Today we will wrap up the Hearing God series with a few more tips for better hearing:
Ask God questions. I do a lot of my hearing because I ask God questions. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of things God is willing to tell us, but if we don’t ask, He doesn’t volunteer the information. “You have not, because you ask not” (James 4:2). I think He likes questions!
Some of us have been taught that it’s not proper to ask God “why?” about things. I don’t know where this notion started, but it’s just not correct. As long as we do not have a rebellious attitude, there is nothing wrong with asking why something happened, or why He said “yes” or “no.” We should definitely be asking questions such as, “What should I do next?” “How should I pray about this?” “What do You see happening in this situation?” etc.
Be conversational with God. Ask Him questions and listen for the answers. When you ask, and something comes to mind in response, don’t dismiss it. You asked – aren’t you expecting an answer? If you don’t hear what you need to know right away, keep asking until you do.
Be quiet long enough for Him to speak. Some of us sound like machine guns, rattling away at God with what we want to say. We may have a long prayer list that we think we have to recite to Him each day, or perhaps we just have a frantically racing mind. Slow down, come up for air, and give Him a chance to get a word in edgewise. Quieting ourselves to give God opportunity to speak is a hard habit to form, if we’ve never done it before. But it is worth the effort. When I say quiet yourself, I do not mean empty your mind and think on nothingness. That is a pagan Eastern religion practice. Your mind was never meant to be empty. Quieting yourself just means to slow down, settle your thoughts on Jesus or His Word, and let Somebody Else do the talking for awhile. Do it in spurts of a few minutes here and there to train yourself. Ask Him those questions and pause for an answer.
Keep a listening attitude at all times. This is another habit that takes effort to form, but it’s important. Throughout my day, I have my spiritual ears tuned to hear. Because God speaks in whispers in our inner man, if we don’t keep a listening attitude, we can miss a lot just through not paying attention.
Don’t reject what He says and then expect Him to keep on speaking to you. The best way to become out of touch with God is by only listening to what we want to hear and ignoring the rest. Some people pick and choose what they will receive from the Bible. Some are selective in what they will let God tell them in the inner voice. In either case, not listening when God is speaking something we don’t like is the best way I know of to become hard of heart and dull of hearing.
Create an atmosphere around yourself that is conducive to hearing God. How? Prepare your heart with the Word (the Bible), spend time thinking about Jesus, and worship, worship, worship. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you….”
Pray in tongues to open up your spirit-man to communion with the Lord. When we pray in our prayer language, we are communicating spirit-to-Spirit. I can’t think of a better way to open ourselves up to revelation from the Lord than this. If you want to hear from God, pray in tongues a lot.
Within the church setting, God and your pastor are on the same page. If your pastor has policies in place for how things are to be done within the church body, God will not instruct you to do anything that violates those policies. Sometimes people think they have a special word from God that gives them license to override the prescribed order of worship, particularly when it comes to moving in the prophetic gifts. My husband and I are elders in our local church, and occasionally we have to deal with someone who is out of line. The common excuse is, “But God spoke clearly to me that I was to do this, and I was to do it right now.” It may have sounded like Him, but God will not violate the pastor’s authority by making exceptions to the policies he has clearly put in place.
This concludes the Hearing God series. I hope you have found something that will help you grow more confident in hearing Him. There is nothing quite as wonderful as the joy of communicating with Him deeply, knowing His heart, and moving in oneness with Him.
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