Archive for the ‘Hearing God’ Category

Does God Speak to Me?

“Well, I certainly hope so,” I thought to myself as I contemplated following God in courting Adele. He had told me a few days earlier in an inaudible voice, “This is the one who I have saved for you.” However, I had quickly put it in the back of my mind. I didn’t put much stock in an inaudible message from God in those days.

So began a journey of one and a half years of seeking God every step of the way in courting Adele. I had a proven track record of failure in courting and so I was desperate to hear his voice telling me the way to go.

I was to hear his voice through books, pros and cons lists, wise counsel, approval of those who were my spiritual leaders, my desires, and my inner thoughts informed by biblical principles. However, I was holding out to ask her to marry me until I heard his voice through the Scriptures.

Then, one Sunday afternoon when I was doing my weekly bible study, I heard his voice from two verses. He said, “Have I brought you this far in your relationship with Adele and will I not complete the process? Show your faith in Me and act now and ask her to marry you” (Isaiah 66:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). I could hardly contain my excitement at his go-ahead.

Of course God speaks to me. He speaks to all his children every day. But are we listening? Do we want to hear his voice? These are the key questions.

How else can God have an intimate love relationship with us unless he speaks to us daily? He says, “When you walk about, I will guide you; when you sleep I will watch over you; and when you are awake, I will talk to you” (Proverbs 6:22). In this verse he promises to do these things through his Word.

Today, God spoke to me in my quiet time in Galatians about the importance of fighting for grace. As Paul was fighting for the Christians to live by dependence on the Spirit and not return to Judaism, God wants me to fight for Christians to depend on the Spirit to live life.  He does not want us to return to earning our salvation, worth, love, and acceptance.

God talks to us in many other ways as well. Here are a couple of other ways.

In recent years, practicing silence has helped me to hear God’s voice better. As I get away from the noise, I can better hear the “still small voice” deep within.

“And after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a sound of a gentle blowing. And behold a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:12-13).

He often speaks to us when we ask him to. “Shall I give you a snake if you ask Me for a fish?” (An application of Matthew 7:10).

When we ask him questions, he will answer us in his time and in his way. “His ears are open to [our] cry” (Psalm 34:15).

As we learn to recognize God’s voice, we are protected from following the other voices we hear. “My sheep know My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

To help you become more a doer of the Word, ask God to help you reflect on your day. List the different ways he spoke to you and what he said.

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I have sought to hear the voice of God over the years to determine his will regarding many big decisions. “God, is it your will to marry Adele?” “Lord, do you want me to be an elder?” “God, which church should I go to?”

I have used the following principles hundreds of times in the last forty years to hear God’s voice:

  • What biblical principles apply?
  • What does wise counsel say?
  • Do I have peace about the decision?
  • Which direction do the circumstances seem to be pointing?
  • Which option do I desire the most?
  • What are the pros and cons?

I am reasonably confident that in almost all instances I have been able to discern God’s voice on which direction to go. However, I do not have that same confidence when it comes to the little decisions I make everyday.

In the last several years, I have grown to realize that what God wants from me is my companionship throughout the day. He wants me to talk to him, but he also wants me to listen to him as well. He really wants to do life with me.

If this is so, then you need to ask yourself how you can do life with him if you do not listen to him? Sure, you may listen to him in the big decisions of life that you seek his guidance on. But what about the big decisions that you neglect to seek him on? What about listening to him about other things that he may want to speak to you about today?

It is amazing that he wants more from us than just following the orders of a commander.  He also wants an intimate relationship with us. He wants to talk to us. Are we listening?

I have grown over the last several years in my ability to hear God’s voice in daily life. It has not been easy because I have often clung to tradition, do lists, and old habits that make me think I do not need to hear his voice. However, as I have grown in living life with God, I realize more than ever how much I need to continue to grow in my skill to hear his voice.

One big reason to hear God’s voice is so we do not get misled or deceived by other voices. Our voice can be one of these. Satan’s voice can be another and all the people he uses to lie and lead us in the wrong direction. Therefore, we need to become good discerners of the voice of God.

One practice that helps me hear God’s voice is silence. I can often hear God’s voice when I am quiet. I have to work at being quiet by turning off the TV and other distractions. Then, I sit for several minutes listening for God’s quiet voice in my thoughts and impressions.

Another practice I am using more is to write portions of Scripture as if God were speaking to me personally through that passage. This practice combines meditation on the Word, application, and journaling. God speaks to me in profound ways through this practice.

So my challenges to you are two. First, ask God to bring to your mind why it would be good to hear his voice throughout the day. The second challenge is to ask him one thing you could do today to better listen to him. Please let me know what he said.

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