This question was asked in response to my post, “God Told Me You Are Not The One“. I responded that it would be a good post to tackle for the Reader Questions series, which is what I am trying to do today. By the way, if you do not believe that God speaks directly to His children today, I invite you to read “Hearing From God“.
Another reader also asked specifically for guidelines under the same post. Her comment is below:
Ufuo, from your stories and the way you bring out what’s in you, i have come to know that God speaks with you, i am longing to also hear him talk to me also. Please i need guidlines
First of all, I wouldn’t say that there is a formula for hearing from God! He is, afterall, the Boss. He decides if, when, how and how frequently He will communicate with each of us. But we ought to know that nothing moves God like FAITH!!!
Your faith not only challenges, but excites God to communicate with you… And as you do so more often, and as you HEED what He says, He will commune with you more, and you will grow in your ability to hear His voice.
However, if He chooses to speak to you, and you doubt His voice…and you go seeking other voices that speak lies, you will damage your hearing! You will not be able to discern His voice from others, because you have chosen confusion instead of faith (Jam 1:5-8). And if He tells you something, and you know and believe that He has spoken to you, but you decide to disobey, He will not reward you with more communication. Until you repent and come back humbly to Him, then He will reach out to you and minister to you again.
God desires to have an intimate relationship with each and everyone of us. In fact, He already has a relationship with every soul on this Earth, whether or not they are Christian or they believe in Him. The relationship can be good or bad, awkward, distant, growing…you get my drift. But there is a relationship, and it takes TWO people who are listening to each other, trusting and loving each other, to have a good, intimate relationship.
If you want to hear from God, a sure way to do so is by initiating communication with Him through prayer. If you want Him to speak to you, speak with Him! Tell Him that you want to know Him more, that you want to grow in your Faith walk, that you want to be able to discern His voice and His will. Ask Him for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Ask for more of His Spirit.
Then listen. Switch off all noise and distractions, and even clear your mind of thought. Try this a few times each day. He may not speak to you immediately. And it is quite likely it won’t be audible. But He will speak…and you must also realise that it may not be in the time you allotted for Him to!
There are also many ways God speaks and has spoken in the past, and there have been audible voices, visions, dreams and even Angelic visitations. You may begin to identify a particular way He speaks to you, or you hear Him the clearest. Be open, and let Him remain in control of this.
One of the things that hinder us from hearing from God is our fear! We might be afraid that He will give us an impossible mission, when we would rather be comfortable in our lives. We might be afraid that He will tell us the truth about ourselves, that we are not ready to face. We might be afraid that He will ask us to give up something that we are holding dearly. We might also be afraid that we will be deceived by another Spirit contrary to Christ! But we need to trust that when we ask God to speak to us, He will!
Fear counters faith, and so, you are not likely to hear from God when you are afraid to or afraid of being deceived! If you want to hear from God, you’ve got to be surrendered to His will! You’ve got to be ready to do what He says. You’ve got to be ready to be used by Him, whichever way He chooses. And you’ve got to remain humble and sincere, so that you will readily discern His voice from others.
The easiest way to identify God’s voice is by knowing His Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. It is also the Spirit of Grace and Truth. It is also Love and Wisdom. If we have God’s Spirit in us, we can discern the truth from lies. We can discern wisdom from foolishness. And this is where it really starts.
You are like a little child who must be trained in Wisdom, Love and Truth through communication with his Father. Your language is Wisdom, Love and Truth. When you are young, you won’t be very knowledgeable in Wisdom, Love and Truth. But as you spend more time with your Father, and learn from Him and communicate with Him often, you will mature and become fluent in Wisdom, Love and Truth. You will easily identify and understand Him by this language you share.
You may be doing some thinking in your head, which you do all the time, without much effort and thought, and the Spirit of Truth will speak to you, probably contrary to your train of thought, or taking a bold step further than you were willing to consider. This is a point where, if you are sincere, you will acknowledge the voice of Wisdom (God), and thank Him – and heed His counsel. However, most people do not respond to such subtle messages from God. They are looking for something loud and clear and undeniable. But if you learn to heed God’s voice at this level, you will begin to identify His voice as distinct from your thinking voice.
The other way to identify God’s voice is by knowing His Word, as revealed in the Scriptures. The Scriptures contain much of God’s truth and wisdom, and we ought to meditate on them often, so that they will be a part of us. We may not know the exact location of the Bible verse, but we know what the Word says. God uses this to minister to us a lot, and to deliver us out of trouble and temptation.
He may remind you of a Scripture while you are sharing your faith with someone. He may cause you to recite Scripture in your dream, that ministers to your situation. He may lift up your spirit with a timely Scripture when you are feeling sad or discouraged. It is important to familiarize yourself with the Scriptures, so that you know them by heart…and so that you can filter out lying spirits who quote Scripture erroneously, like Jesus did to Satan when tempted.
Once you’ve recognised God’s voice, and you know He has spoken to you – acknowledge it. Say “Thank You, Father, for speaking to me!” It is good to do this, because the devil can quickly come with doubt and say, “Did God really say???” To make it stick, write it down!!! Wonder why God told the Prophets to write down so much? So that they can cast out the doubting and lying voice of Satan, who makes us doubt the Word of God.
God had me write “The God Who Helps Me Write” as a way to defeat the voice of doubt in my life! Now, I can’t deny that God speaks to me… Even when I face those quiet moments… Even when I have messed up again after He spoke to me. I know He speaks, and I know He’s real and not just in my head, and I go back to Him, who is the only One who can heal and restore me.
This is the fundamental reason the Devil likes us to live as though God doesn’t speak, or to live in fear of being deceived. He doesn’t want us to have an intimate relationship with God that is characterised by trust and obedience. He doesn’t want us to be reconciled with God when we fall. Rather, he would have us believe that it was all in our head, and that God was never there! It is so important to have faith in God, and to have communion with His Spirit continually! Don’t let fear or doubt hold you back…
I hope you will begin to listen to God and train your ear to discern His voice more and more. Remember, Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow. They will not follow a stranger!” (John 10:27, v4-5) Have no fear, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13).
This is a walk of faith. On this matter of hearing from God, you must also exercise faith. And we know that, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6). Amen.
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