Hearing God - Not the Culture|
Q. How can I hear from God and know what He wants me to do? I used to follow my daily horoscope, visit a gifted, local psychic, and listen to the advice of my therapist. I desperately need to know what to do because my life is falling apart. I need help now.
I know what you mean. I, too, was raised in a non Christian home and learned to seek out traditional and cultural answers to life's urgent problems through such means as philosophy, psychotherapy, medications, self-help books, astrology and horoscopes.
Making us Susceptible to Dangerous Forces
Millions of New Agers follow daily horoscopes, listen to dreams, and try to contact spirits in order to receive clear direction for their lives when things are falling apart.
But not only is this form of divination useless, it also violates God's law and opens one to dangerous evil forces. (See Deuteronomy 18: 10-14). In addition, many therapists, even Christian counselors, cast doubt on the sufficiency of God's Word. In time most people find that these anti-religious methods of help are useless. They just don't work.
A "cc" to God
In our fast-paced American culture we have learned to rely on instantaneous solutions to problems through the use of credit-cards and counselors - the "cc" method. Maybe instead we should "cc" our needs to God. So let's find out how to do that:
How God Speaks to us&Guides Us
1. Through His Word - daily read your Bible.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go" (Psalm 32:8).
One-Year daily reading Bibles are helpful and are available in bookstores for this purpose. You may even be able to find Two-Year Bibles from Amazon. com. At any rate, the Word is the Lord's primary way of communicating to us. But, how can we hear unless we open the book or listen to God's Word through tapes?
2. Through those in authority over us - pastors, teachers, elders
"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution" (1 Pet. 2:13).
Seek wise counsel from godly men. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Proverbs 15:22). This advice has to do with seeking out godly, wise Christians - not therapists.
3. Through our circumstances - because God controls everything.
"The mind of a man plans his way. But, the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
Take action after wise counsel and prayer. It will work out if God desires it. "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1). Surely if God is sovereign over all, then He is "speaking" to you through your circumstances.
4. Through prayer and a sense of peace - listen to that still voice
…"whatever does not proceed from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23b). "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7, NASB).
This one takes practice. If something is gnawing and nagging away at you, take it to the Lord in prayer until you feel peace about it and find a solution to it that brings you God's peace.
Of course, this is a shortened version of how to hear from God. I compiled and distilled it from several sources and have listed some of them for your benefit. I strongly suggest you acquire some of these for your library.
Blackaby, Henry. 2002. Hearing God's voice. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman.
Missler, Nancy. 1999. Faith in the night seasons. Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House. Available from:www.khouse.org.
The One-Year Bible, New Living Translation. Large print. 2004. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale.