I’ve had a couple of good discussions recently about listening to God, one actually at church which was kind of fun. I love synchronicity, when people in different places are all talking about the same thing.
Listening to God is simply reflected in, “be still and know that I am.” Prayer is like a two way conversation, so we have to take the time to stop and listen. God speaks to everyone differently, so some can hear His still quiet voice directing their thoughts, others will read signs, see the writing on the wall, feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
There are numerous things in life, decisions, circumstances, that we need direction, guidance, leadership over. Not just big things, but little things, too. So you pray about it, ask God. A couple of things that are kind of important here, in order to hear God, to listen, you have to learn how to recognize His voice. My sheep know my voice. Romans 10:17 tell us, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God never contradicts His word, He does not confuse us like that, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the bible is a really good way to learn to hear and recognize His voice. The more we understand God’s will, His nature, His character, the easier it becomes to discern His voice.
This is really important because the world is full of distractions, our own will gets in the way, and our heads can be full of clutter. Than there are the voices of other people telling you what to do, your own expectations, fears, etc. There can be deception too, and the enemy prowling about. It’s a real mess, learning to listen to God in a world full of confusion is not always so easy.
Knowing the character of God, His ways, His nature, is absolutely critical. That’s what relationship is all about. You learn to recognize someone’s voice and to almost anticipate how they might respond and react. Intuition. I remember one of my kids once saying, “Dad said you’d do this thing,” and thinking hmm, this doesn’t sound like the Dad I know at all. Somebody has gone and perceived “the will of Dad” all wrong and I don’t think it’s me.
I say, “almost anticipate how they might respond and react,” because when it comes to God, He is full of surprises and we are never going to know and understand Him fully. God can surprise you, take your breath away, catch you off completely off guard.
There are times when something doesn’t make a lot of sense, when it doesn’t feel right, when it may not seem like the right course of action, but it really is. There are some times when reason, circumstances, feelings, everything seems lined up, and yet that isn’t from God at all, that isn’t your path. Being able to discern the difference is really important. Also, sometimes you mess up, sometimes you get it all wrong, and perhaps that is part of the design too, maybe these things are like tests. Roman 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We call those things, “plot twists.” God is patient and merciful, if you fail to understand something or don’t listen to God well, there is tremendous grace there. God is ten steps ahead of us, He is already waiting for us, even in our future mistakes. Kind of like how you give kids instructions and they forget step 2 and step 5, so you simply clean up, start over, and try again. I mention this because the other day I was talking to a 20 something and he said, “I’ve ruined my whole life.” I laughed thinking, you haven’t even begun, stick around I’ll show you how to really foul things up…..
There’s a 3 fold cord that is really powerful, that helps to keep you on the path, and that is when you can read the bible, ask God, and talk to others. The reason why we try to stay on the path is because there are less sticker bushes and more stable ground under our feet.