Clergy Corner: Listening for God's voice
Apr 19, 2012 | 1895 views |  1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
God speaks to everyone. This statement may be a little surprising, but it is the truth.

Allow me to explain: God is righteous and perfect in everything He does; He makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, and the Bible declares in Acts 10:34 that God is no respecter of persons. This means that God is not one that exhibits partiality toward any person. God loves everyone, and II Peter 3:9 says that “He is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.”

Here is a good place to interject a question: If God speaks to everyone, then why do people have a difficult time hearing His voice? The answer is simple: there are three types of people concerning hearing the voice of God: people that do not know God’s voice; people who know God’s voice, but choose to listen to other voices; people who are listening and obeying God’s voice in everything they do.

The first category consists of the heathen or sinners. These are people who have never developed a relationship with God through the acceptance of His son Jesus. God is calling out to them just as He called out to all of us before we knew Him. God is calling everyone, but someone must answer the call.

The second category consists of people who have answered the call, but they do not make God’s voice a priority in their lives. These people are actually Christians who have allowed other voices to take the place of God’s voice. In fact, this includes “church-going” Christians who have simply allowed the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things to enter in and choke the Word of God (voice of God) in their lives (Mark 4:19).

Furthermore, I Corinthians 14:10 says, “There are so many kinds of voices in this world…”, so it is vitally important that Christians shield themselves with fervent prayer from the other voices or distractions that are in this world.

The third category consists of Christians who meditate in God’s Word every day and night and are quick to obey. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” According to this scripture, true sheep not only hear His voice, but they also follow Him in everything they do.

Now that we have qualified the three different categories of people, we can establish how you can hear God’s voice with clarity from this day forward.

The first place to start is by meditating and reading the Bible. Joshua 1:8 tells us to meditate in His Word every day and night, and when we do this, we will make our way prosperous and have good success. I have had many people tell me they have a difficult time hearing the voice of God. My first response is, “When was the last time you read your Bible?” The Bible is more than just words in a book; it is actually the “Written Voice of God.” So when a person reads The Book, they are hearing God’s voice.

Reading the Bible is the first step, but there is so much more. God’s voice should also be heard within your spirit man (inner being). A lot of Christians are trying to hear God with their natural ears, but this is not the way He speaks to His people — He speaks within us, to our spirit man to guide and protect us in everything.

In order to hear the inner voice of God, we must be listening. God’s voice is not some deep, booming, thunderous sound; but rather, it is the exact opposite: His voice is calm, peaceful, and quiet (I Kings 19:12). The best way to hear God’s calm, quiet voice is by becoming quiet yourself. Many times, people are too busy talking than they are listening, especially in their prayer time with the Lord.

Most people view prayer as one-sided communication. They bring their problems before God only in hopes that He might be able to help them, but they don’t wait around to hear God give the solution. In other words, they go to God with a “lot of talking” but “very little listening.” James 1:19 says, “Be swift to hear and slow to speak.”

Think of it this way: If you were in a math class and had a hard time understanding the problem that was on the chalk board, what would you do? Wouldn’t you go to the teacher in private to receive the answer on how to solve the problem?

This is exactly what prayer is all about — it is about relationship and understanding. Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father which is in secret, and your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly.”

If you have a problem in life, go to the “Great Teacher,” the one who can solve any problem you are facing. But instead of just telling Him your problem and leaving, wait for Him to respond. If you wait to hear His voice, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Earlier, I mentioned that there are many voices in this world. One of those voices that can cause great distraction to the voice of God is the voice of television. If you want to hear God’s voice with clarity, you will need to protect your heart from other voices, especially in your prayer time. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch TV, but I am saying that most of what is on TV is not glorifying God, and it can hurt your relationship with your Heavenly Father if you allow it.

I encourage you to take some time today to pray to God, but this time when you pray, shut off the other voices around you and wait for an answer from Him; and instead of going to Him immediately with a problem you are facing, go to Him with a heart of worship, willing and ready to hear Him speak into your life. Remember: God loves you and wants His very best to be yours all the time.

Pastor Shawn Machen, World Victory Church

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