This is why I use parables. For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. Mathew 13:13
I am convinced that God is always speaking to us, but the question is are we really hearing His voice. It has been said that the average person interrupts a conversation about 17 seconds into one with another person. Most of us are really good at letting God know what we think matters, but how good are we at listening to His voice for what really counts? Now when we talk about hearing God’s voice, we aren’t talking about new age philosophies or inner monologue, mediums or philosophies or self-talk for that matter. It is real intimate conversation with Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. It is the voice of the Shepherd that we want to recognize because ‘my sheep hear my voice’ in John 10.
The exercise of hearing God’s voice is for those who have put their faith in Jesus, believe that the Bible is God’s Word, desire to submit to God and allow Holy Spirit to direct you.
This is not a mind thing, this is a Spirit thing where our spirit connects with the Spirit of God. God wants to direct us through Holy Spirit.
I also want to note that these following keys are comprised from the teaching of Mark Virkler on this subject.
Key#1 Be Still
1 Corinthians 2:9-10New Living Translation (NLT)
9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
The challenge here is to turn off all the competing voices in our life so we can actually focus on His voice. This means turning off the phone, computer and remove myself from all distractions. Recently I watched the movie, War Room, and it was the walk-in closet that became the room where the battle was fought, where prayers and verses covered the walls. It was inspiring for sure! Go to your sweet spot, that place where you can be in His presence. If you have distracting thoughts, take a piece of paper to write the “to do list’ down. It is also a good time to confess your sins and just be humble in His presence. Think about your day, the attitudes, reactions, wrong words etc… Confront them, accept them as sin and get it right with Him.
Key#2 Fix Your Eyes On Jesus
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Take time to bring yourself into His powerful presence. Worship music is a great way to draw near to Him and reading Scripture is also excellent. I also find that even a simple act like taking my shoes and socks off to remind me I'm in the presence of God is a powerful act of faith.
Become aware the presence of God - this is where great accomplishments start. Acknowledge God- The name of God is embedded in the name of Jesus. Yahweh is in Yeshua Agree to His assignment- if God is in it, it's going to be easy. He's the One who does it. All you have to do is say yes. It's God in you the hope of glory. Our job is to yield, surrender to the HS. The biggest battles are inside of me. Less striving, more receiving. Heroes aren't born, they are cornered. I love this statement because it reminds me that there is always going to be a battle between where I am and where God wants to take me and it is the same for all of us!
Key # 3 Tune Into Spontaneous Thoughts
John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
The mind is analytical and the Spirit is spontaneous, it bubbles up and flows like a river inside of us. The ways that God speaks to us are many but they include the Bible, pictures, dreams, a word and there are those who have heard the audible voice of God. If it’s a picture, journal it and take time to look up the meaning or biblical significance of it.
Key #4 Write it Down!
Revelation 1:1 This is a revelation from[a] Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, 2 who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Take time to write down what you sense God is speaking to you. Get a blank journal and fill it with your God thoughts and insights. Let it inspire, motivate and challenge you.
So, what would get in the way of hearing His voice?
· Unforgiveness in our heart – bitterness towards another person can keep us disconnected.
· An idol in our heart –it becomes are sole focus when we are connecting with God, it could be a relationship, our job, whatever is consuming us.
· Our own agenda – we already know how we are going to handle the situation.
How can I know if it’s God ?
Some tests are:
1. Is it encouraging and building you up? God will convict you, but He will not shame you.
2. Does it contradict the Word of God? God will not contradict Himself with messages that He gives you.
Questions to ask God
How do you feel about me?
What do you want to say to me today? Speak LORD for your child is listening!
God is not a crystal ball, He is not a magic genie. He is not going to tell you when you are going to get married or when you’ll die…
Finally, leave your agenda. He knows what you need to hear. He knows your desires, your thoughts. Give Him freedom to speak into your life. Remember He is a good God, trust HIM and know that His plans are good.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.