Different Ages Hear God Differently

A friend of mine recently commented that older generations today are reluctant to admit their ability to hear God’s voice. On the other hand young adults have no qualms using the words “God told me this that and the other thing.”

Why is that do you think? Don’t both of these realities pose some real dangers?

Here are a few reasons I have observed for this.

Age wisens us

As we age, we wise up to the fact that over spiritualizing things doesn’t make us look cooler. In fact, it may get us labeled as a ‘flake.’ On the other hand, it is problematic that many young adults quote God telling them to date so-and-so, go to Hawaii on outreach, or quit their summer job to travel Europe. This does not constitute wisdom at all. We need to learn to submit what we hear to counsel and learn to test it.

Age deadens us

The older we get the more jaded we become, the more easily we doubt the reality and beauty of relationship with Jesus. Perhaps we’ve seen past steps of obedience end up disappointingly different than we expected. Life may have thrown us some challenging curve balls. Rather than recognizing the presence of Jesus life’s storms, we do what’s easiest and lose the lingo of hearing God altogether. We become more self-reliant and LESS dependent on Jesus or others, the very relationships we need.

Different words to say the same thing

Different generations use different lingo. It’s true some easily throw around “God told me…” and “Thus saith the Lord…” However, this does not mean they are any more confident in hearing God clearly than their parents who hesitate to do so. I know many wise parents and grandparents who hear God consistently. But the way they submit what they hear sounds different. They use words like “I sense God may be saying…”  or EVEN “Perhaps you might consider…” No matter the choice of words, the Living God is speaking to His kids.

I love what Brad Jersak [@bradjersak] recently tweeted “If God lives within us, he speaks within us.”

Avoiding the term “God told me…” can be a healthy practice as long as the lifestyle of listening is embraced. The truth is God speaks. He is speaking the language of your heart…shhh can you hear him?

The Bible is clear, “my sheep hear my voice, I know them, they follow me” (John 10:27).

What have you noticed about the way adults and teens express what God tells them?


3 Responses to Different Ages Hear God Differently

  1. it’s interesting–my grandma has gone to the same staunch united methodist country church almost her entire life, but she hears God daily through digging into the Word and prayer. and she testifies to it almost as often. her health is rapidly failing her, she has great physical pain all day every day, her family has been divided since she became a widow, she’s buried two children, and most of her friends have since passed away. yet she is the first to tell you that she makes it through each day because Jesus is by her side. and every time i call her, she ends our time with “keep loving Jesus, toodie.” she has faced many storms in her life, but she has so many more stories of healing and redemption and grace because of those storms.

    i do agree though that younger generations like to misuse “God’s calling” terminology to make them (and by them i also mean me.) feel better about misplaced priorities…

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