Are You Positioned to Hear From God?

What do people mean when they say they “hear God’s voice?” Can everyone hear God? Do people have the same capacity and/or ability to hear the Lord? Does the Lord “speak” more often or more clearly in some places and at some times than others?

The book of 1 Samuel notes, “In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Sam. 3:1). Apparently, there are different dispensations regarding the frequency and clarity of God's communication. Approximately 3,100 years ago the people of God were not experiencing much of the revelation of God. Then Samuel was born, and God started communicating boldly through the prophets.

In the New Testament, the book of Hebrews begins, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus is the fulfillment of all prophecy. It all ultimately points to Jesus and the purposes of God in and through Christ.

In the book of Acts, Peter describes how Jesus, in fulfillment of a message from the prophet Joel, released the Holy Spirit in a fresh way upon all who believe in Him. “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17)  Relatedly, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

God’s intent is that all believers “hear” and obey His voice. Through the death, resurrection, ascension and gracious release of Jesus, the Holy Spirit (and the ability to hear God’s voice) has been given to all believers.

Like Samuel instructed by Eli, let’s position ourselves before the Lord and say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9) Let’s try to pay attention, with a heart to obey, to what we sense may be God’s leading. His directives may come through Scripture, the words of others, an inner prompting or circumstances. What you sense, seek to obey.  If you are not sure, share it and get input from others whom you know to be spiritually mature.

Review, Caution and Encouragement:

So, you want to hear God’s voice – now what?

The first question to honestly ask yourself is, “Am I willing to obey what I believe God is saying to me?” This is an important preparatory question. Saying, “Yes!” is really a pre-requisite to consistently hearing from God.

Jesus asked His followers, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 4:46) If we are not going to do the things he makes clear to us, we are being foolish to ask– we are living apart from God. Not only so, if we continue in this way, we will hear less and less and our spirits will become increasingly dull over time. We will be like people slowing losing their mother tongue after living in a land where they use it no longer. As followers of Christ we need to soberly receive His direction above everyone else’s opinion. If we sense it’s from God, let’s receive it soberly and implement it intentionally.

Secondly, once you have settled the obedience issue on a foundational level, then open yourself to His leading in its different forms. Don’t be afraid. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? (Luke 11:9-11)

Don’t be afraid, God will speak. Don’t be afraid; the enemy will not deceive you if you remain in the Word and in relationship with other believers, getting input along the way.  God may speak through many avenues,  the Bible, prayer, circumstances, the words of others, impressions, visions or dreams. Why not be open to, and grow in your ability to discern, all of them? When we start looking for the Lord’s leading with hearts and attitudes of obedience, we start to hear from Him much more. Our lives become exciting journeys with Jesus. Others, who are living on the same trajectory, become Kingdom comrades. And, our faith comes alive.

Will you say "yes" to God’s voice today?

Are you willing to receive His guidance in a variety of fresh ways?

Let’s go and share what we are receiving, and how we are obeying, with others.

~Coach Tom


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