In How to Hear God’s Voice 1, I revealed that God is ever ready to communicate to His children. We saw in the life of Gideon that God is even ready to be completely superfluous in His supply of communication to us.
The problem is not that God is not speaking or not willing to communicate. The existence of the Bible is clear testimony that God seeks to speak to the whole world.
The problem is in our response to God’s voice. Many people refuse to read the Bible, or to trust it. People reject God’s Word and so they cut themselves off from hearing from God.
God also puts some things in places that are hidden, so only those who have a heart after Him and will seek Him out will find what He has for them. God does not cast His pearls in front of pigs who will trample them under foot.
If you have a heart to hear from God then God is ready to speak with you. So here are some Guidelines and Protocols to help you prepare your heart to hear from God.
Guidelines and Protocols
Since God is willing to speak and probably speaking to us more than we realise, we need to be open to hearing His voice and we need guidelines or protocols to help us respond appropriately.
The Guidelines I am offering here are: Ask God to speak; Expect the Unexpected; Test the Word; Get Wisdom; Act in Faith; Value the Mundane; and Keep a Kingdom Focus.
Ask God to Speak
If you are not aware of God speaking then ask Him to speak, and ask Him to make Himself clear to you. Ask Him to teach you how to hear His voice.
I have asked God to speak more clearly, when I thought I may be missing Him.
Expect the Unexpected
The issue that takes your attention and which you expect God to speak to you about may be a sideline in God’s grand scheme. Don’t be surprised when God tries to talk with you about something bigger or different to the issues that you are distracted by.
Have an open mind and heart to the call of God and to God’s burdens for things outside your small world of concerns.
Test the Word
God’s principle is that things are to be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses. So don’t rush off as soon as you get some impression. Ask God to confirm the word. Make sure that it lines up with the counsel of the Bible. Run it past your spiritual leaders, to protect yourself from a wrong direction, especially if it involves a significant change of direction or could have serious repercussions.
You also need to be attentive to God’s timing and His big picture plan. Don’t get out of step with the theme or the timing.
Having something prompted to you or being aware of something spiritually does not mean you have to do something about it. You need wisdom to know whether what you are sensing is to be a matter for action or prayer. It may be just an observation to file away for future reference.
A Word of Knowledge will provide you with information, but you then need a Word of Wisdom to know what to do about it.
People who are spiritually sensitive may become aware of much more than they need to respond to. The “So What?” question needs to be kept in mind – don’t assume that just because you “know” something it is important for you to do something about it. It may be a “So What?” issue. Get God’s direction about what He wants you to do about what you receive – and what the real issues are.
Act in Faith
Once you know what God is saying and you have confirmed it and received God’s Wisdom, you will eventually have to do something about it. You will need faith to enable you to act on God’s leading. Jesus told Peter to “Come”, but then Peter had to step out of the boat and walk on the water.
Value the Mundane
Don’t get grand ideas about doing the impossible on a daily basis. God has given you many mundane tasks and responsibilities. Value those things. Don’t despise the small beginnings, the parental commitments, the “line upon line and precept upon precept” routines, or the challenge to serve tables and care for others.
Don’t think that hearing from God is a way to escape your daily callings. Those mundane things are what most of life is built on and you must be faithful with your marriage, family, work, ministry and social responsibilities.
Keep a Kingdom Focus
Hearing from God is not about “you”. It’s not a ticket to significance, or to making yourself better than others. We are to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”. As you hear from God and are led by Him, remember that it is all about His Kingdom and His will. If you start to get grand ideas about yourself then you are out of order. It’s not about your ego, or what you want to do.
Now, Sheep, Hear His Voice
God is ready to build you up, motivate you, comfort you, convict you, lead you, teach you and bless you. So get cracking on the task of hearing His voice.