I’m going to take a break from my series on sin because God has been speaking to my heart and gave me some things He wants me to talk about on my blog for the week. Today’s topic: Hearing from God.
In my quiet time this week I heard the Lord say to my heart that He wants to speak to all His children, but that many of us just aren’t listening. Maybe we don’t take the time to really sit down and have a daily quiet time with Him, or when we do have a quiet time we’re focused on speaking to Him ourselves (prayer) but we don’t just sit quietly and listen for His voice in our hearts and minds. And for some of us, we just don’t believe that God will speak to us. We think that hearing from God is something only pastors and missionaries can do, but not your average Christian. Honestly? That’s a lie from the enemy! God is willing to speak to all His children if we will only take the time to listen and to learn how to distinguish His voice from our own thoughts.
Now, I already wrote a post on how we can know if God is speaking to us, so if you’re wondering that then check out that post. This post is focusing on the fact that God is willing to speak to us all, not just certain Christians. Here are a few questions you may be asking and I would like to try to answer them!
Why Would God Speak to Me?
Many of us are probably wondering why in the world God would speak to me? I’m not important, I’m not doing anything that seems really consequential like leading hundreds to Christ or being the pastor of a church or going to 3rd-world countries and being a missionary. I’m “just” a mom or a teacher or a police officer (insert your job title here). But God isn’t like people. We see things as being more or less “worthy” but what God sees are His children.
If you’re a parent, let me ask you this: Do you talk to your kids? Of course, you do! Well, what if your child decides to become a teacher or a homemaker or some other job that society may not see as “prestigious”? Will you still talk to them? Yes, you will, because you love your child no matter what path he or she may follow.
And if we, as human parents, can do this for our children, why do we think our Heavenly Father, who is the greatest parent that has ever existed, would do any less for us?
I got saved at 5 so I guess I can say that I don’t really know a life without God. I’ve been listening for His voice my whole life and it’s a habit I developed. I don’t think I really questioned why He would speak to me until I reached adulthood and worldly thinking began to cloud my faith-filled mind. You see, society loves the rich and famous, but we see those people as being “above” us and even if we met them in person, why would he or she speak to us? The problem with that thinking is that no matter how rich, famous, or powerful a person is, he or she is still just a normal human being. If we see anyone as “above” us, we’re turning him or her into an idol. No one person (except Jesus) is greater than any other.
God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us so much! We need to see ourselves through His eyes and not the eyes of the world. Even if no one else thinks we’re special, we’re more than special to God! Check out Psalm 139 if you don’t believe me. God knit us together in our mother’s womb. He knows our every thought, word, and action before we take it. And He sees us as perfectly and wonderfully made!
So, why wouldn’t God want to talk to us? We are His children and He loves us unconditionally!
How Can We Hear From God?
I hope you now understand how much God loves you and that He wants to speak to you on a daily basis. But you may be wondering how you can hear from God? That’s a perfectly legit question! Let me first explain how we won’t hear from Him:
- Audibly. You probably won’t hear from God out loud like you would your spouse or children. Now, God is a God without limits, so if He wants to speak to you audibly, He will. I’m just saying that the Bible tells us that He is that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13) in our hearts and minds, so if you’re waiting for Him to talk into your ear, you might be waiting your whole life.
- Through noise. God isn’t going to shout above the noise in our lives. Remember the still small voice? The only way we can hear it is if we set aside time to be quiet. Turn off the music, close the door to your family for a little while, turn off your phone or other electronics, and sit quietly in the Lord’s presence. It’s important for us to learn how to quiet our own thoughts too because I know from personal experience that when you try to be quiet and listen for the Lord, your thoughts will try to barge in and distract you. Personally, when I’m trying to hear from the Lord, if I start thinking about my plans for the day or how hungry I am or whatever, I then think, “No, I rebuke those thoughts in the name of Jesus! Lord, help me to focus on You.” And for me, that works. Rebuking thoughts doesn’t mean they are necessarily sinful. Planning my day isn’t a sin. But for those thoughts to intrude on my time with the Lord is sinful because I want to hear from Him, not myself, and I don’t want to be distracted.
So, we know how we won’t hear from Him. How do we hear from the Lord then?
- In silence. Taking time every day for a quiet time and being still before the Lord, listening for His voice, is one way we can hear from Him. He usually speaks in a still, small voice. In my experience, His voice is more confident and commanding than my own. He speaks only the truth and He does it without hesitation or being wishy-washy.
- In His Word. He also speaks through His Word. Sometimes when we’re reading the Bible a passage or verse will stand out to us more than any others and that is God trying to speak to us.
- In music. Occasionally, when listening to praise music, God will speak to us through the lyrics of the song. When you feel it touch your heart, and in my own life when I feel tears come to my eyes, you know God is speaking to you.
- Through others. Sometimes God speaks to us through other people. But be careful with this one, because many times people want to “help” but aren’t being helpful at all – they are speaking from their own opinion or even being used by the enemy to discourage or deter you from what God wants you to do. Remember that no one knows God’s will and plan for you except you and God.
In all these things, make sure that what you believe you’re hearing from God (whether through the still small voice, through music, or through others) lines up with His Word. If something or someone is telling you to do something that is completely against God’s Word, it isn’t God. This is especially true when others are speaking to you. Make sure that their words line up with God’s Word, and pray about what they say as well. If God isn’t speaking through them, He’ll let you know if you seek Him.
I’ve had people say things to me in the past, and more recently, that I questioned, so I always pray and ask the Lord, “Is this from You, or is this from them, or is this from the enemy?” And in my experience, He’s always let me know where it’s coming from, that way I know what to do with their words.
I hope that this post helps you guys see and understand how important it is for us to allow God to speak to us. It’s the only way we’re going to know what His will and plan are for our lives and to make sure we’re living in obedience to Him.
I love you guys and pray you have an awesome and blessed week!