Are you able to hear the voice of the Spirit when you have a decision to make? You really want to know what God would say – the direction He would tell you to go – but oftentimes it is not a lack of desire to hear Him, but a lack of knowing how that thwarts us in our pursuit to hear. That can be very frustrating – believe me, I understand that – I’ve been there and still have some times that it is harder for me than I would like; but I have come a long way in that area so that I can share some things about that with you.
First of all, our years in being born again or by virtue of growing up going to church – are not – the best measuring stick for determining how well we will hear God. Before I start sharing what the scripture does say about hearing God, let me voice a couple of things that will affect your hearing negatively “right off the bat.” Which are these …..
Sometimes we have been taught that God does not speak to His people today – and even though that is totally unfounded by scripture – if we have grown up with that mindset, we tend to think that is what the Word of God actually says …. And unless we are willing to ask God to show us as we search it out for ourselves in His Word – then the premise that “God does not talk to us today” becomes what we “believe.”
Another fallacy we need to see for what it is – is that we necessarily know more about God than the person beside us because we have been born again longer …. or we have family ties or “closer connections” inside the church – these things making us to be more spiritually advanced than most others! Indeed we can learn some good things from any of those three things that I just mentioned – but the best “yardstick” to use in measuring how well you are hearing and experiencing the leadership of God is this … “How well and how often – do you hear an answer that you KNOW is from Him – when you have needed help and asked for His input?
Also, you should be – at least occasionally – hearing His voice giving some kind of input as you read His Word. By and large we get to know God for who He is by actually spending time with Him and in His word – for ourselves! – and then we need to go on and follow any instructions that He gave as we spent that time with Him. (The Holy Spirit is a very good teacher – actually He’s the best! ) And learning to hear God speak to us personally comes the very same way – spend time with Him and in His word – and then do anything that He has shown you to do! And yes, we do need good teachers – God particularly gifted some to teach others in the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11,12) – but we need to follow up on that teaching by doing what the Apostle Paul said of the Berean Christians in Acts 17:11 … that they “received the teaching of God’s word with all readiness of mind, then searched the scriptures daily to see whether those things they had heard were so.”
Can you and I hear the voice of God? ….. and should we be hearing Him for important decisions that arise in our day to day living? The answer to both those questions is unequivocally – YES! But you and I need to go with what the word of God has to say – so let’ s begin to look at that.
First of all, we are all on an “equal footing” with God when we are born again – in that He gives to every person who receives Jesus the capacity to begin to see and understand the things of the Kingdom of God (John 1:12; John 3:3-6). And when the Spirit of God speaks to us/reveals something to us, it will be from His Spirit to our spirit….. because the things of God are “spiritually discerned.” And “the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27) God “lights our candle” (Psalm 18:28) in order to illuminate us with the understanding of things He wants us to know – because “the natural man (our flesh man) is not equipped to receive and understand the things of the spirit.” See I Corinthians 2:9-14. (Note that it is not talking strictly about the things God has for us in the afterlife/Heaven – for we will not need Him to reveal them to us there – but right here is where we need that revelation of what belongs to us.)
In John 10:3,4 Jesus – our Good Shepherd – tells us that as we grow from babes into more mature ones – we will know His voice so that we can follow His leading. It is normal for those who know Jesus to begin to hear His voice…. And there are some things we can do – according to God’s word that will lend to more hearing.
I will begin to share about some of those things in another post. Until then, if you have not already read the posts that I put on this site about what happens to you when you are born again, they are titled “A Post About Beginnings” Jan.15 and “The Best Beginning of All” on Jan 22. You can find them the most quickly by going to the right side of this post – at the top right – just under the picture of the sunrise – and listed under “Recent Posts.”