As Christians and true Christ followers we have a longing and a desire to hear God speak to us. Our god is a living God and the Bible tells us, “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Truly listening to God is an art that requires training, meditation, and discipline. Hearing God speak is through the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit working in our inner being impressing His will in our heart and in our minds.
How many of us truly listen to what the Lord is telling us ? As is true with any relationship in our lives, true listening is the key. God has given us two ears and one mouth for a reason. All throughout scripture God calls out to His people to heed, listen and to obey His voice. Proverbs 8:32-35 “ Therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear my instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man, who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and favor from the Lord.”
There are three ways God speaks to us. He speaks to us in prayer- He speaks to us in the written word of scripture and He speaks to us through other people or circumstances. If you want to hear the voice of God and learn what He is trying to reveal to you, it’s possible you’re hearing Him already, for He may be giving you the longing to hear Him. Do you ever feel restless or discouraged, it may be that God is trying to speak to you ?
We become so focused on all the daily tasks, struggles and problems in our lives that we are easily distracted from ever hearing what God is trying to tell us. Then when we do pray we bring all of our requests and concerns to God by speaking, but don’t take the time to really listen for God’s answers. Our minds are filled with so many other voices and distractions that we drown out the quiet whisper of what God is telling us. It’s very helpful to remember Psalm 46:10 “ Be still, and know that I am God.”
So when you pray ask God to give you a hearing heart to listen and to obey. Jesus said in Matthew 13:9 “ He who has ears to hear, let him hear!“ The NLT translation says in v9 “ Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. v12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given and they will have an abundance of knowledge.” It could very well be that we are hearing what God is saying to us but are not willing to do as He says. Or quite simply we selectively listen and then reject what we don’t want to hear or agree with.
A great example of this is when Jesus was admonishing the Pharisee’s because they could not or would not believe or listen that He was the Son of God. In John 8:42 Jesus said to them “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He who sent Me. v43 “Why do you not understand My speech ? Because you are not able to listen to My word.” And then in v47 Jesus says “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear because you are not of God.”
The religious leaders refused to listen to Jesus and stubbornly didn’t want to understand because of their pride and prejudices. Their self - righteousness prevented them from hearing the truth. Are you stubbornly refusing to hear the truth ? Do you hear the quiet voice of God or just refuse to listen to what you don’t want to hear ?
The more time you spend reading the Bible, the more things will begin to jump out and speak to you. The Apostle Paul says it best in 2 Timothy 3:16 “ All scripture is inspired by God, and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. v17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” NLT
The more time you spend reading scripture the more able you are to understand what and how the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart and mind. This is God communicating His message to you. Over time, God's voice will become even clearer to you and you will have an even greater ability to discern it.
Other people and even our circumstances is the third way that God speaks to us. Many times, God uses or places other people in our paths as a means of giving helpful counseling or Godly advice. Suddenly a solution appears with a problem that we have been wrestling with. Out of nowhere and idea pops into our head to overcome an obstacle or to see something from a different perspective. A kind word from someone, an email message, social media post, a phone call or a thoughtful and caring text, triggers an action or response that has not been thought of. All of these things do happen because God makes it so. Our response to all of this is to give God thanks to these revelations with a grateful heart.
Let me leave you with two more verses of truth to meditate and think about.
John 10:27,28 “ My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. v28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
1 John 4:6 “ We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
Start today – Don’t delay and change your life - Let the power of God’s words speak to you and be filled with a peace and joy beyond measure.
Find additional inspiration and encouragement found in the books “Finding Calm in the Storm of Everyday Living” or “Heart and Soul” either going to Amazon directly or hitting the home page of the store.