How to Hear from God
If the Church will learn to hear and obey the voice of God, we will change the world.
Hearing God is about something that you are, not something that you do.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. … I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” — John 10:1-4,11,16,27
How God Speaks
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. — Hebrews 1:1-2
This does not mean that God used to speak but doesn’t anymore.
How God does not speak:
- Point and shoot — Opening your bible at random and pointing to a verse.
- Message-a-minute — Telling you which socks to wear, etc. God is not a helicopter parent.
- Magic numbers — Don’t plug your birthday into your favorite book for a life verse.
God certainly can do those things, but that’s not relational. God is not a vending machine or a Magic 8 ball.
The book of Acts is a great reference for us: New Testament, post-Holy Spirit’s coming. And God spoke. A lot: 32 times in 28 chapters.
Eight ways God spoke to His people in Acts:
- Vision — Acts 10:10-12 — Peter has a vision
- Prophecy — Acts 15:32 — Judas and Silas prophesied, strengthening the believers
- Angel — Acts 12:7 — Angel spoke to Peter in prison
- God told them — Acts 23:11 — the Lord stood by Paul (Audibly?)
- God spoke audibly — Acts 9:4-5 — Saul on the road to Damascus
- Spirit told them — Acts 16:6-7 — Spirit forbade Paul and Silas to speak in Asia
- Circumstances — Acts 16:6-7 — Did not permit them to go
- Dream — Acts 16:9 — Paul’s dream of Macedonian man
In every case, God was giving them practical information or encouragement for their everyday living and ministry. He NEVER delivers a new theology.
How to Hear God’s Voice
If any of us has a problem hearing from God, it’s never His fault.
1. You’re born with the ability to hear Him.
Sheep have the ability to hear their shepherd. God created us (in His image) to communicate with us.
2. It’s learned.
Children are born with the ability to communicate, but they have to learn sounds, words, etc.
So practice: Pray, read the word, etc. and write down what you think He is saying to you. Not sure? Ask again. It’s okay.
3. It’s maturity.
We all get better at communicating in the natural. It’s the same with God.
As we grow and learn, we can ask less and less, and worship more and more. There are things He doesn’t have to tell you after awhile.
Communication Takes Time
You’ll never hear the voice of God if you don’t have time.
Photo cred: Jonatan Pie