January 8, 2016
One of the most important things you can ever learn as a believer is how to hear God’s voice and if you are anything like me, you are desperate for Him to speak to you. I’m glad that you’re desperate because unless you’re desperate you won’t really hear God speaking.
So here are 5 practical ways to start hearing God’s voice:
1. Position Your Heart
In order to hear God’s voice you must have a Personal Relationship with God. This happens by trusting In Jesus Christ to save you from your sins and turning to Him for salvation alone. This saving isn’t just a future thing though. It’s also a present reality. When you came to Christ you know have the great opportunity to delight in Him. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Delighting in Him is having a personal relationship with God. Now it’s important that you delight on who God is and not what he can give you. Don’t just go to God so he can fix your problem. He’s a person who wants to spend time with you not a genie who makes all your wishes come true. I have fallen into the trap where life has gotten so chaotic that I only run to God for answers to my problems but not for Him to be my sustainer. If this is the position of your heart don’t expect God to speak to you.
2. Prepare Your Mind
God has a myriad of ways that he speaks. He uses your thoughts, impressions, visions/dreams, people and most importantly the word of God. In order for us to be ready to hear, we need to engage our minds on what he might say. Here are some of the ways that I have learned to prepare my mind:
I pray & meditate on the beauty of God.
Psalms 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Some people will say that being still means to find a quiet place and work on some breathing techniques. While you may get your body to relax for a short period of time your soul is still anxious to meet with God. This is why preparing your mind involves meditating on the majesty and greatness of who God is. Allow yourself to concentrate on God’s sovereignty if you want to hear His voice because in doing this you remind yourself that God is an all-powerful, loving father who wants to speak to you.
I have a journal full of questions for God.
Some of the questions I ask him are:
- Father, what attribute of you do you want me to meditate on today?
- What sin in my life is currently hindering me from drawing closer to you?
- Father, what do you want to convict me about today?
- Father, how do you see me right now?
- Father, how can I be more faithful today?
3. Ponder the Word
Once you position your heart and write down all your questions for God than you’re ready to hear God speak. The way you hear God speak is by opening up the Word of God. It’s the best way to hear God speak. While I believe God speaks through thoughts, impressions, and dreams, all of those things must line up with the word of God. When you sit down and ask God to answer the questions you’ve written down, many times certain thoughts will run through your mind. Some of those are from you, the enemy or from God. This is why it’s important to check these thoughts with scripture. Also don’t try to make your thoughts fit the scriptures, let the scriptures speak for themselves. The scriptures are alive and active. They are the very words of God for us.
But I know that sometimes reading the bible can be boring and hard. The reason this might be happening to you is because you were never taught how to read the bible. So the bible ends up being extremely boring. If this is the case I encourage you to check out this video from Desiring God on some practical tips on bible reading. Also if you really want to learn how to study the bible, you can take a semester off and check out the LEAD Internship.
Once you open up your bible, it’s important to read it slow and if possible, out loud to allow yourself the ability to meditate on the great things God has written for all his people. So you started with meditating on God and now you’re meditating on his Word. I have found that reading out loud helps me to critically think about what I’m reading and forces me to ask hard questions about the text.
4. Praise with Your Soul
As you are reading the bible certain things are going to jump out at you. God is going to convict you about some sin or encourage you in your faith or He may bring someone to mind you should pray for. He can do a lot of different things but when he does this you should praise him for it. Praise him for it because he just spoke to you, even if it’s in a small way.
5. Present it to your Mentors
Finally, when you think you’ve heard God say something to you share it with your mentors. They can help you discern whether what you think you got from God was really from Him or not.
Make sure not to miss this step. You may be afraid to share it with people because if you’re wrong than it means you didn’t hear from God.
That’s ok! You are learning how to hear his voice. God is not going to beat you over the head for trying to learn. He’s actually really excited that you’re taking the time to understand how he speaks to you. So be encouraged that every time you read the word and ask God to answer any of the questions you have for him that he delights in responding back to you.