All of my life I have grown up in a prophetic culture where hearing a word from God from somebody else is the norm. I have gone to more conferences at a church than I can count. When you grow up constantly hearing words that God is telling someone else for your church, region, nation or world it is easy to put your own ears in the backseat.
Christians submerged in this culture have a tendancy to become lazy when it comes to activating their own ability to hear the voice of God. We tend to rely on others to give us the new “Heavy Revey“.
This is dangerous and sets you up to be malnourished in your own spiritual walk.
There are times in my life when I go through seasons of constantly listening to different pastors around the world, as well as, listening to online conferences. However, in the last couple years as I have entered in a different season of life with running our business, and I have not exposed myself to as much teaching/prophetic ministry as I have in the past. In one sense, I have missed out growing in certain areas of my spiritual walk. On the other hand, I have had to learn to tune my ears in to Gods voice and ask for discernment to understand what He is telling me and where He is guiding me.
I never want to get to the place in my life where all I am listening to are the revelations that God has given someone else. Because when that happens, I cut myself off from the life flow of the Spirit of God that He wants to pour in and through me.
Now you might say I don’t know how to hear the voice of God. He never speaks to me.
The good news is, that He does all the time we just need to learn to recognize it. This subject has been my heart’s cry since I was 12 years old. I would lay in bed at night crying out to God to hear His voice. I wanted to be like Solomon wanting wisdom and understanding. I wanted to hear his voice so clear.
When I was in Bible college I shared a word with a church in Klamath Falls entitled “Stop, Wait, and Listen.” Boy oh boy, do I wish the computer I used back then didn’t crash because I do not have my notes. The purpose of the message was to teach on how to begin to hear God’s voice.
The first thing we have to do is STOP. Many times when I’m in a church service or praying God will tell me to be quiet. When He says my name first, then tells me to be quiet it really gets my attention! Many times we talk and talk and talk and do not stop to give God a chance to speak to us. He comes to us in a still small voice. Like Elijah in the cave, God did not speak to him in the thunder or in the storm but in a still small voice.
If our voice is only thing we here, we will never hear HIS.
But next we need to WAIT. Now this is the hard part. We have to focus on HIM, our mind, heart, emotions and desires ALL FOCUSED ON HIM. There are a zillion distractions in our life and depending on your present circumstances waiting may feel like an impossibility. But this is where the majority of people who say they cannot hear Gods voice fail. They’re not willing to wait. In this waiting period, many times God begins to speak but we dismiss it on account of not realizing he is speaking.
Not everyone hears an audible voice, that would be a voice that everyone else around you can hear at the same time. Like when John the Baptist was baptizing Jesus and everyone around them heard God speak, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” That was an undeniable audible voice.
Some people here a voice in their head or spirit, some may attribute it to being their conscience. But did you know, your conscience is the Holy Spirit – who is God. We think that our conscience is just “us”. We overlook the fact that God speaks to us all the time, we may not even know it and we don’t give Him the credit. So listen to that voice! He will always give you peace. He also will never contradict His written word in the Bible.
Another way he speaks is through His Written Word – the Bible. You may be reading the Bible and a verse jumps out at you and you can’t get away from it. You reread it over and over and feel at the same time that a match was just lit in your heart. That is the Holy Spirit speaking through the word. Other times, you may be waiting on God and a verse goes through your mind. That is God speaking to you through his word. I would encourage you when that happens to look at that verse up and research the context of what it is saying.
Something else awesome that happens is when you receive a Bible passage in your mind to look up. You might hear the words Psalms 121. Then when you look up that passage it is exactly what you needed to hear. Sometimes I have heard passages like that and went to look them up and they meant nothing to me. But when I read down further it led me to exactly what I needed. Don’t get discouraged if that happens. Sometimes it will be right on and sometimes it will be off. I heard someone say not to take it too literally if it doesn’t work out correctly. Especially if you open up and read and “Judas went and hanged himself”. And especially if it says, “whatever you are going to do, do quickly”. Haha, be wise and have fun with it.
I have seen signs at a church recently that say “Meeting with God face-to-face, through His Word.” The first time I saw that title I got really excited because my experience of meeting God face-to-face has been with my face down in the carpet weeping while experiencing His intense presence & glory like nothing else, while seeing revelations in the spirit. But my experience is not something that you would typically find at the church I was at. It opened my eyes to the reason why we need every denomination in unity. Because every denomination has a piece of the puzzle that the other does not. The desire inside of me to experience God face-to-face in his word is growing more and more. It is definitely a paradigm shift for me to put those two phrases together, face-to-face – in his word. I long to be encountered by God through his word like I never have before.
It also important to discern when God is giving you a yellow light. A traffic light when yellow means caution. We need to make sure we know when we have a check in our spirit and God is telling us to stop or slow down.
The most important thing to do after he speaks is to LISTEN and put action to his words. Many times when he speaks it requires us to do something with what he says. If we doubt his words and never move forward with his instruction we will find ourselves stuck in a rut frustrated with life. He is always speaking, leading, guiding. If you feel stuck in a rut take some time to wait on the Lord and allow him to stir up the desires he has placed in your heart. But then ask, seek, knock and he will open doors before you that you never even dreamed possible.
I pray this blesses you and you’re able to share this with others who desire to hear Gods voice. – Rachelle Layzell