, calls us up and out of our current circumstance, and shifts our perspective.
The journey to hear the voice of God and understand how He speaks is the most powerful place. Your garden place, your secret place with Him, your “dates” with Jesus—these are where you come alive to His goodness, His kindness, and His love. You become fully present and awake to who you are and all He has called you to. It’s in His presence! It’s your communion with Him! It’s your confidence that He speaks to you and you can recognize His voice.
None of us have arrived. None of us can claim we are “experts” in hearing from God, and let us never come to that place. We are all still learning, we are all still searching, we are all still yielding—leaning in and allowing Him to recalibrate our ears to hear, our hearts to discern, our eyes to see.
If you’re feeling the pressure, the anxiety, the fear that can creep in when we really seek to hear from God—if you’ve had disappointments in the past or times when you thought you heard God and you missed it—I release healing over you right now in the name of Jesus. I pray that the Holy Spirit would minister to that part of your heart and soul, and that even as you read these words right now His sweet, beautiful presence would heal you and speak His truth to you. That you would have the courage to stand again, to lean in, to trust again, and to seek Him again. That you would free-fall again into His arms as you continue to read the pages of this book; and your eyes would open wider than ever before, your ears would hear Him in ways you never have, and hope would be restored to you.
Wherever you are on your journey of hearing from God, it’s great to be on this journey of learning with you. Seeking His heart and His voice invites us deeper into knowing Him; it reveals His nature, the language of the Spirit, and the way He speaks—His creativity (which I absolutely adore and we will discuss in Chapter 3).
I decree a new level of adventure and intimacy with Him over your life. I decree joy over you as you continue to seek Him and hear His heart for you, your family, your circumstances, and the world. Every word you hear from Him will undo you all over again with His love and kindness and the “bigger than you can ever imagine” plans He has for you and the remarkable secrets He has to share with you.
As we continue to move through these chapters together, my prayer for you echoes Revelation 3:18: “Purchase eye salve to be placed over your eyes so that you can truly see.” Invite the Holy Spirit to teach you to hear so that you may live in the reality of Matthew 13:16: “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear” (NIV).
I have shared the beginning of my journey. (Don’t worry, there is a lot more to come!) His story for you is bigger than you, and it all starts at the place of the divine romance—the dance of intimacy, the Song of Songs place of encounter and walking in the garden with Him, the coffees with Jesus. His truth setting you free is not just for you, but it’s for the world. Like one of my inspirations, Bill Johnson, says, “We owe the world an encounter with God.”
The secret place is your birthing place!
A whole new depth of adventure in hearing from Him is before you. I’m excited for you and what He is going to show you.
Grab a coffee, and I’ll see you in Chapter Two!
Lord, I love You and I want to know You more. Take me deeper than I have ever been. Lead me deeper into Your heart and the secret place, that I may know You more intimately than ever before. Teach me in greater ways how to be still before You, to position myself before You, to see You, to know You, and to encounter Your heart. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Take some time to sit alone with the Lord today and enjoy Him. Cultivate your secret place today.
I am created for intimacy with God; He loves to spend time with me and know me. He loves to reveal His heart and Word to me in the secret place. I decree I will not remain where I am but will continue to chase after Him with radical abandonment.
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