By Paul Leavens
I’ve never audibly heard God’s voice, and I would guess most of us have not. But God still speaks today often in a still, small voice.
So how do we hear God’s voice? The first way is to pray. You have to spend time with God and talk to Him if you want to hear from Him. When I spend alone time with God, I often have hundreds of other thoughts running through my head.
But in Psalm 46:10, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This verse isn’t about sitting still. It’s about settling our thoughts and focusing our undivided attention on God. God will speak to your heart in those quiet moments.
He also often speaks while we are worshiping Him and singing His praises because our attention is focused on Him.
Another way God speaks to us is through His Word. If you are facing a trial or an important decision, read the Bible. You’ll be amazed how a verse you’ve read 30 times will take on new meaning and minister to you.
Sometimes God speaks to us through other brothers and sisters in Christ. When facing a big decision, seek Godly counsel. In my experience, the biggest barrier to hearing God’s voice is confusion. We might ask ourselves, am I hearing God’s voice, my voice or Satan’s voice?
This always is difficult. The No. 1 thing to remember is God will never tell us to do something that is counter to His Word, so use the Bible to judge everything. But things aren’t always so black and white.
Sometimes I can figure out God’s voice through the process of elimination.
My mental conversation might go something like this: “Would I tell myself to give a stranger on the corner $20? No, I like to spend my money. Would Satan tell me to give $20 to a stranger? Probably not. So it must be God.”
Even if it wasn’t God speaking, His Word tells us to help others who are needy.
The real key to learning to hear God’s voice is practice, and that boils down to spending time with Him in prayer.
God’s voice becomes more distinguishable, the more we pray. As we get to know God more intimately, His still, small voice will begin to shine through the distractions and the sea of competing thoughts.
Think this over:
- Where do you go to have uninterrupted time with God?
- Can you think of a time when you are sure you heard God’s voice? How did you feel?
- What steps can you take now to be better at hearing God’s voice?
Dr. Paul Leavens is minister of the Christian Church in Lindsay, 120 N. Frazier Ave. To contact him, call 559-562-3743 or visit www.lindsaychristianchurch.org.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.