Let’s be honest: how often have you fallen asleep, or found your mind wandering while praying? If we’re constantly just listing off things that we need to God, prayer can become mundane or even ineffective. What if prayer was more than just petitioning Heaven with a list of requests, but rather communicating with our Father as a true friend? The fact is, God is always speaking. The question is, are we in tune with His voice? Jesus died on the Cross not just to forgive our sins, but ultimately to bring us into a relationship with God! Communication is probably the single greatest vehicle of any relationship, so if we want true connection and intimacy with Jesus we must learn to tune in to what He is saying.
If you have a hard time hearing God, or maybe you’re finding it difficult to discern what He’s saying about a specific decision in your life, I know that your Friend in heaven has so much He wants to share with you today.
God Is Always Speaking
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice…” (John 10:27). This means that as a part of His flock, you hear from Him! The Lord is more determined and excited to speak to us than we are to hear from Him. But again, we must realize that He is not human and His first language is not English, Spanish, French, or any other human language! Once we grasp this revelation we will begin to realize that we actually do see and hear God much more clearly than we thought. All we have to do is “tune our receivers to His station.”
For example, when you’re driving in your car, there is music playing all around you. But even if you listen very carefully, you wouldn’t hear it. However, by simply turning on a radio, you would perceive what was there all the time. The reason, of course, is that our human bodies were never designed to perceive radio waves. We need the equipment to be able to discern the music.
Likewise, God is always speaking to us! The gift of prophecy is the equipment we need to tap into the spirit realm that exists all around us, even though we often can’t hear it with our natural ears or see it with our natural eyes. The gift of prophecy is like a radio receiver from Heaven. It gives us the ability to hear what God has been speaking to us all along, but we were unable to perceive it before we received this wonderful gift. As He teaches us His new language, He creates an opportunity for us to draw closer to Himself and more intimate with His people.
Testing The Spirits
As we learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, we must realize that not every voice that speaks to us from the spirit realm is from God. In 1 John 4:1 it says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” John makes it clear that we—the beloved—are able to hear from spirits other than the Holy Spirit.
Remember, the devil is stealth in how he communicates with the beloved. If he were to make himself obvious (the classic horns, pitchfork and red costume approach), no reasonable Christian would give him the time of day. The Bible tells us that, instead, he masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and we are to be aware of his schemes (see 2 Corinthians 2:11). Sometimes we struggle to hear the voice of God because there is a war to keep us spiritually deaf. In the parable of the sower (Mark 4:14-15), Jesus explained that often when God speaks to us, the enemy comes along and tries to convince us that we didn’t hear God clearly or that it wasn’t God’s voice at all! The key here is to not give up. Don’t let the enemy steal your hope or get in the way of you pursuing more of God, but rather learn to discern where the voice you’re hearing is coming from. There are 4 possible places you could be hearing from:
- Your spirit: You are a spirit that has a soul and a body. When you are born again, your spirit comes to life making it possible to hear from the spirit realm, but not necessarily hearing from the Holy Spirit. Hearing from your own spirit is still a spiritual experience and being aware of this will help you discern which voice is speaking to you.
- The Holy Spirit: This is God’s Spirit, the one with whom you are building a relationship and learning to hear clearly.
- Evil spirits: Spirits from the evil realm can speak to Christians just as they spoke to Jesus when He encountered satan in the wilderness.
- Angels: According to Hebrews chapter 1, these are spirits sent to render service to the saints. Angels also speak to us about the things of God.
Practice Makes Perfect
It takes time to learn to discern what Holy Spirit is speaking to you, and there is no substitute for experience. So I want to encourage you to practice, practice, practice. When you pray, make sure that you’re not just listing off your needs to God, but that you’re also taking time to quiet your mind and give Him space to respond to you. God does not want to simply impart information through speaking to you, but rather the goal is to draw you into a deeper relationship with Jesus and His Body. I pray clarity over you as you invite Holy Spirit to speak and I know that He’s so excited to connect with you!
Having a pure heart is vitally important in communicating with God. The pure-in-heart see God and can be trusted with His mysteries. Take some time now to ask the Lord to search your heart. Let humility and hunger be your guide as you move closer to Him and His voice. How do you most often hear from God? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Source: Kris Vallotton