Tag Archives: the inner voice

Trouble Hearing God? This May Be Why.

ear trumpet

Sometimes when I ask intercessors what the Lord is speaking to them, they respond by telling me what they have read in an intercessor newsletter, at a prophetic website, or in a Christian issues op-ed column. Maybe it’s what they’ve seen on Christian TV or YouTube. They sincerely think that what they are sharing is what God is speaking to them, but in reality, they are only regurgitating the ideas and opinions of others. Some are consistently unable to relate what God is showing them personally.

I wondered why that was, so I inquired of the Lord, and this is what I felt He was showing me: Continual bombardment of our mind through the eye and ear gates dulls our spirit’s ability to recognize God’s still small voice.

The people I am speaking of are usually passionate Christians who are eager to learn all that they can about the Lord and what He is saying or doing in the earth today. They get multiple intercessor newsletters because they have a heart to pray into big things, and they want to keep on top of current events from a Christian perspective.  But their minds are in a constant swirl, forever trying to process and sort through the information overload being fed into them. And because their minds are constantly chewing on all the info they’ve consumed, it’s hard for them to slow down enough to hear what God is saying to them, deep down inside.

Now, I think most of us are prone to having difficulty with this. We’re smack-dab in the middle of the Information Revolution, after all. I’ve got an inquiring mind, and certainly want to learn all I can. And keeping up with what’s afoot in our world is important. But I find, for myself, that if I am going to hear God, I’ve got to discipline myself to severely limit the inflow from outside voices.

I’d much rather be able to hear from God firsthand than to hear it from someone else. Secondhand just isn’t quite as good. And, I’d much rather spend the majority of my intercession time following the Holy Spirit’s promptings than merely praying what somebody else tells thousands of people on their mailing list that we should all pray. (It isn’t wrong to pray directly from a newsletter; it just shouldn’t be the sum total of our intercessory prayer life.) We need one-on-one communication directly between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. It’s like the difference between fresh fruit and the canned stuff. Not the same. But if we only consume the canned version, we don’t even have a clue how good the fresh fruit is!

Shouldn’t we all listen to good teaching and preaching? Of course. Can’t God speak to us through prophets, preachers, intercessor leaders, and teachers? Yes. We need these wonderful people. I have a few really, really favorite teachers I love to listen to. I write books and this blog with the intention of  helping people grow in their Christian life, especially in their prayer and prophetic understanding. I would be SAD if y’all quit reading what I’ve got for you! But I’d be even sadder to find out anyone was reading my materials in place of spending precious time personally with the Lord in prayer and reading the Bible.  We need to spend time with Him, not only in reading or listening to what some fallible human has to say about Him.

So, how does one fix this and get into a place of hearing God firsthand? Start by slowing down and deliberately tuning out. Think of it as a detox. Maybe it’s going to mean deleting a few ministry e-mails without reading them. Maybe it will mean less time watching TBN or Daystar. Maybe it will mean setting aside a specific amount of time for watching/listening/reading every week and then not going over the predetermined limit.

Once you’ve got yourself slowed down by removing the brain circuitry overload, your spirit is going to be able to gradually take precedence over your mind. You can actually relax in prayer and take time to ask, “Lord what do You have to say today?” You can now fill those brain cells which used to be clogged up with thinking about all the stuff you read, saw, and heard with new thinking about something you read in the Bible, or God’s character, or just how beautiful Jesus really is. The new peace and quiet of mind makes it much easier for the Holy Spirit to be heard in your spirit, because you’ve removed the debris which has been getting in the way for so long.

That’s a good place to start, and from there, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start hearing God clearly for yourself on a regular basis.

Quotes from Joy Dawson

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A couple of months back, I reviewed Joy Dawson’s book, Forever Ruined for the OrdinaryI wanted to leave behind some quotes from the book, but just got busy with other things.  So today I’m picking up where I left off back then.  Here are the quotes:

I would rather pay the price to hear God’s voice personally, regardless of how difficult the circumstances may be, than to have to settle for always hearing from Him secondhand.

When we see Him face-to-face in all His awesome holiness and blazing glory, it will seem incredible to us that we ever had a casual thought in relation to Him.

The more time we spend studying God’s character and ways, the easier we will recognize His precious voice.

We’re never enlightened or surprised by what comes from our own thoughts.  But when God speaks, there’s always an element of wonderment and awe.

Disobeying Him is the same as telling Him to hold back all of the blessings that come with obedience, and bring on all the punishments that come with disobedience.  That is not only stupidity, it’s insanity.

Only when we choose to be nothing can God be everything in any situation.  Only when we truly fear God will we be released from the fear of people.

We never need to announce to others the ministry function God has given us nor the supernatural gifts with which He has graced us.  As we make it a way of life to walk in obedience to revealed truth and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, others will be used of God to recognize our ministries and giftings.  If we feel the need for self-promotion at any time, from God’s perspective, we are not ready to function in the area in which we’re trying to operate.

If God doesn’t open the door of opportunity in which I’m to minister, I don’t want to go through that door.

The fear of the Lord means being more impressed with God’s reactions to our actions than with other people’s reactions.

One of the most prevalent forms of pride is manifest in the sin of presumption — through the lack of seeking God in detail.

Purchase from Amazon: Forever Ruined for the Ordinary

My review of Forever Ruined for the Ordinary

Hotline to Heaven: Hearing the Voice of God

I have compiled the Hearing God series of blogs into a booklet that we now have for sale at Full Gospel Family Publications, our publishing website.  The booklet is entitled, Hotline to Heaven: Hearing the Voice of God.  The text has been tweaked a bit, and a little dab of extra material has been added.  If you have benefited from the Hearing God series, you might want to consider giving the booklet as a gift to family and friends.  We even have discounts for orders of more than five.

Hearing the Voice of God

 Here’s the link for more info: Hotline to Heaven: Hearing the Voice of God

Available also for Kindle at AmazonNook at Barnes & Noble,  Apple iBooks, and in various e-book formats at Smashwords.

Full Gospel Family Publications

Hearing God — MORE Tips for Better Hearing (Part 8)

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.

Previous: Hearing God — Tips for Better Hearing (Part 7)

Also available as paperback or e-book (discounts available for quantity orders):

Hotline to Heaven

Hotline to Heaven: Hearing the Voice of God

Hearing God — Tips for Better Hearing (Part 7)

Today and tomorrow, I’d like to give you some tips I have personally found helpful in hearing God more accurately and more frequently.

Write it down.  It’s not only good to keep a prayer journal, but it’s vital.  I keep paper and pen handy wherever I go, because God does not confine speaking to just my allotted prayer time.  When I get a chance, I transfer my quickly jotted notes of what He said into my journal.

When we write down what God says to us, we are sending Him the message, “What You say to me is extremely important, Lord.  I want to have it noted exactly right, so that I can remember it correctly, cherish it, and ponder it.”

It is not possible for the best of memories to recall accurately all that God has said to us.  And when you have promises from the Lord and they don’t happen immediately, the tendency is to get discouraged, question what you’ve heard, or get the details mixed up.  If you write it down, these problems can be avoided.  When discouragement or confusion shows its face, you have the solid evidence of what you heard in your prayer journal to cheer yourself with and to help build your faith.

I frequently reread my promises and use their evidence on paper to contend for them in prayer.  Promises must be birthed through pleading them before the throne, and having them written down certainly helps the process. 

Don’t strive or obsess about hearing God.  If you are having difficulty hearing God’s voice, you may be compounding the problem by trying too hard.  This is a very common hindrance.  Tell God often that you long to hear from Him and to accurately discern His voice, but then leave it to Him.  Relax.  It will happen.  Relax!

Don’t overdo second-guessing what you have heard.  Once you have heard something that you think is from God, don’t analyze it to death.  “Did I hear God, or didn’t I hear God?  It sounded like God, but then, it also sounded like it could have been just me.  I never heard Him say anything like that before, so it must just be me.  Oohh, it sounded like God, but what if it isn’t, and I am deceived?” 

Do yourself a favor, and just stop that!  You will kill the flow and get yourself all confused if you keep it up, and it is really unnecessary.  Time will bear out whether what you heard was really God or not.  If it is a major decision you are hearing about, you should get counsel from those you are accountable to anyway, so if you just aren’t sure, ask them before taking the big step.

Keep in mind that when you first hear something from the Lord, the sense of it being Him might be pretty strong, but that sensation will fade in days to come.  This is normal.  Just because the feeling you had with the word fades does not mean it wasn’t God in the first place.  

Don’t despise the method God chooses to speak through.  Some people have difficulty hearing God because they want it to happen a certain way, and if it doesn’t happen the way they want it to, they reject what they are hearing.  If Sister Susie hears audible voices every morning before breakfast, they only want to hear audible voices, too.  (Never mind that Sister Susie is constantly hearing audible voices, and it might be time for her to have a medical checkup!)

Naaman, the Syrian general, almost missed his healing from leprosy, because Elisha told him to wash in the Jordan River, and he had expected Elisha to say fancy words and wave his hands over him instead (2 Kings 5:11).  Don’t miss your word from God because you have a preconceived notion of how God ought to speak!

More tips next time.

Previous: Hearing God — More Beyond the Inner Voice (Part 6)
Next: Hearing God — More Tips for Better Hearing (Part 8)

Also available as paperback or e-book (discounts available for quantity orders):

Hotline to Heaven

Hotline to Heaven: Hearing the Voice of God