Have you ever been watching TV and words begin to scroll across the bottom of the screen that say something like this? “Quit worrying about your job. I know what I’m doing. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m working on it. Just be patient and give me a minute already. – God”
Has that ever happened to you? Yeah. Me neither.
If only God spoke to us that way. (A tv announcement may be the only way God can get through to some of us. Oh, now that’s meddling isn’t it? I better move right along – especially since I watched 2 movies in a row yesterday – count that up – anyway…) God may not speak to us that way but He does speak to us. And He does speak that personally to us.
So how do you hear God speak in such a personal way?
Read Mark 4:13-32 (this is good stuff)
1. Prepare Your Heart
In the first parable, Jesus talks about how to receive a word from God. Jesus tells us that it starts with making sure your heart is ready to receive it. If your heart is not tender, humble and sensitive toward God, you won’t be willing to accept what He speaks to you.
To prepare your heart to receive His word, forget about what you want and forget about being right. Check your pride when you hit your knees. If you’re stuck on doing things your own way, you’ll have a hard time accepting God’s best for you. Be open to what God wants to say. Pray and ask God to give you a humble heart that desires to accept His commands.
2. Pay Attention
When you read the Bible and something strikes you. The words seem to just jump off the page and grab you. Pay attention. If your heart is prepared to receive the word, those thoughts will begin to soak into the soil of your soul. God will begin to speak things to you about that scripture that you never saw before and He’ll show you how it applies to your life. When you read something that gets your attention… pay attention. God is speaking.
3. Think About It
Begin to meditate on the scripture and ask God what He wants to say to you. Ask Him how He wants you to apply the word to your life. Don’t just think about it for a few minutes. Meditate on that word throughout the day and when you go to bed at night. God may speak to you about it in your dreams. He may be speaking to you in your spirit as you sleep.
When you wake up in the morning, recall the words He has spoken to you. Take time to
- pay attention
- think about what you read and what God’s saying
- and think about what it means to you personally.
Too often we hurry through our time in the Bible. We may read a chapter or a couple of verses and it doesn’t even phase us. Or maybe we read something that gets our attention but we don’t take the time to dwell on it and let it sink into our souls and we forget what we read.
If the word can’t get into us it will never change us.
God can take one seemingly small word, and make a huge impact in your life. But your heart has to be prepared. You have to pay attention. And you must think about what God is saying.
If you’ll do these three simple things, you’re Bible reading time will go to another level. You will experience spiritual growth that will amaze you. You’ll notice that you’re looking more and more like Jesus everyday because He’s getting His Word in you and you’re seeing how to live it out.
The way to hear God speak a personal word to you is to read His words to begin with. It’s as simple as that. It really is.
I wonder what God is going to say to you the next time you read your Bible?
Photo by Paul Townsend