Initially, I want to admit that God does speak to men and women in audible voice. There are several tremendous examples of this in the Bible. |
For example, God audibly told Moses to guide the Jewish people from Egypt at the burning bush (Exodus 3:3-22). His voice was audible at Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:17). His voice stopped the murderous Saul in his tracks and converted him to a believer we recognize as Paul (Acts 9:1-9).
However, I believe we can all agree this is not really God's regular strategy in reaching us! For this reason, I have gathered a much more practical Top 3 list of how you can hear God speak to you...
#1: Reading Scripture
Did you ever hear anyone inform you that we don’t actually read scripture, rather, scripture reads us? In this case, they are discussing the power of scripture to talk to us as we are reading the words on the page. Let me provide you with a couple of examples.
First, think about a daily devotional which you may read. Take into consideration that you have no real power over what passage is presented day by day. Now think about how you've been battling selfishness and today’s devotional just happens to cover Mark 9:35 (i.e., the last shall be first). Might it be God's approach to talking to you?
Second, think about the story of the vine and the branches (John 15). You have likely heard this tale MANY times growing up and in adulthood. Today, discussing it, however, you understand that you're not producing much fruit. Maybe you realize your pessimistic attitude is having an influence on your children in negative ways. You discover them being selfish, using harsh speech, and filled with discontent. In reading this parable, you realize that it is your own negativity that's encouraging this environment... the kids are only picking it up!
Consider that your time getting read by the Bible (i.e., your Bible reading time) may be a meaningful chance to hear God speak to you.
#2: Memory Verses
A second major method in which God speaks to you is through the very scripture you have memorized. Obviously, to ensure God can communicate with you this way, it requires a discipline of memorizing scripture.
The strength of memorized scripture often has very little related to the moment in your own life when you choose to memorize it. Rather, its power comes when you're in the instant of a need, a struggle, or perhaps a temptation. It's within these times when that memory verse “pops” into your mind and essentially GUIDES you through difficult times or decisions.
Indeed, scripture memory is a POWERFUL way to hear God’s voice speaking to you...
#3: Other People
Another critical way in which God speaks to us is by using other people. Keep in mind, we need to have an open heart for getting His voice through others, as well as their words really need to be infused with wisdom and truth.
Permit me to provide you with an illustration. At one time in my life, I battled about a choice to locate a new job. I prayed and prayed for a new job and suffered and suffered without one. I put a great deal of effort and hard work into finding new employment without success. About 1.5 years into this time in my life, I began to contemplate that God had me exactly where He wanted me… with my ongoing position.
I talked to my wife about my reasonable conclusion. It was at this point that I believe God used my wife to guide me. In particular, my wife reminded me our God is good, and out of His goodness, He WANTS great goodness for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Her words were more than sufficient to breathe new power into my search for a new position. It required another 6 months, but finally, God did bless me and my family with a new job.
While hearing God audibly speak to us may not be a possibility for many of us, e can find things we are able to do when we're listening. Particularly, the disciplines of 1) reading the Bible and 2) memorizing scripture, and 3) listening for wisdom from others will direct you in His will.
Yet one more word of caution... Even David, who is famous for His above average "heart for God", experienced instances in his life in which he didn't hear God's voice (see Psalms 22 and 38 for examples). If David had these moments, we can expect the same within our particular relationships with God. Be encouraged that deep closeness will return provided that your pursuit of God is ongoing.
Please visit my FREE ministry site at OnlinePrayerJournal.com for lots of tools to help accelerate your spiritual growth!
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