I know I have mentioned this before, but I cannot seem to stop thinking about this lately. I really think that the Lord wants for us, as believers to really encourage one another in regard to how very crucial it is that we become better listeners. And I don’t mean sharpening up our hearing in regard to what the world has to say, either.
All it takes to get started is offering up our hearts to the Lord and stepping out in faith by telling Him how we are struggling to hear and asking Him for some help.
So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Fact is, we are going to continue to be hard of hearing when it comes to God if we aren’t immersed in His word. Period.
I have to admit, this was something I resisted until about a year and a half ago – being in the scriptures daily. I had been counseled so many times by very wise Christians that if we are not spending time in the word, that we will not be able to discern the inner voice of the Holy Spirit very well at all. Especially in this confusing and jumbled up world that we live in which is full of lots of mixed messages that come at us ever-so loudly, but not very clearly!
It’s helped me to realize that the world and all the stuff we “hear” in it, is far more confusing that the scriptures are.
I think the reason I was so hesitant, is that I apporached reading the scriptures as something I had to understand with my own human mind – in my own limited capacity. And of course, it yielded frustration, and an eventual “I give up” disposition. This is because relying upon our own strength is a recipe for guaranteed failure – after all, we need some divine help to understand something that was divinely inspired. We need some serious surrender to do so as well.
But once I really asked the Lord to help me with this, through prayer and supplication, (and yes, surrender) things started to change. I am hearing Him better now and I know it is a result of being in His word and remaining committed to prayer. Even when things are frustrating, stressful, and crazy, I still can hear Him. I still can get confused at times, but that just drives me even further into the scriptures and deeper into prayer. It’s where I hear best now. It’s the vantage point from where I was meant to be listening all along.
God wants this for us, friends!
What did I do that changed things a couple of years ago? I just started reading – even when I failed to understand very much. And then I prayed some more. Then, this wonderful thing happened……..
I wanted to read more.
And more, and more, and more.
I wanted to pray more.
And more, and more, and more.
And I started to hear Him.
More, and more, and more.
I don’t know if everyone has a different experience or not, but I can tell you what mine was. I wanted more of God’s word just by being in it – even when I didn’t feel like I was fully grasping it at the time.
That evolved into more of a sense of His presence – a time spent with Him, talking and yes, listening. Exchanging.
That’s called relationship. And that, in and of itself, made me want for more.
More of Him.
As time went on, and I read more, shared more, and listened more, the Lord started to reveal a lot of things to me. I actually started to literally feel like there was a two-way conversation going on. It changed from inner self talk to something very different. This very different-ness is something I can’t fully explain with my own words, but you will know it when it happens.
You will recognize Him and His voice.
But another really awesome thing was that at a certain point, this communication was no longerlimited to the time I was actually reading in the word anymore. Instead, the word carried with me throughout the day, into the next, and the following weeks and months. And the conversations continued to increase, until they just became a normal part (but no less an awesome part) of my entire life.
Faith was necessary to begin to be in the word – faith grew from being in the word – then hearing from Him further strengthened my faith, and it all started with reading and mediating on the word of God and spending time in prayer.
Just like the verse says.
If you are wishing that you could hear from God with more clarity, start by asking Him. You can truly just say a simple prayer similar to the one below….
“Father, I admit that I avoid the scriptures because I feel like I don’t understand them, I get bored or distracted, or I just don’t know where to start. Sometimes I even procrastinate because I feel like I can’t offer it more of my time, so I don’t even bother at all. I know it is your will for me to be in your word and in relationship with you, and this is something I truly need your help with. Will you help me, Father? Will you give me the desire to at least get started, and then grow it from there? Will you help me to have faith that you can help me to hear and understand what you so desire? And will you make it easier for me to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit you have placed inside of me? I want to do your will, Father, and I want to read your love letter to me over and over again. I don’t have to understand it all – I just ask that you would help me to hear and understand what you want for me to. I want to be in your presence, and I want to have a real and true relationship with you.”
If we just tell our Father the truth (that He already knows about us) in relation to this difficulty we have, and we come to Him with a heart that is “willing to be willing” – we will see Him show up in mighty ways! And we will hear Him. We won’t have to walk around blindly looking for a signal.
Then the willing to be willing turns into just plain willing. Then that evolves into want and desire. And that, turns into need and a new normal that is anything but the norm in this world.
All the other junk is still going to be there and we will still struggle with distractions and the noise of this world. But, in a really awesome way, that inner voice starts to tell us when that is occurring – and that’s when we go deeper. He’ll take us there.
Be encouraged, friend, if you struggle in this area, as the Father can hear you.
And He wants to make it easier for you to hear Him.
Won’t you bend His ear a little bit today in prayer? Just ask Him to help you start to listen and ask Him to help you discern His voice. He has a mighty range. Let’s take advantage of that.
May His voice be a sweet, sweet sound…in your ear!
**All unmarked images in this post used with permission from Microsoft Office Images.com