Ever want that “letter” from God telling you exactly what to do in a weighty situation? “Hey Sally Sue, Yes, I want you to move to Tahiti. – God” (That’s my dream letter). Or maybe you’re staring at a wave of voices and opinions and influences; all cascading down upon you, and you’re just hoping and praying for the waters to part for a clear and distinct voice to silence the jumble and offer you just the right clarity? Have you ever said – “God, your will be done, but what is it?! Just tell me what to do!!!” We know God Speaks – see God Speaks part 1 and part 2.
So how do we get to know God’s voice? There are several ways, and today we’ll touch on three.
Open your Bible. If you don’t have one, get one. This is huge. You wanted a personal letter? This is it. Might not say: “Sally Sue, go to Tahiti – where to live chapter 1 vs. 1,” but pretty close. God went to great lengths to provide us with a resource that provides HUGE insight into who he is, what he loves, what he hates and what he promises. How can you discern his words to you amidst the slew of other imitators if you don’t know what he values? This is a MAJOR resource that has CRAZY powerful ability to speak. I’d go so far as to say this is the most important investment we can make if we want to hear his voice. Open it intentionally and often. And because he loves us and delights in revealing himself to us, if you open up his book and dig in, I promise you will not have to wait long to start hearing. The more you know of his words in this book, the less energy you have to spend trying to discern the obvious and move on to the challenging. I have to be honest – on the topic of hearing God’s voice, Priscilla Shirer explains this with tremendous insight. If you’d really like to thoroughly understand this blessing, you should abandon my little blog right now and head straight for a copy of her book: Discerning the Voice of God, How to Recognize When God is Speaking. She makes a great case for the fact that God’s primary way of speaking to us is through the Bible.
Go where he is. Church is a good start. Pastor’s professional JOBS are to interpret his words and share them with us in an applicable and meaningful way. And churches generally have great outlets to continue the investigation typically led by wise people who know him too. And perhaps it’s wise to consider the alternative – where he is not. I hesitated even to say this, because God can speak wherever he wants to – but generally speaking, you’re not going to hear him on your 3rd cocktail at the local dive. If you want to hear his voice, put yourself in an environment where his voice is made clear.
If you are single and interested in a spouse, you’re probably not going to have much luck finding “the one” if you spend your evenings holed up on your couch watching movies every weekend. That beautiful someone probably isn’t going to waltz up to your doorstep and plant one on you. You’re upping your odds if you get around other singles, get social, and do things that prepare you to be the kind of spouse you’re looking for. If you want to hear God speak, consider your environment.
Consider your community -spend time with people who are listening too (out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks) – you benefit from getting close to like-minded people. Even Jesus, who was perfect, surrounded himself with the 12 disciples who were his closest friends, and even from that group there were a select 3. Now, he was around a LOT of morally bankrupt people, because he came to seek and save, but if Jesus made it a point to be intentional with his closest comrades, we probably should too. We are not required or expected to do life alone amidst so much pain while evil still has yet to be conquered and free will is impacted by its presence.
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:20
You are being sharpened by who you are around – they rub off on you. You become sharp or dull depending on your company. Who is sharpening you?