April 19, 2024

How to Hear God

How can we hear God in a world filled with distractions and doubts? We often want a miraculous, burning bush moment. But what if God is speaking through the ordinary, day-to-day?

In this episode, Whit and Casey explore the pivotal role of wisdom, the common pitfalls we encounter in seeking His voice, and their own encounters with God’s guidance.

Check Out the Episode:

The topic of “hearing from God”  can often feel really lofty. There’s so much noise around this topic. Some people wonder if they hear God’s voice, while other people may think, “Of course God speaks. I hear from Him all the time.”

Is this all just our own thoughts and imaginations? Is God really speaking? How do we know?

Common Pitfalls and Misconceptions

In our spiritual journeys, it’s common to hear phrases like “God said” or “God told me.” These expressions often come from a sincere desire to validate our experiences with God, to anchor our faith in something tangible and real. But these words can also be weaponized.

Many of us have been influenced by examples of “hearing from God” that we’ve seen in church. This influence can shape our expectations and understanding of God’s communication with us–sometimes in a positive ways and sometimes in a not so positive way.

Sometimes, in our eagerness to be used by God we can be inconsiderate of other people.

We may find ourselves inserting into someone else’s situation, convinced that we know what God wants for them without truly understanding their circumstances or having a genuine relationship with them. Or maybe you’ve experienced this from someone else.

No one wants to feel like a “faith project.” When we act out of a desire to fulfill our own agendas, even if they are cloaked in the language of God’s will, we run the risk of causing more harm than good.

The phrase “I have peace about something” is often used to justify a decision. Though peace can be a good thing, peace alone is not always a definitive indicator of God’s direction.

Sometimes, the Lord will ask you to do something that you’re terrified of doing. God’s will may not always align with our immediate sense of peace or comfort.

One of the underlying issues is our tendency to prioritize feelings over scriptural truths. Without a deep understanding of God’s character and ways, as revealed in the Bible, we risk relying solely on subjective experiences and emotions.

The casual use of phrases like “God said” can inadvertently mask a deeper spiritual laziness—a reluctance to seek God’s will diligently through His Word and prayer.

Many times, the lack of clarity stems from a limited understanding of our own motivations and inner workings.

Claiming divine authority for personal desires or decisions can lead to unintended consequences. Instead of using “God said” as a shortcut to validate our choices, we are called to a deeper journey of discernment, humility, and submission to God’s revealed truth.

The Role of Wisdom

Central to our pursuit of hearing God must be wisdom. It guides us through the maze of doubts and distractions, helping us distinguish between the authentic voice of God and our own desires and imaginations.

Often people will violate wisdom to go where they think the Lord is leading. Our personal desire will always be intertwined. That’s why honesty before God is so important. It’s okay to pray prayers like, “God, I can’t tell if this is where you’re leading me or if this is my own desire leading me.”

What to do when you don’t know if you’re hearing from God.

Maybe you can look back and see times where God truly spoke to you, and also times when it was clearly not God who spoke. So what do you do when you’re not sure?

Be openhanded. Don’t immediately rearrange your life based on something you think you heard from the Lord or a word someone gave you.

Imagine having a mental drawer labeled “Maybe That’s God.” This drawer is where you place those moments of inspiration, revelation, or prophetic words that stir your spirit but may not yet have full clarity or confirmation.

In this drawer, you hold these encounters with an open heart, willing to revisit them as you journey with God. Some things will become clearer over time. As they do, you can move them to the “Definitely God” or the “Definitely Not God” drawer.

It’s in the tension of discernment that our relationship with God deepens, as we learn to trust His voice amidst the noise of our own desires and external influences.

When we surround ourselves with people who aren’t just cheerleaders but also offer good, godly, and mature counsel, we tap into a wealth of wisdom beyond our own.

These should be individuals who have proven themselves trustworthy, who have walked the path of faithfulness over time. And seeking their counsel doesn’t mean handing over the keys of our lives to them; it’s about gaining insights, perspectives, and guidance that complement and enrich our own.

God can of course lead, guide, and direct us through our thoughts, but godly counsel plays a vital role in this journey. It’s like adding another layer of perspective, one that often reveals facets of truth we might have overlooked.

God wants to speak to you.

We often think about needing to hear from God when we’re seeking guidance about something. But God wants to speak to you in the ordinary and the day-to-day. He not only wants to give you guidance––He wants to reveal Himself to you, to comfort you, correct you, sustain you, revive you.

He wants to give you what you need for each day, each moment. We can approach Him daily: “Lord, give me my daily bread. What is it that I need today?”

Pro Tip: If you want God to speak to you, prayerfully and introspectively reading scripture is a great place to start.

You might be hearing Him more than you realize.

In John 10, Jesus reveals that the sheep know the voice of the shepherd.

John 10:14-16, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

If you know Jesus

However, we must create space to hear God. Constantly scrolling through social media or filling our minds with noise is not going to make His voice clearer.

God’s communication is often gentle, like a whisper. We must position ourselves to hear it, whether through prayer, scripture, or quiet moments of reflection. By tuning our hearts to God’s voice, we move closer to Him in His unceasing invitation to communion

Show Notes:

Watch the Message: God Wants to Speak to You

Check out the Life in Motion episode that was referenced: Finding Purpose in Every Season

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