How to Hear God's Voice
God is having this teaching written to help people who want to hear God's voice and/or want to hear His voice better. It is awesome to hear God like Jesus heard God as Jesus said that everything He said is what God told Him to "say" and everything He did is what God told Him to "do". Although occasionally people hear God audibly but the more common way is internally. Sometimes a child of God only has seconds to be guided by God. For example, if a person comes to you privately in front of others and asks you to pray for God to forgive him because he just killed someone or to pray for her as a drug addict because she has an abortion scheduled in a few hours or a person confronts you in front of some new believers with a trick theological question. 1
The following are two personal experiences of hearing God as a younger follower. One time I was going to play tennis with a friend from grad school when he got off work. He was running for an important elective position in the university and was in a runoff that day with an upperclassman who was very popular. I asked God if my friend won, thinking that I could show off by telling him he won. God responded, "Yes he won, tell him I said he won." I was nervously obedient to God but instead of showing off, I was exposing myself to possible failure, if I had heard God incorrectly and there were two more hours before people stopped voting. The next day my friend came running across the grad housing parking lot and stopped me, telling me he had just found out he won by one vote. I smiled and congratulated him but inside I thought I would never ask God again just to show off. Another time I asked God if it would be okay to ask which chapter in the bible to study out a possible 28 chapters on a major Greek test. God gave me the same answer four times but knowing the chapter was not enough and ultimately God had to speak to me without me asking Him, to guide me to the exact 5 verses out of a possible 1,010 verses. I learned from the Greek Miracle to let God guide me without me telling God how to help me.
The first step to hearing God's voice or to hearing it better is to ask. Ask God to help you hear His voice every time you need to or He wants you to. Jesus encourages us to "Continue to ask, and God will give to you". Some prefer after asking and they are confidant God heard them, to continue to thank God daily. You may say daily, "Thank you God in Jesus' name for helping me hear Your voice". As you hear Him correctly and you continue to improve hearing His voice, you may thank God everyday by saying, "In Jesus' name thank you God for helping me hear Your voice better". 2
A second step is to practice hearing God's voice. Ask God questions with a "yes" or "no" possible answer like "should I eat lunch now?" or "should I go to the store now?" etc. As you progress and know you are hearing God, you may ask choice questions like "should I use the highway or city streets to go to church?" or "should I return that phone call now or should I wait until morning?" As you get more comfortable hearing God's voice and are confident that you are hearing Him accurately, you may simply ask, "What should I do next" or "What teaching should I share next Sunday?" Be careful when God tells you something, to seek His guidance on what to do with the information. One time God told a young woman she was to marry a certain young man who appeared to be a confirmed bachelor. She decided she knew what to do next and took over by immediately going and telling the young man what God told her and it scared him so bad he wouldn't even speak to her again. If you hear a response that seems strange or contrary to what you think God would want, take authority by saying "In the name of Jesus I command every demon to shut up, leave and not come back". Then ask the question again. Accept the second answer whether it is the same or different.
A third step is to be obedient. Obey what God tells you to do or say. As you grow to the point where hearing Him is not a concern, you may daily say, "Thank You God in Jesus name for guiding me in Your will in everything thing I think, say and do".
God wants me to share a story how I was disobedient to what He told me to do. Many years ago when I was a baby follower, I had the opportunity answer phones and pray with people who were watching a new weekly TV program. This was a new ministry effort with everyone and when I ask the man in charge what to do, he point to my bible and said rudely, "You have a bible, use it". Over the weeks, I developed a list of scriptures with subjects and when someone mentioned their concern, I would ask them to go get their bible. While they were away from the phone I would pray and select a scripture to fit their situation. When they came back to the phone I would ask them to read a scripture and then ask, "Does that sound like your problem?" And when they said "yes", I would pray for them. One evening a middle age woman called who told me she was a Methodist and said that she was not sure she was saved. While she was getting her bible, God said to me, "Cast out a demon from her". I argued with God mentioning several good reasons not to cast out a demon and my major concern was that I would offend her by the idea. Then I was disobedient to God. When she came back I asked her to read a scripture on faith. She got something wrong from what I asked because she started reading a story of Jesus casting out a demon. I closed my bible and raised my hands surrendering and praising God. When she finished the story. I asked her like normal, "Does that sound like your problem?" She calmly said, "Yes". And then I cast out the demon over the phone and God filled her with His spirit. It is good to stay open to God as He can still use us even when we are initially disobedient.
It is good to be obedient to God, even if it doesn't make sense. To hear God like Jesus did in every way, it is good be obedient in every way and develop an environment in your life that is pleasing to God. One way to be obedient can include obeying what God has told you previously concerning eliminating sin in your life. How much elimination of sin? Jesus guides us to "be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect". Is it really possible to eliminate all sin and be prefect like God? No, it may not be humanly possible. But as Jesus tells us "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible". 3
Even if you are hearing God perfectly and have a very pure spiritual environment in your life you still need to subordinate yourself or as Jesus says, "deny" yourself and what you think you should do or how you think you should respond and "ask" God. Even if you have had the situation before and heard God's response previously you still need to ask God. One of the greatest men of God who frequently heard God's voice before Jesus walked the earth was Moses. God told Moses to "Strike the rock" to get water. Then at another time when they needed water God told Moses to "Speak to that rock" to get water and Moses was disobedient and struck the rock like he did the first time. God did punish Moses for his disobedience. To hear God like Jesus heard God we must ask every time and be obedient like Jesus was when we heard one side on His conversation with God, "not as I will, but as you will". 4
1. Jn 12:49; 14:31
2. Mt 7:7 (IC)
3. Mt 5:48 (IC); Mt 19:26 (NI)
4. Lk 9:23; Mt 7:7; Ex 17:6; Nu 20:8; Mt 26:39 (NI)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
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A Psalm for reflection "Yahveh, hear me when I call. Be kind and answer me" Ps 27:7 (ET)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
People don't just fall out of love. Their feelings of love get crowded out over time by poorly handled disagreements and arguments. It takes a lot of positive statements to offset one negative statement. When you have a disagreement it is a good time stop the conflict and then resume the discussion using the Speaker Listener Technique. Becoming one as God said we could (Ge 2:24) is difficult when people in a marriage are afraid of rejection or even criticism. When you get angry, it is never helpful to threaten divorce. Being selfish can destroy a marriage. Jesus discourages us from being selfish in Lk 9:23. It is good to consider your spouse when you read Jesus words in Luke 6:31 (TE) "Do for others just what you want them to do for you."
Cam age 10 said, "Twenty three is the best age to get married because you know the person FOREVER by then!"
Remember that how you communicate and handle conflict is crucial for how your marriage will go. If you see selfishness in your self or in your spouse, with prayer, God can help improve your marriage. Pray for God's will to be done in your marriage, daily. Remember Jesus said in Mk 10:27 (NI) that " all things are possible with God."
Howard age 10 said, "The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them . It's the right thing to do."
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Marriages usually decline over time as a result of poorly handled disagreement or arguments. Try to avoid conflict and never threaten divorce. It is good to consider what Jesus taught when He said in Lk 6:31 (TE) "Do for others just what you want them to do for you", as you try to improve the way you treat your spouse. The old cliché about using honey instead of vinegar could apply to improving your relations with your spouse also.
When a spouse calls "time out", it is an opportunity for a couple to calm down before continuing the conversation at a later time (anywhere from an hour to no later than the next day) using the Speaker Listener Technique. Initially after calling time out it is an opportunity to take authority over the enemy and pray for the marriage. Example:
"In the name of Jesus I command you demons to shut up and leave our marriage and not return"
"Thank you God for helping our marriage be in Your will and guiding us in our relationship, in Jesus name, amen."
When a spouse will not cooperate, you can still take authority over the enemy and pray for your marriage.
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