Hearing God – Things to consider
This past Sunday I taught a message on prayer, with the emphasis that prayer is a two-way conversation. Prayer isn’t just telling God what we need, but also waiting to hear Him speak to us. This post is a follow up to that, with some things to consider. I pray it speaks to your heart…
- Set aside time to hear from God – The most obvious time is during your prayer time. When you pray, don’t just tell God what you or others need, ask God for answers, then wait and listen. Don’t get impatient, and don’t give up.
- Seek Him in faith – God will not force himself on you. In order to hear from God we must be willing to believe that God want’s to speak into our life, and that He will speak into our life.
- Recognize the most common way that God will speak to you individually is through your mind – God uses the ministry of the Holy Spirit to speak to us, and most often it will come as a thought that comes to our mind. Often this will be accompanied by a feeling of peace, confidence, or joy as the Holy Spirit bears witness to your heart. Other ways He speaks are through dreams, visions, and sometimes audibly.
- Always confirm what you hear with His written word – God will never tell you to do something that is out of line with His word. If something is already in His word, then recognize that He’s already spoken it to you! For example, God will not tell you to divorce your spouse because you’re unhappy in your marriage. God will, however, guide you in how to restore life to your marriage!
- Consider the impact of the question – Some things you ask God are small, such as “should I give this ministry $100.” If you miss God on that question, it’s not a huge deal. But other questions are more impactful, such as “Should I marry this person?” We should not make quick decisions on things that can have a great impact on our lives. Pray over the question, search the scriptures for confirmation, and get counsel from mature, godly saints.
- Check your motives – Are you truly open to whatever God has to say and committed to putting His guidance into action and fulfilling His purposes, even when doing so is challenging?
- Make your goal more than just hearing His voice – Don’t try to hear from God just for the experience, the goal is relationship.
- Remain humble – Be careful to not start thinking you’re special, or that you’re more spiritual than other Christians because you hear from God.
- Don’t force it – Focus on developing a respectful relationship with God and wait for His timing to deliver messages to you. Also be aware that God will answer in His timing, not ours. God may know that you need to wait, and continue praying, before He gives you an answer.
- Recognize that we won’t get it perfect – There may be times when we feel God has spoken, but later we recognize that it was our own thoughts. Don’t let that experience keep you from seeking Him. It takes time and experience to learn to hear the voice of the Lord in your life. When two people start a relationship, it takes time together to learn to communicate effectively. Remember it’s a journey!