“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
What does this mean to be “led by the Spirit of God?” What does it mean to hear God’s voice? Does God even speak to His people today? I believe that there are a few important things that we can do to develop our spiritual ears.
1. Make Time to Listen. We live in a very loud culture. There is always something playing in the background or we have our earbuds in and are listening to something on our Ipod. We will never learn to hear from God until we learn to embrace silence. God’s voice can be missed in the noisy clutter of our lives. Those who learn how to quiet their hearts and make time to listen are the ones who begin to hear a Voice from another realm.
2. The Bible and Prayer. These two should never be separated. Jesus told His followers, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7) God speaks to people through His Book. How often have you found comfort, guidance, correction, and encouragement in the pages of Scripture?
What Jesus was speaking about here in John, however, is something else entirely. Jesus was saying that as we immerse ourselves in His words and as they become a part of our lives, we will be able to pray intelligently, knowing what God’s will is. The words of Scripture have the power to renew our minds and change the way that we think.
Another amazing thing about Scripture is that it contains prayers that we can make a part of our prayer time. The book of Psalms contains many prayers from King David and others. In the New Testament, Jesus gave His disciples a model prayer to use. The Apostle Paul wrote out several prayers in letters that he wrote to some of his churches. These prayers are excellent tools to help kickstart our prayer life and put us in a position where we can hear God speak.
3. Counsel. Are we willing to listen to our leaders? Proverbs says, “Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without the advice of others.” (20:18) You might not be planning for war but you are planning out your future. The key to getting good advice and counsel is to get it from someone who is a little further down the road of life than we are. It is not that our friends can’t advise us, it is just that often our friends are at a similar point in life and they are our friends. They can’t see as far down the road as someone who might be more objective.
This is one of the things that people miss out on if they are not involved in a good local church. Pastors and leaders are great people to get counsel and advice from. They have our best interests at heart and want to see us succeed. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”
Of course, this idea of submission and obedience to authority is not always popular. It is certainly easy to obey when the leader says what we want them to say. It is much harder if they suggest something that we do not want to hear.
4. Take a Step. God’s will and direction often become clear when we start moving. A friend of mine often says, “We move, God moves.” In other words, as we start stepping out in faith, we find God begins to guide us, speak to us, and open doors for us. When we are trying to hear God’s voice and find out what He is saying to us, it does not require much faith to just sit and pray. As we said above, prayer is very important. At some point, though, it is time to move. That is where faith comes in. As we pray for guidance and ask God to speak to us, we will find that as we take a step that is when things start to become clear.
What are some other ways that God speaks to us? How does God speak to you?
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Africa, India, South America, the United States and other places as God is opening the doors. Would you consider joining our team? Just click here to get involved. Thanks so much!