God is speaking…are you listening?
One of the most powerful truths that sets Christianity apart from all other world religions is that we serve a God who is alive and active. A loving Father who wants to be involved in our lives and speak to us on a regular basis.
That can be hard to grasp, and yet that’s why God sent Jesus – to restore the sweet fellowship He enjoyed with Adam and Eve, so that we can walk and talk with Him each and every day.
He wants to reveal the purposes He’s uniquely crafted for our lives. That’s why He sent the Holy Spirit – to lead and guide us every step of the way.
Giving us the right words to share with a coworker or friend in despair. Sending us to the grocery store at just the right time to share His truth with a stranger. Quieting our hearts with His promises when we receive difficult news.
Bottom line…God wants to speak to YOU! But learning to listen is a process. Here’s an excerpt from my book, Lazarus Awakening, which shares four ways I’ve learned to recognize God’s voice in my life.
How God Speaks
While Scripture is the main way God speaks to me, it’s not the only way. In fact, as I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord, I’ve been amazed at His creativity and the variety of experiences He uses to communicate with me. I’m learning to watch as well as listen for the following four methods the Spirit seems to often use:
Repeated themes. Like every wise parent, God repeats Himself when we don’t listen the first time!8 So I’ve learned to be on the lookout for similar messages on similar topics coming from different sources. If the same topic keeps coming up, God is usually trying to tell me something. (Around the time the Spirit revealed my problem with anger, I encountered two sermons, several articles, and a conversation among friends on the very same topic!)
Impressions. This wisdom from the Spirit usually involves an inner urge or prodding to do something or to go a certain direction. Sometimes it’s very specific—Call your mother or Stop at that store. To be honest, it’s often tricky to tell whether the impulse is God’s idea or my own. After I obey the nudge, however, I can often look back and see it really was from God.
Confirmations. This clarification from the Holy Spirit is especially important when I’m uncertain whether I’m hearing God correctly— whether the impression I’ve felt or the theme I’ve sensed is really for me at that particular time. Sometimes corroboration comes through Scripture or from other people, but it can also come from a sense of settled peace.
Checks. Sometimes instead of confirmation I may feel a check regarding certain decisions or actions. I can’t always explain it, but something doesn’t feel right in my spirit. There may be nothing obviously wrong with the action I’m contemplating, nothing that bothers my conscience, but I don’t have peace about it. In those moments I remember my mother’s words: “When in doubt, don’t.” Later I may (or may not) come to understand what the Spirit was warning against, but that isn’t as important as the fact I’ve obeyed.
Does it Align With God’s Word?
Regardless of which of these methods God uses to speak to us, it’s important to remember that He will never go against His Word. Therefore, I check any communication I believe I’ve received from Him against the principles of Scripture. If it fails to measure up with the Bible, I must set it aside, no matter how genuinely I believe I’ve heard from God.
That is why it is so important that we know the Word—and not just in our heads.
“The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip” (Psalm 37:31).
About the Book
We all know Jesus loved Mary – look how she worshiped. And we can understand why He loved Martha – after all, look how she served. But what about those of us who don’t know where we fit in the heart of God?
Lazarus Awakening shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.
I’d love to hear from you…How have you learned to recognize God’s voice?