RELEASING THE SOUND OF GOD'S VOICE
by Lyn Packer
Releasing the sound of God – it sounds a bit mystical doesn't it and yet it's not. The sound of God is not just some mysterious sound like a roar or a wind, although He does use those, and we'll look at those in another article. The sound I am talking about in this article is the sound of His voice as He speaks to you and me. One of the common ways His voice is heard is in prophetic words, yet unfortunately many times prophetic people have unknowingly misrepresented God by the way they deliver what they hear from Him.
You see, prophecy isn't just about delivering words, it's about releasing God's intention, heart and power into a situation or into a person's life. And God always speaks with intention – His words are spoken for a purpose, to achieve something (Isa 55:11). But prophecy is not just about saying the right words - it's also about releasing the sound of God's voice (His heart) into a situation or life. Yet in practicing and teaching on the prophetic we all too often concentrate on hearing and interpreting what God is saying, and releasing His power, while missing altogether the way in which He says it. Why is that important?
In spoken communication there are some interesting things at play. When we are talking face to face with a person we hear not just the actual words but also their tone. We also see the body language and facial expressions of the one speaking. Spoken communication is made up of all these parts and, interestingly, the actual words spoken are the smallest part of the heard message. The generally accepted stats on it are as follows …
- 7% of the meaning is in the actual words that are spoken.
- 38% of the meaning is the way that the words are said - their tone.
- 55% of the meaning is in facial expression and body language.
When we hear someone without seeing them the tone of their voice becomes all the more important – without that all we have are the actual words, which can often be interpreted in many different ways. So it is with hearing from God. When we can't see Him face-to-face (as in a vision or heavenly encounter) the tone of His voice is equally as important as the words that are spoken, yet we are hardly ever taught that.
The Sound of God's Voice
In a prophetic word we must deliver both the words and tone of God's voice - this is critical. If all we deliver are the words then the interpretation is open for misunderstanding because we don't hear the correct tone of those words.
The sound of God is not about how powerful what we say sounds, or the volume we speak at, it's about way more than that. The sound of God releases the heart and nature of God into that situation or life. And God sounds like His heart or character – good, kind, patient, slow to anger, abounding in steadfastness, faithful, merciful, etc (Ex 34:6). His words build up, encourage and comfort. (1 Cor 14:3)
That means, when you deliver a New Covenant prophetic word, while it may be delivered with power and strength, it will carry in it the love and favour of God. People will not only get the impartation of the words and the release of favour and provision that comes in those words, they will get an impartation of the Father's heart for them! His voice will not bring judgment or shame on a person. It will not expose and condemn. It will always call them up out of where they are and how they see themself into who God sees them to be and what He has for them.
Jesus said "No-one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Jesus was all about revealing the Father to us and bringing us to Him. Everything Jesus said was rooted and grounded in knowing the Father's love for Him and for mankind, and consequently it was delivered with the sound of the Father's voice. Even His rebukes would have been delivered with love, even though the actual words spoken may look harsh to us. So often we read the words in Scripture and don't stop to think of the love that was behind them and in them; all we see are the words, and we don't hear the tone Jesus said them in or see His facial expressions and body language.
A true New Covenant prophetic word will draw us to the Father and His love, even if we don't say a word about His love. It will build people up; they will go away from hearing it, thinking this, knowing this; "The Father is for me, His favour and provision are here for me to accomplish what He has for me. I am well able because of Christ living in and through me. Wow, God is good!."(Rom 8:31; 2 Pet 1:3; Phil 4:13) They will go away from hearing that word with joy filling them, flowing out from them, strengthening them and enabling them. (Neh 8:10)
Just because a prophetic word is delivered filled with love it does not mean that it is necessarily going to sound gushy and insipid. God is not insipid. His Word goes forth with power to perform it, whether it is delivered in a strong way or a softer way. It is an empowering word of Kingdom reality! It is who God sees the person or people as and who He created them to be. Right throughout Scripture we see God telling people how He sees them, calling them into their identity in Him and in doing so His voice and His words cause changes in them – in their character, their abilities and their sense of purpose in life. (Gen 15 – Abram; Gen 32:28 - Jacob; Judges 6:12 - Gideon; Matt 16:16-18 - Pete; Acts - Paul)
The sound of God's voice is life changing and life giving. It is full of unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. It releases people into purpose and destiny. The sound of God's voice creates within people a new reality and identity – that of loved sons and daughters of the King and His Kingdom. It gives confidence, it releases and empowers them to release the Kingdom into their world, knowing that God is for them, not against them; knowing that He will lead them, provide for them and enable them to accomplish what He has for them to do! (John 16:13; Phil 4:19; Eph 2:10)
That's what the sound of God's voice is like!
So if you have ever been given or have given a prophetic word that was harsh and judgmental in words or tone, then sadly it was not delivered from an understanding of who God really is, and is not a true New Covenant prophetic word. While the words themselves may have been accurate, if the interpretation of them was not, then that makes it a word that may not have released life into that situation but released something else. Our words will release either life or death, understanding or misunderstanding, hope or shame and more, so we must watch how we say things as much as we watch what we say.
So what do we do about that? Do we then condemn ourselves, or the person who delivered it to us? No! Realize that they are still growing in their ability to hear and interpret what they hear.
Providing Feedback on Prophetic Words
If the word was completely wrong in content then dismiss it, but do say something to the person (in a kind way). Most people would rather not say something, but a prophetic person without correction will continue to think that they are delivering God's heart when they are not.
You can dismiss the word in a way that is honouring and with love by saying something like "Thank you for that word, however I don't feel it to be accurate of my life at the moment, (or I don't witness with that at the moment) but I'll go and ask the Lord about it", and then make sure you actually do so.
Why would we ask the Lord about a word we think is obviously wrong? For a few reasons. We don't know everything and God may have something in store for us that we've never thought of, because even in the so-called 'wrong words' there can sometimes be an element of truth. Also a prophetic word is an invitation to dialogue with the Lord, and there may be things in that word that He wants to talk about to us further.
If the content was true but delivered badly, then simply extend grace to the speaker and ask God to speak the word again to you in His voice, from His heart, then listen with your heart and you'll hear Him say the same things in a completely different way. And when you do, you will be encouraged, built up and enabled in Him.
You may also take a moment to share with the person who gave you the word. Tell them if it was accurate, but share that the tone took away from the words that were spoken. Share with them that God wants not just the words, but His heart, conveyed in any message given and thank them again for their boldness in stepping out and giving that word to you. Let them know it is not a criticism about them as a person, simply a feedback in order to help them develop in that gifting more. All prophetic people need feedback on what they give in order to grow in that gifting in a good way.
God is building a church that delivers His word with His love, as well as His power, and you get to do that every time God gives you something to share. You get to impart God's love to those you share with by releasing the sound of God's voice as well as His words. How cool is that!
 - Professor Albert Mehrabian's communication model
Lyn is recognised as a Prophet within New Zealand and other nations she’s ministered in. Her ministry is revelatory and catalytic, propelling people into encounter with God. The governmental prophetic gift she carries is expressed through prophetic, revelatory insight and strategy, prophetic words (personal, corporate and national), teaching, art, and writing. Click here for more info...