Are You Positioned to Hear from God?
I have shared before that I believe that God is always speaking to us, but that there are reasons we do not always hear His voice. One of these, is that WE are not always listening which is why we are told: “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). Hand in hand with not listening is that we don’t always want to hear what God has got to say, or we simply don’t know the sound of His voice like His sheep would know their Shepherd. (John 10:27).
But being in relationship with Him means that at one point of our lives, we did hear His voice and listen to what He had to say, then accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. Life, old habits and circumstances, may mean that we don’t hear Him as well as we used to. I believe that all of us wish that we could hear Him more.
Today, I would like to share five things that you could do to position yourself to hear from God.
- Spend time in His Presence. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah had to “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord,” when the Lord passed by. Once the Lord was there in the silence, Elijah went out and heard His voice. Spending time in His presence involves 1)reading and studying the word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17); 2) praying i.e. talking and listening to Him. (1 Thes 5:16-18) and 3) being in church among other believers who also enjoy His Presence. Dwight Moody said; “The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to church… is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.”
2. Be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The voice of the Holy Spirit is that still small voice that brings conviction, confirmation and clarity. “How can I be sure?” you may ask. I have found that when I am not sure if I am hearing His voice, I be obedient anyway. I find that with time, He will confirm that you heard from Him or not. AND then, from experience, you will know what He sounds like, or not. But, if you never test it, how will you know what He does sound like. (Heb 3:7-8)
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,”
3. Serve under your spiritual leaders in the spiritual home God has placed you in. In your spiritual home, when God speaks, our leaders are familiar with His voice. Samuel served under Eli and when the time came for God to speak to him directly, it was his spiritual leader, Eli that helped him to recognize the voice of God and then position himself to hear and be obedient. (1 Sam 3:1-10). When God speaks He is clear and understandable and does not leave His servants in the dark.
“… these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,
‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:10-16)
4. Recognise that God speaks to us through other people, but also know that what He says, never contradicts His Word. When God speaks to us through other people, it normally confirms that which He has spoken to us previously in our time with Him. Many people will speak on behalf of the Lord, coming with a word specially for you, without spending time in His presence and listening to what He says. In Jeremiah’s day there were prophets speaking for God, ideas that actually came from their own minds, yet not spending any time in His Word. (Jer 23:16-18, 36) Be careful who you allow to speak into your life and position yourself alongside people who you know hear from God, regularly.
5. God often uses trying circumstances to position us to hear Him. We know that it is when we are down, uncomfortable, desperate and without hope that we are more ready to hear, to listen to what He is saying to us. Very often God uses circumstances to get our attention, as C.S. Lewis said: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse the deaf world.”
- If there is something in the list which you could do better, to position yourself more effectively to hear from God, what are you going to do about it today?
- How many moments of stillness are there in your life, opportunities to be still and listen? Identify what noise is in your life, that may drown out the stillness needed to hear the voice of God.
- Take some time to consider who are the people around you, that you know hear from God on a regular basis?
- Are you going through trying circumstances? What may God be trying to say to you during this time?
Lord help me to identify what I need to do to hear your voice more clearly in my life. As I examine each of these five areas in my life, make my heart sensitive to the prodding of the Holy Spirit so that I can make correction in my life. Today, I make the decision, to move myself spiritually to be in a position to hear Your voice. Lord, I want to be one of those sheep that recognise your voice and obey. I declare that I am a person that hears the voice of God.