Can we possibly live a life devoid of hearing God’s voice? The shocking answer is yes. It’s like flying a sophisticated aeroplane blindly, without any directions from the control tower.
It seems odd to say, but we have to intentionally ‘lean into’ this awareness to hear God’s voice or the pace of our lives reduces His handiwork to a blur. It’s in this awareness that His voice becomes clear and this is how you make daily decisions based on Hope, not desperation or fear – it’s how you find grace to raise your children with kindness and have renewed energy to live a life “worthy of the calling you’ve been given.” (Ephesians 4:1)
Paul writes in Romans to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds”. When you have an awareness of God, your thought life changes. Two people can suffer from cancer. One becomes bitter and the other a beacon of hope to the people around them. The cancer is the same, but the minds are different. We all have the potential to hear… some hear distorted and destructive voices, some hear God’s voice, healthy and strong, speaking words of life and truth. The ones we listen to shape our lives.
Besides the obvious that God speaks through His word, I’ve highlighted a few ways I find helpful in hearing God’s voice.
LEAN INTO THE INTUITIVE
I find that most people have ‘God encounters’ through their normal day but mostly ignore them. The key is to be attentive. When someone smiles; compliments you; provides you with some service, or just engages you in some way, look through the engagement and see what God may be saying to you. Besides being aware of God’s voice to you, it is a wonderful way to live, constantly in anticipation of God encountering you in your everyday life; using the distractions or interruptions of your day to speak to you.
DON’T IGNORE WHAT YOU FEEL
This is where many go wrong: we assume because what we see or feel doesn’t seem very Spiritual, it can’t be God… wrong! John Wesley speaks of his ‘second conversion experience’ that as the preacher preached “my heart felt strangely warm”. God was speaking to him through the preaching of the Word. Imagine if that was not acted on by John… the world would have been a poorer place for it.
OBEY WHEN YOU HEAR
I was sitting with one of the pastors from the city the other day, and he told me that while in prayer God spoke to him and said to him that he was to warn his mother that she had a lump in her breast. He said he had wondered how he could even go about telling her such a thing? Well, thankfully he did, and she went for an exam and was told she had a pea-sized growth in her one breast caught so early that it was no issue to deal with. Imagine if he’d been too embarrassed or second-guessed what he heard. For you to keep hearing, you need to respond in obedience.
PAUSE IS IMPORTANT
I have discovered that it’s in the pause moments that I open myself up to hear. Let me explain… if there is some demand made of me, I pause momentarily and find God present and speaking in the pause. If I dive straight in without any small gap, I end up just responding naturally, and I lose the sense of God guiding me in my everyday activities.
I encourage you, as you read this, that we need to be guided by God through our lives, not as an accidental afterthought, but rather a deliberate lean into hearing from Heaven, or ordinary living gets in the way of the supernatural life we could live.