Hello! There are a number of things you should understand in your life, I believe one of the most important is your relationship with God. That being said, today we will be looking at the Spiritual Ear, specifically Understanding and hearing the Voice of God!
Being a born-again Christian comes with many perks. One of those perks is that you now have the opportunity to build a relationship with God the Father. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior opened the door of opportunity for you to be cleansed of sin and be able to go to the Father for yourself. With any relationship though, you want your communication to be two ways. Imagine being married and you never received any type of communication from your spouse. You never heard their voice, you never saw them sign, it was just always a one way line of communication where you did all the talking and they did or said….nothing!
Now, most of us may feel that way towards our spouse (especially us women), just because the other may not communicate in the way we want them to communicate with us. But in fact, we have many ways of communicating with them, from the text messages we send throughout the day to the kiss we may receive at the end of the night. There is always some form of communication.
All that being said, would you really want to give you life to someone or something that could not communicate with you? I sure wouldn’t! At this point, some may say that God has given us the Bible and that’s communication enough. You are correct, the Bible is God’s spoken Word and can give us all the answers we need, and then some! But the AWESOME part about God is, He still wants communication with us, right now, concerning all of the things we bring before Him on a daily basis. The question for most new, and some old Christians is, how does God communicate? And how do I know it’s Him?
Throughout this post, we will go over the different types of ways God communicates to us, as well as how we know it is Him.
Knowing It’s God. How do you know God is the one speaking to you? This is the easiest, and most difficult part of all. Knowing the voice of God, requires knowing God. Seems simple enough right? Think about it, when you were growing up and you were about to do something (whether right, or most often wrong), you could think ahead to what your mother would say right. You could already here the lecture she was going to give and prepare for the punishment you’d receive if you got caught doing this thing she either told you not to do, or you just knew you shouldn’t be doing. Why? You knew your mom! You had been around her…well your whole life! You knew her views on things, and you had seen how she reacted to things before. It’s the same with God. You have to get to know Him, His character, His reactions, His views. But how do you learn that? You spend time with Him. Reading the Bible is a great start, because it introduces everything there is to know about God, through human perspective! You get to see how He dealt with other human beings in situations that may be similar to yours, or their desires may be similar to yours. Reading is always a great way to learn, and stimulate the mind. Read the Bible and learn about the Character of God! This makes everything else I am going to say much easier to do.
Listen, God Speaks. This is the most understandable for us as humans, but it still confused me when I was younger. When people told me God would speak to me, I spent all my time trying to focus on hearing an out loud, audible voice. While I don’t put it past Him, this isn’t necessarily what it’s like when God speaks. What do you mean you ask? Well let’s go back to that thing you were going to do that you shouldn’t have been doing. I’m sure you didn’t physically HEAR your mom yelling or lecturing you, but something within you could ALMOST hear her outloud. That’s how the voice of God is. He speaks INSIDE of you, not physically so that your talking to a floating voice in your room, but within your head. His voice, to me anyway, is pretty audible in my head almost like a thought was speaking, and it wasn’t mine. This, the hearing the voice of God part, took a while for me to master if you will. It did not come until after I had spent time in God’s Word, and knew His character, His background, His essence. Knowing this first and foremost at least allows me to know that when I “hear” something, or I “think” something, whether it is from God or not. Because I know His character, and I know what sounds like Him and what doesn’t. This is the most likely form God will show up to you in, don’t always expect the extravagant to hear from God. (Read about Elijah’s encounter with hearing God in 1 Kings 19:9-13)
Pay Attention to Your Dreams. This is the communication style I always want from God (not that I always get it or anything). In the book of Genesis starting around the 37 chapter, you meet a man named Joseph. Joseph was a dreamer, and Joseph interpreted dreams. God will show you things throughout the night when you are sleeping that could make a major impact on things in your life while you are awake. We have all had dreams, some ridiculous, some that have given us ideas, some that have even reminded us of things that need to get done. God can and will use this to get information to you. Dreams, however, are not always clear cut. The concept is simple, but sometimes the dream requires prayer and listening for God to bring clarity to the purpose of the dream. Pay attention to the dreams you have, write them down, pray about them. They could be from God.
Watch out for Signs. Here I won’t continue on with miracles and wonders as some may expect. I have found that for the majority, when you talk about miracles, signs, and wonders, they are looking for big extravagant things to take place. Don’t always look for the unthinkable, unimaginable, it couldn’t have happened in a million years thing to take place. Pay attention to the small things that happen, sometimes unexpectedly. Like what? Like the extra $20 that was on your check that you weren’t expecting. Or a shift in scheduled that you needed because you didn’t have the gas at the time to get to one place over another. The hug or kind word a stranger gave you that uplifted your spirits just a little. See this part isn’t more so about God trying to get information to you, but trying to get you to remember and acknowledge that He is there and He is working in your life.
Take Note of the Sermon. This last area is what you may expect, but something that many of us begin to take for granted after we have been regularly attending church for years, at multiple services. God sends people to us, like our Pastors, to give us the Word He gave them for us, because we haven’t gotten to a place to hear from Him ourselves. That’s all a pastor or minister is, someone who hears from God and can interpret things that those who don’t hear from God can’t interpret on their own. Don’t just take the notes and have the understanding while you are in the service and never think about it again though. Go home, reread your notes, read more of the background context of what the sermon was about, familiarize yourself with that lesson. In doing this, you take the opportunity to hear what God gave someone else, and then learn more about God so He can give you something for yourself!
The most important part of hearing and obtaining that spiritual ear is becoming familiar with the one who you want to hear from.
Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to the Email Newsletter to get updates every time new content is posted. The tools I use for personal bible study are also linked below if you find yourself needed a starting place. I typically use a Study Bible, notebooks, highlighters, a concordance, and sometimes a commentary. All the texts I use are simple and easy to read and navigate. I hope they help if you need them!
The Bible I use most often: Life Application NIV Study Bible
The Commentary: The Moody Commentary
Language Dictionary (this includes the Hebrew and Greek definitions for words): Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words