Hearing from God|
How does He speak to Us?
Q. How do people hear from God? How can they say, "The Lord told me" to do this or that? Or, "We prayed about it and the Lord told us to move here and do that." How can we really know when God speaks to us?
Great questions. I don't know about you, but the kind of talk you mention makes me question the sanity of those around me at times.
Yet, more than ever we need communication with our Maker in these days of frightening tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, the ongoing threat from terrorists and worldwide financial crisis.
Here is a simple list of things we can do.
1. We hear Him through His Word - daily read your Bible.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go." (Psalm 32:8)
2. We hear Him through those in authority over us - submit to those over you. - "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution." (1 Pet. 2:13)
3. We hear Him through our circumstances - God controls all things. - "The mind of a man plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps." (Prov. 16:9)
4. We hear Him through prayer and a sense of peace - listen to that still voice inside. - "…whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." (Ro. 14:23b).
What to Do:
1. Pray - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Phil. 4:6)
2. Seek wise counsel - "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." (Prov. 15:22)
3. Take action. It will work if God desires it.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain." (Ps. 127:1)
Read, Hear, See God's Word and Memorize
Renew your mind continually and thoroughly (Ro. 12:2) by reading the Bible, reading bible stories to your children and by saying prayers with our grandkids at night.
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorpost of your house and on your gates." (Deut. 6:7 ESV)
We can even hang Christian paintings or verses on our walls. Try keeping different bible translations around your homes. Have Christian tapes or CDs to play in your cars. Play Christian movies on T.V.
In fact, when our unsaved family and friends tell us that we're "over the top," "berserk," then we are probably just about getting it right.
We're a Mess!
Too much? Well, we're a mess, folks. Our minds are flawed and warped. We struggle with depression, insecurity, anger, fear, and even obesity, to name a few. We hate our neighbor's new car. We wish we had more money. We want our brother's house. We envy, lust, have greed, covet, forsake, reject, hate, dislike, discount - each other to death! Add grumble, gripe, yell, and use sarcasm, to boot. We need help. Help!
Read Daily and Systematically
"And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little" (Isa. 28:13 ESV).
Try using a One-Year Bible for your daily reading, or use other daily-reading bibles. These are available in most bookstores. If you miss a day's reading, simply continue with the calendar date the next day. It's awesome to realize that thousands are reading the same scripture verses as you through this reading method. God may answer your questions and prayers as you read His Word daily and systematically.
Keep a prayer journal or an online, daily record of your prayers. Most of us lack concentration. But, journaling our prayers help a lot. It also gives a surprising record of God's answers and insights.
The well-known pastor, David Jeremiah, says the strongest reason God wants us to pray is that "God hard-wired the universe so that He works mostly through our prayers. At the split-second we pray, we become part of the most powerful force in the universe" (Jeremiah 2004).
Memorize Your Rhema Verses
"Rhema" verses are those Scripture passages that apply directly to you. We suggest you collect them and post them on the bathroom mirror, write them on cards and review them often.
In fact, the Lord Yeshua used Rhema verses against the devil in Matthew, chapter 4. For example, has your family rejected you because you are a Christian? Join the worldwide club. Here's a "rhema-verse" to memorize:
"Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My names sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29).
Were you ridiculed at home or school or at work because of your Faith?
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
Those who ridicule you, or taunt you, or embarrass you, are driven by unseen forces of evil against Christians and Jews. Never forget that. So much for this Age of Tolerance. It's really a time of "ABC:" Anything But Christianity!
So collect your rhema verses and memorize as many as you can. - "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Ps. 119:11 KJV).
Please send us your ideas if you have other biblical suggestions. We are a worldwide church family and value your opinions.
Blackaby, Henry and Richard. 2002. Hearing God's voice. Nashville, TN: Broadman&Holman.
Jeremiah, David. 2004. The prayer matrix. Sisters, OR: Multnomah.
Missler, Chuck and Nancy. 1999. Faith in the night seasons. Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House.
Willard, Dallas. 1999. Hearing God. Downers Grove, ILL: IVP.