Wake The Churches

Hearing God

Hearing God

Hearing God
Hearing God, what does that mean anyway?

Many times in my writing or in talking with people I say things like “God said this or that to me about such and such a problem or concern, or in answer to a question.” And I sometimes wonder if they think I have gone off the deep end and am one step away from a rubber room.

I have even heard a pastor on the radio talking about never having heard God speak to him, at least not in the way I feel God speaking to me. He said he thinks God does speak, but through His word, the Bible. And I have to say, that is one of the ways God does speak to us.

My wife and I read several chapters in the Bible as part of our morning devotions, a practice I highly recommend by the way, and in our reading we come across verses that we know we have read in the past, but suddenly they stand out like we have never seen them before. All of a sudden we get a new meaning that we never notice was there. These “new meanings” are never of the kind that would undermine what the Bible teaches of course, but they often give us a new insight into a situation in a way we hadn’t thought about before.

So, to those who refuse to think that we can hear from God directly, that “still small voice,” I have to say, that’s fine, He will speak to you in other ways.

Hearing God through others

Many times in my life I feel God has gotten through to me using words spoken by other people. Sometimes even by unbelievers. God can use anyone to get His message through to us. I remember a time which I wrote about in my book, when I was about to lose my house. I had set up a meeting with a realtor friend of mind to help me get the house sold as fast as possible, which he did. But this friend gave me some very good advice in that first meeting, even though he wasn’t a believer.

He said, “Trust in God, but tie up your camel.”

Words I find now to have been very appropriate. What he was saying and what I’ll say to you is this, yes, we should trust God in all things, but that is not to say we should be foolish about it. We can trust God that we won’t be hit by a car, but we should not walk across a busy freeway wearing a blindfold.

There have also been many times pastors will talk about someone coming up to them after a sermon and telling them that they must have been reading the person’s mind, because what they’d just talked about in that sermon hit the fellow right square where he lived. Of course that pastor had no idea anything they had said in that mornings message could have been so right for the fellows circumstances.

That’s just another way of hearing God through someone else’s words.

Hearing God through songs or movies

Over my life time, I know God has gotten a message through to me when I have heard a certain song or watched a certain movie. It’s not uncommon for that to happen.

I will be watching something, maybe even something that I have seen many times before and all of the sudden, something new will strike me. An inspiration if you will.

For example, there is a movie, “Signs” that moved me one way before the death of my wife Cara, and then even more so, after she passed. Without going into too much of the plot it involves an alien attack as it affects a small farm family. When Cara and I were going through the hard times of her on going pain and depression, it was comforting to watch that movie and see a message of hope, that even in the darkest times, God does get people through. And then watching after she had passed, the message was one of comfort that there are NO coincidences, that God is in charge and that things do work out.

God can speak to you through a movie, a song and even a TV show if you are listening.

Hearing God through things that come your way

You may hear from God or feel His leadings through things that happen as you make your way through life.

The most recent example of this happened when I needed to rebuild my website. I know God led me and made a way for me to afford and start this site many years ago, but it has changed and therein hangs a tale.

Back when I first set up wakethechurches.com my hosting company offered the use of an online site builder, which I had used before so I was very familiar with it. In the last few months however, I became aware that my hosting company was going to stop supporting that now ancient builder. So if wanted a site that I could update at all, I was going to have to rebuild it.

I had planned on rebuilding it using a newer builder that was offered and had even started working on it, then things changed. First, I was having trouble using the new builder, it wasn’t acting right or performing the way I wanted it to, and then as I was looking around I ran into an ad about making a blog. Well, I had heard of blogging before but didn’t know much about it. Somehow I stumbled across a You-tube video about using WordPress to create a blog. The fellow was easy to listen to and explained how simple it was. As I watched and listened to him, I slowly went from thinking I was just going to pick up a few tips for my under construction site, to thinking I was definitely being led by God to use WordPress, and so here we are.

It became more and more apparent that turning my site into a blog was the way to go. Thank you Lord.

Hearing God, that still small voice

Here’s the part about hearing God that is going to make some people really think I have gone around the bend, a few bricks short of a load, if you will.

I do talk to God, all the time. Of course that is what prayer is all about, talking to God, letting Him know your concerns, worries and asking Him for help, either for yourself or someone you care about. Most of us who have even a baby Christian faith will pray to God about things that worry or concern us. But I don’t think most people hear back or even think you can hear back from God.

The Christian faith is not a religion, it’s a relationship. Religion is rules and regulations, do this, don’t do that. The Christian faith offers freedom as the Apostle Paul says, “we are free to do all things.” But he goes on to say, that “all things are not edifying.” Or to put it more clearly, through Christ we as Christians can do all things, but not all things are good for us.

You see, God wants a relationship with us, His creation. And for there to be a real relationship there must be a give and take, a talking to and a listening to.

But how do I hear from God, that “still small voice,” you might ask?

The first thing you must do is be sure you are tuned to the right wave length so to speak.

To hear music over the radio, you must first have a radio and then have it tuned to the station you want to listen too. That’s the beginning of hearing that “still small voice.”

As Jesus said in John 3:3, “you must be born again.” In the simplest terms, you must accept Jesus as Lord of your life; believe that He is who He said He was, that He did die on the cross to save you from your sins and rose again and that He is alive to this day. You must accept His free gift of salvation. There is more that I could say about being “born again” but I’ll leave that for another time.

Once you have accepted Christ you can be sure that God is going to want to build that relationship with you. He is going to want to not only hear from you, but He is going to want you to hear from Him.

Some people, sadly, just can’t get around the whole hearing God thing and may never hear that “still small voice” I am talking about, but that doesn’t mean that God is going to let you out to dry. He will find a way to speak to you that you can accept.

If you have Christ living in you, which is another way of saying, you are born again; I will give you an exercise that might help you hear God more clearly.

Get yourself alone somewhere with no distractions, no phones ringing, no TV blaring, no radio, no kids screaming for attention, and just be by yourself. It’s good to do this once in a while even if you don’t hear from God directly.

When you are in this quiet space, just yourself and God, then relax and let your mind think on Him. Start by asking Him questions that you have on your mind, anything at all. He already knows what you are going to ask, but He wants to hear you talk to Him about whatever it is that is on your mind. And then be quiet. Listen with your inner ear, your mind and spirit and let God answer.

Even as I write this, I try to open my mind and let God give me the words He wants me to put on the page. So you should open your heart and let God put His thoughts into your mind.

If you are a new Christian, or even if you have been walking with the Lord for a long time, you should know that there is a dark force that will try and stop you from having that relationship with God and may even try and put wrong thoughts into your mind. So, know that if you think you are hearing God, but what you are hearing is contrary to the word of God in the Bible it’s not God speaking, it’s the evil one.

Know this, as the Apostle John talks about it in 1 John 4:1-3.

1 Dear friends, 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. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

A word about the antichrist here, John is warning us about “The Antichrist” which is coming, but here he is also talking about the spirit of the antichrist, which is a spirit that is against Christ in every way and that spirit has been with the human race since the beginning.

So, when you hear that “still small voice” and I hope you do, just be careful as it could be the voice of one who is against God and His Christ.

If for example you think God is telling you something is going to happen or that you should do something out of the ordinary, if you are not sure it’s from God, wait for God to confirm that message to you in some way. It is okay to test God.

When Ginny and I were planning to marry, and we had hardly known each other but a couple of months, God confirmed to us in no uncertain terms that what we were doing was His will for us. This is something that I again, wrote about in my book. But suffice it to say, God gave us a Billboard size confirmation that we were doing the right thing.

Is God speaking to us all the time?

Some would say yes to that question, but I would point back to the Bible and say that there are times when God is silent and lets us go on about our business without a direct word from Him. Don’t worry if you feel God isn’t speaking to your right now, but you know you’ve heard from Him in the past. If He is silent, then know that there is a good reason for His silence. If you love Him and want to follow Him then maybe He is just getting you to trust Him that all is going along the way it should.

Keep your ears open to hearing God in your life, He wants to interact with you and He will if you let Him.

 

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