It’s a topic that I never get tired of talking about: Hearing God’s voice and knowing for sure that it’s Him speaking to you.
I get excited about this subject because I was a Christian for a long time before I became aware of the fact that I could have a relationship with God. I spent most of my life as a Christian who approached God with the understanding that I had to do certain things to please Him (and to get what I wanted). I needed to spend time praying, reading the Bible and going to church – the more, the better.
I felt very strongly that if I followed a path that was filled with me doing everything right, that I would be considered a good Christian and my life would turn out exactly the way I planned. That was important to me.
Over the years, I had put into practice reading my Bible daily, praying regularly, going to church for all the meetings and even sharing the Gospel with others and arguing with my peers over Biblical things. I was puffed up with pride and considered myself to be spiritual enough to judge other people for not being perfect (like me), but my understanding of being a good Christian was way off.
When I was in college, I became depressed. I couldn’t find any real joy in being a Christian. What was the point in reading the Bible, praying and acting perfect all the time? Is this what being a Christian was all about? Where was God when I needed Him?
The truth is that He was there and willing to speak to me, but listening to God is like listening to anyone – before I was able to hear His voice, I had to be ready to listen.
Just as in a conversation, you can’t hear the other person if you are talking or if your mind is distracted, the same is true with God. If you want to hear Him, you have to be still and focused on what He is saying. And when you communicate with God, your life will start changing.
Choosing a quiet place to meet with God every day is important. Remember that hearing God’s voice requires intentionally shutting out the chaos around you and focusing your thoughts. We are always surrounded by the hubbub of life that keeps us from letting our thoughts get below the surface. Listening to God involves blocking out the noise around us. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
Is God someone you can hear? The Bible says so, and the Bible is the main way in which the Lord chooses to speak to us.
King David gave us a model for meeting with God:
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. | Psalm 143:8
David sought God’s direction in the morning. He wanted to hear from his Creator before he got lost in whatever the day would bring. Beginning each day fresh with God is a great reminder that, as Scripture says, His mercies are new every morning. It also gives us the opportunity to submit our days to Him, that He would use them for His glory and our good.
It’s wonderful to spend time with the Lord in the morning, but if you’re not a morning person, find another time of day that works for you and meet with Him then.
Complaining about not knowing God’s will or not hearing from God when your Bible is closed is like complaining about not getting text messages when your phone is turned off. Open up the Word of God! Hearing from God requires daily Bible reading. The Bible is a letter written so that we would know the Lord. Understanding the heart of God requires a heart that is soft and committed to understanding His message.
If we desire to hear from God, we must have a right attitude when we sit before Him. We must have a desire to do His will. Understand that God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him. If we come before Him stubbornly clinging to our own desires, we are likely to get a distorted message that will not be God’s voice at all. As a result, we are likely to continue down a path that is contrary to the one God has planned for us.
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. |Psalm 40:8
Do you desire God’s will for your life above everything else? If you do, you can trust that He will direct your path. Listen to what He has to say, and be quick to obey. Write down what He tells you and be ready to share it so that others would be blessed and understand.
When you hear from the Lord and live surrendered to the Holy Spirit of God, you will discover a life that is full and rich with purpose, and you can be confident that you are walking in the will of God for your life. There is freedom, joy and peace that passes all understanding when you entrust your life fully to the One who loves you more than you love yourself.