There is a very simple realization one can make to begin to clearly hear and recognize the Spirit. It is this, that every good thing comes from God. In other words, if you have a thought, just an impression, that you should do or say something – that is good, that uplifts, that magnifies faith, worships Christ, gives comfort, is kind, full of service, or even just down home nice – then that idea came to you via revelation from Christ through the Holy Spirit. We call them promptings – but they may be feelings, understandings, ideas, words, voices, or miraculous events. They all come from the same source.
People get confused when they try to make all “promptings” have language, words, audible voices. They generally are ideas that lack an actual voice, and do not employ language. The very phrase “still small voice” labels it as inaudible. “Still” means without sound, without movement, subdued, hushed. “Small” describes something tiny, in no great amount, of minor weight or consequence, easy to overlook.
The law that governs revelation and spiritual gifts is obedience – not grand obedience to vast and amazing laws – just obedience to whatever light and truth you possess, even if it is very “still”. So, we start wherever we are, with whatever truth is present in our lives, no matter how it sounds, and we obey, and obey, and obey. As a direct result of obedience to this law, we receive greater and clearer revelation, our views expand, and we obey on this new level. This stair step upward progress is how every law and blessing works.
What happens is that revelation evolves according to our “heed and diligence”. As we obey (heed) it becomes easier to recognize. It will take on greater content, become more plain, easier to recognize, and follow.
This isn’t to say that in time all revelation becomes visionary and miraculous. Even on the highest mountain peaks of prophetic insight, most promptings will be subtle.
Prolonged obedience will add occasional spoken words, sentences, even volumes (the language we keep wanting to have to frame and define revelation) it will include visions, sudden insights, bursts of understanding, declarations of doctrine, mysteries, miracles and angelic visitations.
But, it all starts “still”.