Turning to the right channel
Like turning to the right channel, God speaks to individuals who are ready and prepared to listen. A friend once put it this way: A Christ follower who builds the following four habits in his life will be in a good place to hear from God.
First, Christians should build relationships with other Christians. This doesn’t mean excluding those who are not of the same faith from your circle of friends. Rather, a believer in Christ who makes close friends out of those with the same priorities finds it easier to live a faith filled lifestyle.
A Christ follower should spend daily time reading the Bible, mulling over the message, and praying for ways to make scripture’s lessons into a lifestyle. Setting aside time for reading and reflection immerses a Christ follower in God’s purposes and nature.
By adding prayer for others and himself to this daily quiet time, the Christian will find it easier to turn away from their own self-focused desires, and advance God’s priorities to first place.
The fourth discipline is the most challenging. Christians should actively seek opportunities to tell others about what they are learning from and about God. By sharing your thoughts about God, the internal becomes external, and the lessons learned in private become part of an outward lifestyle that is changing toward God’s purposes.
If you do these 4 things every day, you will be in a good place to hear from God. You will have turned to the right channel, so to speak. God can speak to anyone, at any time or place. Yet God will not often speak with a person who is not ready to hear.
Reading the Channel guide.
In the Bible, God used talking animals, a flaming bush, angels, visions, and a “still small voice” to speak to his people. God can use anything to communicate to a person who is ready to hear.
Nonetheless, here are a few methods which God often uses.
God will often speak to you from another friend or leader. Often we need only see a situation from another set of eyes in order to hear God’s will. A good friend whom you trust as a committed and consistent Christ follower can bring God’s voice to you.
The Bible has examples of most of life’s problems, pitfalls and priorities printed throughout its pages. These words from God tell of God’s general plan, and often will spell out the advice you need to find God’s will for a specific situation.
The Bible describes God speaking in a ‘still small voice.’ God often speaks directly into your mind if you will set aside the time to pray, and wait for his answer. This practice should not be confused with some kind of cosmic vending machine. God is under no obligation to give you the answer you seek after you deposit the “coins” of an hour or two of prayer. Yet God promises that he will answer if you will pray and wait. His still small voice can be a thought in your mind, a clear and simple response to your prayers.
Tuning Out the Static
Hearing from God is primarily a heart issue. You will hear from God when you decide to hold his will as your most important priority. More than being disciplined or practicing religious habits, a disciple willing to let go of his own desires that are counter to God’s expressed purpose shows single minded, pure hearted devotion. This person will hear God’s voice, not because he’s good enough, but because God promises to speak to the pure of heart.
If you want to hear from God, you must tune out the static from your receiver. God promises that if you are a person who deliberately, willfully, and repeatedly puts your own will ahead of his, He will not likely speak to you. Period. Deliberate, repeated and habitual disobedience will silence God’s voice. He will often not speak again until you put his priorities back into first place in your heart and life. (Bible references related to this article:2 Timothy 2.20-21, Acts 2.46-47, Philemon)
We Hear God by His Word
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
There’s a strong emphasis at the beginning of these verses with the word “All.” Every little bit of Scripture is breathed out by God…as in…God talking to us. God Himself tells us that His Word is breathed out by Him, and is profitable for everything, so that His Children may be made complete and equipped for every good work.
Let’s not miss the point that God tells us Himself how He speaks to us…through His Word. And the fact that we, as followers of Jesus, need His Word to make us complete. That means we are lacking without it and won’t be equipped if we don’t listen to God as He speaks to us from the Bible.
The Bible is living and active and if you want to hear from God and know what He is saying for sure, open up the book and read it. The very words you’ll read are the very words of God and you can confidently know that you are hearing from God as you read it.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
We Hear God by Following Jesus
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
The other primary way we hear from God is through Jesus Christ. As followers of Him, we’ll know His voice when He is speaking to us. One of the best ways we’ll know this is because we can look to the Bible to see who Jesus is and how He lived.