Did you know that God still speaks? And did you know that anyone can hear Him? Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice. Even sheep who are not yet in the fold can hear His voice. If you can say “baa” you qualify as a sheep. (John 10:1-21)
Not sure you’ve ever heard him before? Let’s take a little test to find out!
1. Have you been invited by Jesus to receive Him?
2. Do you ever have a verse of the Bible “jump out” at you when you are reading? Do you have verses highlighted because they seem to be just for you?
3. Are you ever moved by a worship song into a deeper place of worship?
4. Have you ever been prompted to call someone, just to find out that it was very timely?
5. Have you ever written someone a note of encouragement “just because”, and it encouraged them in a way you never dreamed?
6. When you are praying, do you ever have someone’s face pop into your head, and know you need to pray for them?
7. Do you ever feel like the pastor is speaking just to you in his sermon?
I’m guessing you answered “yes” to most of those questions. You have heard the voice of God! Many times we dismiss the voice of God because we don’t think those things count. We’re expecting some huge booming voice like Moses or Elijah experienced. But God speaks in the quieter ways all of the time!
This weekend I attended a conference at church called Listen Up. The premise of this annual conference is to practice and teach the church how to hear the voice of God in their lives, especially in prayer. Brad Jersak, author of “Can You Hear Me? Tuning Into the God Who Speaks,” came and taught us just how easy it is to hear God.
We practiced this by asking God very easy questions, then waiting quietly for the answer. This is where a lot of people get stuck. They dismiss the first thought that comes to mind by saying “What that just my imagination?” As Brad shared, saying this is like when you’re holding a seed and a bird swoops in and steals it – you will never get to see that see grow now! How sad that a God-given gift could be stolen from us! He suggested that if you aren’t sure if you are hearing God correctly, then instead of asking “Is that my imagination?” ask, “Is that truth?” If it lines up with Truth, then it is likely from God.
Should we practice? Find a quiet place and ask God a question. A few places you could start could be:
– Jesus, what about me makes you happy?
– God, tell me who you are.
– What promise do you want me to know today?
– How much do you love me?
– What would you like to teach me today?
You can ask Him anything you want. Then just wait. Usually the first thing that comes to mind is your answer. It usually comes before any other thought can come into your mind. And once you have that answer, test it by asking “Is it true?”. Then, once you have your answer, ask Him “Why?”. This part is important because you may hear the word “strength” – well what kind of strength? It may be that you have all the strength you need. Or that you can find strength in Him. Or that you should be asking Him for more strength. The “Why” is important.
When I asked God to tell me who He is, He told me that He is my kinsman-redeemer. I asked Him why. Just like Ruth and Boaz, He is redeeming and restoring the broken places of my life. He is making all things new! That is so encouraging to watch Him do in my life right now! It shows His loving-kindness to me as one of His children.
If you feel comfortable, share what you heard – I would love to hear how you are encountering the living God!