“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." ~Isaiah 30:21
Listen! All we have to do is listen and we will hear! I know this might sound like I’m being sarcastic but the answer is just that simple. And, if we get calm and quiet, we will be in a far better condition to receive His still small voice. God will never scream or yell, He is always patient and calm.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” ~Psalm 46:10
No-one can hear without actively listening, and you can’t actively listen if you're in a noisy environment or focusing on something else. God taught me how to really listen, and it’s this important lesson that I want to share with you. We must first get still and quiet, allow our minds to settle down, only then He can communicate with us.
I have discovered one of the best ways to receive a message from God is through His written word! Start by getting still and remove all distractions before you open your Bible. Then talk to Him while you’re reading the Bible and ask Him to show you how what you’re reading applies to you and your life. Many times He will take me from verse to verse through the cross-references in my Bible. Other times He will simply put an inexplicable knowledge in my mind—I'm suddenly able to understand what a particular verse is referring to or how it pertains to a current issue in my life.
The Lord is not secretive. He illuminates scripture to those who want to know its meaning, but that usually requires a lot of patience, (something I’m still working on). God will speak with clarity to anyone who listens prayerfully and submissively. He wants to speak to us—His great desire is for us to know Him as intimately as Moses, David, and Paul did. Dig into the Bible every day, and listen to what Jesus is communicating to your heart.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” ~John 1:1-3
The Word of God is a living, creative force—the Word of God is literally Jesus Himself—He was the voice that spoke everything into existence. And He is actively at work in your heart when you read His written word. When you read the Bible, ask Jesus to make the words come alive for you and then become a conduit for Him to send His thoughts to your mind. Then focus on what He sends you and align yourself toward whatever He tells you so He can transform your life.
God has no limit as to how He can and will communicate to us. He will use any number of means to get through to me, everything from the words in a song on the radio to something a sales clerk says to me later that day. The real secret to hearing Him is listening, truly listening. Ask Him to show you something and then just be open to receive the answer. Many times it’s the very next thought that pops into your mind.
Will God really answer me…?
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” ~Revelation 3:20
Yes, God will answer us. He wants nothing more than for us to reach out to Him. As it says in the above verse, if you hear my voice! So, yes, clearly God talks to us. His Spirit is alive in us and is trying to be in a state of communion with us all the time.
If we can just get into a state of peacefulness we would easily be able to hear His voice. Get still and calm, pray, silently in your head and ask Him your question, and nearly always the very next thought will be His answer.
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace..." ~1 Corinthians 14:33
If we could just understand that we must be still. We are in such a habit of being on the go, go, go all the time, and then when we do stop, we immediately grab a cell phone or turn on the television. Even when we’re driving in the car the radio is usually blasting or we’re talking on our phone.
“Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” ~1 Kings 19:11-12
We must then acknowledge that when we learn to hear God, we have to be obedient. Turning a deaf ear to our Creator is as bad as it gets. Ultimately this is the beginning of the end. If we refuse to listen and reject Him continually, the “unpardonable sin’ will eventually ensue. This is what God refers to as “Grieving the Holy Spirit.” When we repeatedly refuse to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit of God, we will eventually grow deaf to His voice. If we continually shut Him down because we don’t want to stop sinning, we will ultimately become completely deaf to hearing Him in any way, shape or form.
Jesus gave us His Spirit in full force when He died and returned to heaven. He gave us a way to be led and corrected, comforted and renewed—we must simply learn to listen and then obey.
"Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” ~Hebrews 3:15
Q: Are you ready to really start listening?
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