If you’re like me, you want to make God-honoring decisions, but sometimes it’s not so easy to discern the wisest choice. In this video, I’m going to share some biblical and practical ways to hear from God.
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So how do we hear from God?
While God is definitely accessible, trying to hear from him isn’t always as easy as picking up your cell phone to call a friend.
In John 10:2-4 Jesus says that his “sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
As Christians, we have to practice the discipline of hearing God’s voice, so that we can distinguish it above the loud, distracting, and distorted voices of ourselves, the enemy, and the world. (Ephesians 2:1-2)
Here are 4 biblical and practical ways you can begin practicing the discipline of hearing from God.
#1 | Make a habit of diving into God’s word.
Often when I visit a website for customer support, before I can contact the staff, I’m first redirected to a database of frequently asked questions. The idea here is that by directing customers to a list of FAQs, companies can save time and resources by allowing the customer to find resolutions using the answers and solutions they have already provided.
Unlike companies we always have direct access to God through prayer, but similarly He also provides us with a resource comparable to a FAQ. The general eternal principles of the Bible speak God’s truth into every area of our lives. The Holy Spirit and wise counsel will help us to understand better how to interpret and apply these principles for daily decisions.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul encourages us “to be transformed by the renewal of [our minds], that by testing [we] may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The more we consume God’s word, the more familiar we become with God’s heart and what pleases Him. His voice will never lead us to do something that would contradict his word.
#2 | Listen to the Holy Spirit.
Before accomplishing his work on the cross, Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and “guide them into all the truth.” (John 16:3) It’s the Spirit of God that gives us life and gives us the capacity to hear God’s words. (John 6:63, John 8:47)
The Spirit works in us to change our affections toward sin and gives us tender hearts that are ready to follow God’s lead. (Ezekiel 36:26) We can walk in step with the Spirit by obeying God’s word and responding to the Spirit’s prompts and nudges throughout our day.
Sometimes the Spirit will reveal to us, our true motives behind our decision-making by convicting us through scripture, a conversation with a mature Christian, or a particular situation. It’s hard to put some concrete formula here for how he will specifically speak to you, because God is so personal. The Spirit will never contradict God’s word, but he may grab your attention in a way he doesn’t do with me.
If you’re new to the idea of listening to the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to pray, asking God to help you recognize and respond obediently to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I promise He won’t say “no.” (Luke 11:13)
#3 | Consult godly counsel.
The book of Proverbs gives us insight concerning godly counsel. Proverbs 12:15 reads, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (ESV) In Proverbs 15:22 we’re told that “without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (ESV) And finally Proverbs 19:20-21 reads, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)
We see especially in that last verse, that at times God uses other people to help us gain clarity on our decisions. So if you’re getting ready to make a big choice, I encourage you to seek out a mature believer for their advice and insight. The conversation will be especially helpful if your counselor is familiar with your personality and character. He or she will be able to point out things and connections you probably haven’t noticed. (Note: This person should never give you guidance that contradicts God’s word.)
#4 | Anticipate and pay close attention to God’s response.
The first prayer God typically answers is our request for his salvation in Christ. In Revelations 3:20, Christ declares, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (ESV) Fellowship with Christ is the stepping stone to having direct access to the living God and receiving His Holy Spirit.
In the scriptures, God promises to hear and respond to our prayers for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom,” James writes in James 1:5, “let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (ESV) When our prayers are in alignment with God’s heart and desires for our lives, as His children, we can have confidence that God is listening. (1 John 5:14)
God may respond to our questions with a “yes,” “no,” or a “not right now.” He may respond to our requests for clarity through any number of ways including Godcidences (convenient coincidences that relate to our prayer). However God chooses to respond, you must be spiritually alert – consistently communicating with God and watching for his replies in your daily life – to receive his answer.
When you believe you’ve received his answer, confirm that your solution is in alignment with the scriptures. You can also ask a mature Christian if your solution sounds godly.
Well, friend, I hope today’s content was helpful to you. If it was, please go ahead and give this video a thumbs up and subscribe for more bible answers to your everyday questions with new videos every Tuesday.
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Keep the faith, sis.
See you next time on the Life Before Eternity Channel.