God’s speaking, but are we actually hearing God’s Voice?
A guest post by Simcha Natan
Imagine if someone sat in front of you, and gave you all the solutions to all of your problems, offered you guidance, spoke life over you, encouraged you, was transfixed by you (in a non-stalker way!), and had all the wisdom you’d ever need….
But we just didn’t listen.
We zoned out, and preferred our instagram feed.
Or a spot of online shopping.
Or maybe work called our name louder…
Here’s the thing friends.
God is always speaking.
We want to know how to hear God’s voice directly, right now, yet He is outside of time, he’s not in a linear conversation, He’s continuously speaking to us.
The question is if we are tuning in to His words.
Sometimes we sit and listen and spend time at his feet, quietly listening in prayer for his words, sometimes we try to hear from God in the Scriptures, but the issue is that we’re only willing to hear certain things.
And when we don’t hear them, we accuse God of not speaking.
You see, we love to put conditions on God.
We’ll listen if…..
We’ll obey if….
We’ll go if….
But that’s not how it works.
You see, your season is intentional.
Nothing is accidental.
God knows where you’re at in your life, AND WHY!
Don’t be discouraged friend.
If you feel like God has abandoned you, or that you’re alone – maybe you should think about what answers you’ve been willing to hear? Or what instructions you’ve been willing to receive?
Is it truly anything?
Or have you added parameters, conditions, or an agenda to your obedience?
We don’t seem to realise that in every season of life he is offering us an opportunity for transformation! A chance to be made a little more into his likeness! But we’re so busy complaining and moaning about how God isn’t speaking, or XYZ didn’t happen like we planned, that we miss the transformative moment!
So here’s the key
We have to stop making deals with God.
He requires our unconditional obedience, not our wheeler-dealer obedience.
Sometimes we need to actually shut up and listen!
Let’s be honest – how much of our ‘quiet’ time, is actually quiet?!
And how much is spent moaning, pleading, complaining, asking, begging!?
I know for me, NOT going that way has required great discipline, and I still fail A LOT.
Here’s my top tips for how to hear from God directly when we pray:
1. EMPTY YOUR BRAIN – Give space to hear God’s voice
Yes! You can’t hear, if you’re distracted a million ways to Sunday!
Empty all those worries and thoughts about the day, your to-do list, the laundry reminder and grocery list, the homework assignment, the paper due, the email that needs to be written – write it down! Then it’s dealt with. Keep a pad next to you if more pop up!
2. CLEAR AWAY DISTRACTIONS.
One of my ways of defining an unhealthy relationship with something is that we ‘prepare the way’ for that thing. We plan for our binge, or we set up the room for Netflix, or we prioritise our time around it.
We need to do the same thing for our HEALTHY relationships.
God should be prepared for.
If there is something that’s going to nag at you while you sit with God (like making the bed, or clearing away the dishes, or going for a run?) – then do it first! I know for me, those things will really distract me, and will pull my attention away from this space, and will inhibit my ability to really rest.
3. BE STILL
I am not one of those who can ‘meet with God’ on the treadmill!
I need to be still. I need my soul to feel quiet and at rest. I can’t hear with noise all around me – whatever that may be. (Find tips on getting quiet before God here)
4. MEDITATE ON SCRIPTURE (a single verse will do!)
If your Bible is open, then he is speaking.
Don’t try and cram in huge passages at a time (unless that’s your season!) – I find sometimes there is SUCH a meal to be had in front of a single verse! He can speak, breathe life, direct, and gently correct through a single verse!
5. DON’T RUSH
You know, sometimes hanging out with God can just be sitting quietly together. It doesn’t have to be words words words! Sometimes it might be. But sometimes you can just be still together and enjoy each others company. It will ALWAYS be worth it, because it is in his presence that we’re transformed, so don’t rush away from it. Be willing to sit an extra 10 minutes after you naturally feel you’re ‘done’, and see if you can develop a habit of not rushing away. I would guarantee that that will become your most precious time!
God has taken time with me over the years as he has taught me to listen and obey – read the full story here!
Are you ready for some transformation?!
I’m a super-creative, people fanatic, obsessed with seeing transformation in those around me, and a BIG time encourager! I’m a compulsive course writer, author, song creator, taker-of-new-ground and super-investor in people, their gifts and callings! I’m obsessed with podcasting, I’m a make up and skin care lover, interior design mastermind, social media achiever, puppy parent, margarita enthusiast, speaking and travelling avenger and small town Israeli, pizza baking mama of 3!