Do you ever wonder if you’re hearing God’s voice? Do you think you can hear God’s voice? Or is hearing God’s voice just for the super-spiritual who spend hours a day in prayer, can quote massive amounts of Scripture and go on a one-week spiritual retreat twice a year?
Those things definitely open the lines of communication. But here’s what we have to keep in mind. Learning to hear God’s voice is not about keeping a log to meet some spiritual communication quota. It’s simply taking the time to put yourself in a position to hear God. And honestly, if you have a lifestyle of daily communication with God (whatever that looks like for you), you’ll hear God speak. You just may not realize it’s Him.
Several years ago, I was offered a job as a receptionist with a mortgage company that my friend owned. I was a stay-at-home mom so this opportunity was very appealing to me. (I would get to see people!) Our two boys were in junior high school and I felt like this job would be a good outlet for me during the day.
My friend told me that I could try out the job, see how I liked it and then give her my decision in a few weeks. That worked for me. She picked me up each morning and we’d make the 35 minute drive to work together. It was nice.
My duties included filing, tending the phones and my favorite part… greeting every customer who walked through the door. This job gave me a chance to meet new people and try to be a bright spot in their day.
I thoroughly enjoyed my job and after a few weeks it was time to decide if I was going to stay on. It seemed like a no-brainer. However, my brain wasn’t so sure.
I really wanted the job. I was asking God if He wanted me to keep the job but I didn’t get a real clear answer. I just had this gnawing little feeling inside. It wasn’t a strong feeling. You know – like a conviction or a value – something you stand strong for. It was just an uncomfortable little something that gnawed on me that I couldn’t put my finger on.
Well, I wanted the job. So, on the way to work one morning, I told my friend I would stay on. Would you believe… as soon as I said I’d take the job, I had an awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was the kind of feeling you get when you receive bad news. It was awful! What’s up with that?!
All day long I tried to shake this bad feeling inside. I reminded myself of all the good things about this job and why it was a good fit for me. But that giant rock in the pit of my stomach just wouldn’t go away.
I didn’t want to do it but… on the way home, I said to my friend (my boss), “I made a mistake. I can’t take the job. I want to, but I’m not supposed to.” She understood and all was well.
As it turned out, God had another plan for me and He opened doors of opportunity that ultimately led me to the path of ministry I’m on today. So, not taking the job… good choice.
God is concerned about every part of our lives and He wants to be involved in our decisions if we’ll just listen.
God speaks to us in various ways at various time. He may speak to us when we pray. He may speak to us when we read our Bible. He’ll even speak to us through other people. Often He’ll confirm His word to us by speaking the same thing in several ways.
God’s voice is often subtle and not always easily discerned. But I’ve learned that if you pay close attention, you’ll be able to put things together and recognize His voice.
Don’t overlook that “still small voice” that you “can’t put a finger on”. Don’t ignore that sinking feeling inside or that feeling of calm. God doesn’t always speak to you in your “feelings”. But sometimes He does. He gave you feelings for a reason and He often uses them to speak to you.
Sometimes He gives you no feeling about a situation and He wants you to make your decision based purely on faith. But other times, He’ll speak through the feelings He gave you. You’ll have this little knowing inside, this sense that moves you somehow. That is often God trying to draw you closer so you can hear Him because He has something to say. (Note: God can build you faith using your feelings as well as He can build it without them.)
God wants to speak to you. God wants you to know what to do. He wants to help you make the right decisions.
The best way to hear God’s voice is to get to know Him so well that you can’t mistake His voice for anyone else’s.
So get to know Him really well. Practice listening for His voice. How do you do that? You can practice by doing these three things daily.
Read your Bible.
And pay attention to the little voice on the inside that says, “This is the way… walk in it.”
If you’ll do those three things you’ll get to know God’s voice really well and you’ll be able to make good decisions. The right decisions. The first time.