Three simple tips for hearing God’s voice.
1. Slow Down
A funny thing about God is that He often moves a lot slower than us. We can be stressed out,
‘busy’ and trying to pull our lives together while God is relaxing on the throne because He has
everything under control. There’s a passage in the Old Testament, In 1 Kings 19 where God draws the prophet Elijah out to a mountain to speak to him but first He sends out a wild wind that batters the mountain, an earthquake and then a fire but it’s not until all this chaos passes that God speaks to Elijah as a still, small voice. God doesn’t communicate through chaos and rushed confusion, but peace and quiet. Jesus makes it very clear during the Sermon on the Mount for us to not worry and realise that the Father will provide us with everything we need. In terms of our relationship with God we have always been the weaker link, God has never done anything wrong but He has provided salvation in Christ for us to come back into relationship with Him. We need to make the conscious choice to take a moment, slow down and position our hearts in a way that says ‘Here I am Father, I’m not in a rush, what’s next for us?’. This attitude has been imperative for me to hear God speak, whenever I’m stressed out and am not hearing His voice and then my stress increases because I’m not hearing His voice I find that as soon as I drop everything and take even a few minutes to give Him my heart and wait for Him, He always speaks and I feel much better.
"As soon as I... give Him my heart and wait for Him, He always speaks and I feel much better."
2. Humble Yourself
In my first year of college I had the opportunity to pray for healing for a girl who was having some neck trouble and as I prayed I felt God tell me that as she turned her neck it would pop and she would be healed. At the time I thought it sounded weird but in that moment I humbled myself and asked her to move her neck around. She tried for a few minutes and couldn’t get her neck to pop. I walked away from that moment feeling disappointed but three weeks later I got a text from her saying that she was waiting for friend to get changed at the mall. As she was waiting she moved her neck and it popped three times bringing complete healing! I was completely amazed and blown away! God had fulfilled what he whispered softly in my heart three weeks earlier. One of my favourite passages of scripture in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:16. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom”, this statement found in this passage never fails to amaze me and leave me smiling. It is so true though! The gospel itself and the gifts of the Spirit are made available in a way that humanity ruled by the flesh find foolish. God speaks on a completely different level to us and in order for us to walk in His Spirit it will take great humility and a sense of death to self because to most people you will look crazy or stupid. It was actually God’s joy to make the gospel appear as foolishness to man because it means that only those who are humble
and willing enough to lay themselves down will find the treasures of God. It’s why many people still won’t speak in tongues, it’s a powerful, vital gift of the Spirit that sounds foolish if you view it according to the flesh. Live by the Spirit. Because God’s wisdom is perceived as foolishness by those who have their minds set on the flesh. Jesus makes it clear in Mark 10 that we are to receive the kingdom of God like a child. Children are often humble, open and have great faith. This is how God wants us to approach Him when we learn to hear His voice. We have to humble ourselves like children and be prepared to figuratively “Learn a new language” which can often be uncomfortable and put our pride at risk. But it is an awesome thing for building character, in the kingdom of God the way up is the way down and the more I pursue God the more I am shown that.
3. Know the Word of God
It is absolutely imperative to know the Word of God. It is very easy when listening to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to get get caught up in thoughts that come from the flesh or deceptions from demonic spirits which can confuse us and lead us astray from what God is really saying. One of the most brilliant things I’ve heard said is that if you want to hear God speak; read the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word and he has already spoken through it. The Spirit is like a flowing river and the Word of God are the banks that guide it in a fruitful direction. What I’ve noticed walking through spiritual warfare is that the devil will try and make himself sound like the Holy Spirit to deceive you and I’ve even had moments where the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me and the devil has actually tried to butt in loudly and finish the Holy Spirit’s sentence. When you know the Word of God, the Scriptures, the Truth you are easily able to discern between the thoughts of your flesh, the enemy and the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is absolutely vital for providing a healthy foundation for hearing the voice of God because the Holy Spirit will never come against the Word of God but operate out of it. The Word of God brings clarity, stability and peace when it seems like there is a war for your mind and soul.
"The most freeing thing about hearing God’s voice is that it’s not based on your effort."
The most freeing thing about hearing God’s voice is that it’s not based on your effort. God wants to speak to you because He loves you. He wants to bring clarity into confusing situations, he wants to bring answers to problems and he wants to bring encouragement for your soul. When I was walking through a trial a few months ago I was expecting God to give me all the answers to what was going on, but when I asked Him all He would say was ‘I love you, I’m proud of you, follow me’. It was such a frustrating thing to hear at the time but in hindsight it really encouraged me. Sometimes all you need God to say to you is one sentence or only a few words. But if you take the time today to stop for a while, slow down, remove all distractions, give Him your heart and wait for Him to speak, He will meet you where you’re at and you’ll find freedom.
Toby Osborne, a C3 College 3rd Year Leadership and Ministry student, hungry for God to Spêak.