Quiet and listening

You want to hear from God. But He seems unavailable. “I need God to speak to me. But I’m not hearing anything from Him at all!”

Have you said anything like that? Those of us who care at all about our relationship with God would love to have a way to know exactly what God was saying. We want to hear from Him.

But too often it seems like a game of, “Can you hear me now?” You’d be glad for something as short as a text message from God at those times.

Have you done any of these things in your desire to hear from God?

  • Opened the Bible at random, and looked for a message in the first verse you put your finger on
  • Asked a minister or other Christian leader if they had a message from God for you
  • Wondered if those who claim to be prophetic might truly have a “word from the Lord” for you
  • Wished or prayed for a visit from an angel, or a divine dream, to tell you what God wanted you to do

We can feel desperate to know God’s will often when facing a big life decision, such as what kind of career to enter, who to marry, or whether to make a significant move. We also feel that desire when things are going poorly, perhaps with a physical illness, painful relationship, or overwhelming problems.

I’ve been on both sides of this question. While a young growing Christian I felt confused and desperate, and wanted to hear from God so badly that I unwisely believed some who claimed to speak for God. More recently I’ve had people ask me to pray for them, and tell them if God gives me any specific message for them. We would love for God to show up like He did in the Bible, with something specific to say just to us.

Remember that in the Bible God’s voice was precious. He doesn’t speak just because we demand it. And He doesn’t speak in a way that makes our own mind unnecessary. We’re not robots: it’s a relationship that’s growing here!

I know what it’s like to need to hear from God. The two most significant times for me were when I was facing really big decisions. I knew the consequences would affect the rest of my life, and I believed God cared about what happened to me. I wrestled with each of those decisions for a significant period of time. But in the end I was confident that I understood the direction God wanted me to go.

Here are three important points in hearing God’s voice in such circumstances:

  1. Put your own feelings aside. That can be hard to do when the stakes are high. Pray something like this, out loud: “God, I acknowledge what my feelings are. I’m (scared, in love, excited, tired, or whatever). As much as I am humanly able, I put those feelings aside. I know that if I act on my desires first, I can get into trouble. What I want most is to hear from You, and do what You want me to do.”
  2. Be quiet, and give God time to answer. Remember, He doesn’t speak just because we demand it. And He will usually not speak over a chorus of confusing voices you may be hearing in your head. The more quiet and still you can become, the clearer you will hear His voice. It may take minutes, hours, or days. Don’t rush Him.
  3. Remember God’s character. The more you know Him, the better you will recognize His voice when He does speak to you. Important here is spending time reading His Word, being around and talking with others who know Him, and remembering how God has dealt with you in the past.

I want God to speak to me, and I know you do to. And we would be surprised if we really knew how eager God is to speak to us!

I believe God is saying, “You CAN hear Me now!”

Your Turn: How do you connect with God when you need to hear His voice? Leave a comment below.

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