For years, I struggled, trying to hear God’s voice, hearing it, then doubting if it was really God. My doubt screamed at me so loud, and I was screaming so hard back, that I wasn’t even listening. Everyone has their own language with God. How he talks with me isn’t how he talks with you. Well, some of it is, because there are forms of communication that is pretty good—but DON’T underestimate ANYTHING.
The first step is LISTENING. That is pretty important. If you’re having a conversation with a friend over lunch and they don’t stop talking at you, you wouldn’t feel it a very fruitful conversation, especially if they didn’t give you time at all to speak. How does one listen? Well, it takes practice.
God speaks through his Word many times. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is God-breathed.” God gave us his word for a purpose. One of my favorite things is when you’re reading a passage that you’ve read a whole lot of times, or know the story very well, but all of a sudden you notice something new. That’s really cool. One of the reasons a person can never get tired of reading the Bible. =)
God speaks through circumstances in our lives. He’ll open or close a door. Did I get this opportunity just because or did God just open a door? Is this testing me, or is the door shut? This is tricky to discern sometimes, but know this: things don’t just HAPPEN. I just tried to come up with a really good example but couldn’t, because fact: sometimes we don’t know why something went the way it did, but God ALWAYS has a plan. We just have to trust God with that. Oh, here’s one: I enjoy writing, but it’s not my major. Some people have told me I should consider doing that, because I have a gift for it or something, but I’m going to finish my major with where I’m at. But I’m not sure if I will or how long I will be able to do the job of my major (band teacher), because of my physical limitations. But the window is open. =)
God speaks through wise council of others offering objective wisdom. Now, not all wisdom carries equal weight, but sometimes, a friend, mentor, or teacher will speak truth into our lives that maybe God’s been trying to tell us for a while. Those aren’t just serendipitous conversations. They’re from God!
Many times, I’m journaling, and God speaks to me through my pen. Sometimes, I FEEL words. I feel them before I think them, or let them flow through my pen. Sometimes, I’ll write down our conversations, but God uses my slang, ‘cuz the thoughts are processed through my brain before written down or said. Sometimes, the words aren’t how I’d say them at all, or a phrase will randomly pop into my head that I’m not expecting at all. I’ve never heard a voice, but I’ve heard the words. God’s just so awesome!
Another good way to keep in the loop with what’s happening is to stay in the Word. Doing so helps you to understand God’s heart and character, his values and even his plan. It gives you perspective, especially if you’re doubting where the words came from. If they line up with God’s Word, there’s a guess. And, God doesn’t just randomly tell you things. You have to ask him, talk with him. Say, “Lord, I want to seek you and I need your wisdom!” (James 1:5) Align your will to His will. Awesome things happen when you do. That’s not saying that instead of doing what you want, you’re settling for what he wants instead. No, that’s saying that pretty soon you’ll want what God wants. And he’ll provide for you, while still getting what you want, in a way. That’s a tough one. I’m going to stop talking about that, and if you want to know more, ask someone authoritative who knows better than me. Oh, and you should ask the questions correctly. Instead of asking, “Lord, what is your will for my life?” Look at it differently. “Lord, how does my life fit into your will?” It gives a different perspective.
How have you heard God speak to you or seen him working in your life? For everyone, it’s different, and I love hearing stories, so please, share! God is so great!
Smiling at God’s greatness,