The notion of hearing God speak continues to remain a challenge for many Christians especially in times when there is a need for direction or assurance. But rather than find a remedy, it appears some of us prefer to run from one man/woman of God to another to hear a ‘word’ instead of seeking God Himself. Please don’t get me wrong, whilst there is a time/place for this, I am convinced it is NOT Gods desire for this to be the way of life for us. Granted in the days of old, prophets like Samuel, Elijah and Elisha were appointed to reveal the mind of God. However, since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, made possible through Christ’s death, the doorway has been opened so we too can communicate directly with God. So if the opportunity now exists, why do we still struggle?
God Is Still The Same!
From the beginning of time, God has shown His desire to communicate with mankind. This is evident starting from Adam and Eve in Genesis and ending with John in the book of Revelations. Despite the fall of man, God continued to speak, both directly or indirectly, with His own. So, if God spoke then, why would He change now? The Bible already makes known to us that He never changes (James 1:17). He remains the same – yesterday, today and forever. So we can’t say He has one rule for those in biblical times and another for us today. Therefore, if God has not changed (i.e. He still speaks), what has changed?
To answer this question, we need to look closer to home. Sadly, the hustle and bustle of life has a tendency to diminish our abilities to tune in and listen. When distracted by life, we loose what I call our heavenly connection. It really does not take much these days for this to happen and you don’t have to be in backslidden state neither for it to occur. It takes one crying child, a ringing phone, a TV/radio programme, a Facebook post or tweet and you find you are no longer mindful of God in that moment. Accumulate enough of these ‘moments’, throw in a dose of life, a burgeoning to-do list and this becomes a regular occurrence. “But what about my quiet time?” you might ask. That’s great if you actually make time for this regularly and you build in time to wait upon God to speak. But if you are in a hurray or in clock watching mode, the chances are you may miss God altogether. So is it any surprise we no longer hear?
Being In The Moment
When we box God into speaking at set times, I believe we miss a trick or two. By this, I mean we are missing out on a great opportunity to remain connected to God every moment of the day and at all times. Does this mean praying every moment of the day? Well kinda. Let’s break it down. Prayer is a dialogue between you and Father. The act of prayer is NOT limited to getting on your knees but can include moments of silent prayer or praying under your breath in addition to speaking in tongues and praying aloud. So with this in mind, it is possible to keep the dialogue going all day especially when we understand that dialogue includes Father speaking too. It’s not just one sided! So, in addition to adopting the right mindset, there needs to be an expectation and yearning on your part to hear from Him. And God always honours such.
The Art of Listening
Regardless of where you are on your Christian journey, you can train your ears to listen and become privy to heavenly secrets, knowledge, insights and direction through the enablement of the Holy Spirit. To get started, there are some actions I would encourage you to take. This includes actively carving out time to listen (e.g. your quiet time) and gradually expanding this to include your work, rest or play. Of course, prerequisite to this is an active relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It also requires a prayerful life and the constant reading of the Word. The latter is particularly important so you are able to discern Gods void amongst others. One key point to note is that God is NOT going to go against His Word. He won’t tell you to steal or kill nor is He going to tell you to split someone’s marriage and take his or her partner (Selah!). So let us not get this thing twisted! Know the Word for yourself so when you hear a word, including that given by another person, the Word you know will set you free. Moreover, the Holy Spirit in you will guide you into all truths.
One fact you will quickly discover as you begin to listen is that God is interested in all areas of your life. He also delights in your complete dependence on Him. So in closing, I encourage you to develop your hearing and remain connected. Like Samuel, make your earnest prayer, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” (I Samuel 3, NLT). And when you hear, be sure to act on it.
Written by Gladys Famoriyo. Author of: Overcoming Emotional Baggage; Healing A Discouraged Heart; Quit Hiding, Start Living! and Bounce Back!