If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you have probably already been hearing from God, whether you have recognized His voice or not. He speaks to us in many ways. The key is in becoming sensitive to Him, so that we notice when He is speaking.
The absolutely best way to hear God is through His Word. Simple, but true. We hear from Him in a general way as we read, and much wisdom can be acquired just through being faithful to read the Bible daily. I am a firm believer in reading all the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation – including the genealogies. If you just visit the parts you like the best, you are going to miss things that God wants you to know. I personally like to read in the Old and the New Testaments simultaneously. I also encourage myself daily in either Psalms or Proverbs. As we go through the Bible continuously, we absorb the things we need in order to relate properly to both God and our fellow man. Reading the Bible cleanses our minds, especially if we meditate on (think on, or ponder) what we have taken in. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3).
There is a second way that we hear from God in His Word. Have you ever noticed that a certain verse seemed to have a deeper meaning to you at a particular time in your life? Sometimes we say that the verse suddenly “leaped off the page” at us. This is the Holy Spirit enlightening a part of Scripture to us as a personal word. The verse speaks directly to our current need and brings comfort, guidance, or conviction.
Hearing both generally and personally from the Scriptures is one of the most reliable ways to receive revelation from God. This was the primary way that Rees Howells, the famous Welsh intercessor during the World Wars, heard from the Lord. God gave him specific direction about how to pray and even revealed future events to him by enlightening a particular passage in the Bible and then giving him understanding of how it applied to current circumstances.
Still another way that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Bible is by reminding us of a particular verse we have read in the past. He plants the remembrance of it in our thoughts at any given moment, so that we can apply it to whatever situation we are in.
Getting a solid foundation in ourselves by reading the Bible regularly is necessary if we are going to hear God accurately. It will help us to discern whether the revelation we receive through other means is really of the Lord or not. We will discuss what those other avenues are in coming posts.
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