Tania Harris has been learning how to hear God’s voice for many years and recently penned a book entitled God Conversations to inspire others to hear from him themselves.
Tania Harris has been learning how to hear God’s voice for many years and recently penned a book entitled God Conversations to inspire others to hear from him themselves. Tania attends Hillsong in Sydney and runs godconversations.com, which equips ordinary people to recognise and respond to God’s voice. We caught up with her.
When did you start pursuing God’s voice?
I grew up in a church-going family, but it wasn’t until I was 21 that I really started pursuing the voice of God. I understood that he spoke to people, but I’d never heard his voice.
Why is it so important to hear from him?
Relationships don’t grow without communication, and communication always has to be two-way. We all have those friends who do all the talking and never let you get a word in; it doesn’t make for a great relationship! The same principal applies to God. Until we really start to hear his Spirit for ourselves, we don’t experience the fullness of what he has for us.
How do we know where God’s voice starts and our own inner voice stops?
Jesus is God’s ultimate conversation to us, so my first port of call is always: is this something Jesus would say? Is it consistent with his teachings? Does it bring love, joy, peace, freedom and truth in the same way every aspect of his life, actions and teachings did?
Why did you write the book?
There are good books out there on how to hear God’s voice, but they’re very ‘point one, point two, point three’. I wanted to really invite people into the journey. The Bible tells us a lot about God speaking, but only tends to give us the highlights. You get stories like, “The Lord spoke to Mary and Joseph, ‘Get up and go to Egypt.’ And they got up and went to Egypt.” It doesn’t always go into the backstory.
So what I wanted to do was show how clear God can be as we pursue him, and how what we hear today is consistent with what he said to people – and the way he said it – in the Bible. My book won’t tell you how to hear God’s voice, but it will show you.
Does God speak about the little things as well as the big things?
In my book, I tell a story about how God spoke to me about my shoes. It was a very clear message, but at the end of it, I wrote something to the effect that, “God doesn’t normally speak to me about my shoes.” He wanted to show me that he cares about the things we care about – he counts the hairs on our heads – but at the same time he wants us to learn what it is to follow him in the big things; the heart things.
Every word we hear from God leads us to know him more, but also leads us through a process where we become more like Jesus. That means we die to selfishness and relinquish all the things that hold us back – the unforgiveness, the guilt and the shame. These are the areas the Holy Spirit wants to speak to us about most, but they’re the areas that are often difficult to hear.
Does God still speak words of judgment and anger, or was that just an Old Testament prophet kind of thing?
The beautiful advantage is that we have a full revelation of who God is. They had a glimmer, but they actually looked forward to a time when we would see God fully and have his Spirit. We can hear God more clearly than they could. God has told me off a few times, but every single time he’s done it, I’ve felt loved. One of the earliest stories in the book was about when God spoke to me about money, and it was so difficult, but it brought life and freedom. Everything God says will do that.