Wouldn’t we all love to know exactly what God is saying to us all the time? Maybe He could send us a text with detailed directions or write a big YES or NO on our wall.
He doesn’t always speak in the ways we’d like, or the time frame we hope for...but I believe our God is definitely still speaking to His people loud and clear. He’s not hiding from us or making it difficult - we just have to learn to become better listeners!
Here are five practical ways you can tune your spiritual ears to know what God is saying to you:
- Get in the Word!
The Bible is God’s primary way of speaking to us. As we read it, the Holy Spirit will bring specific words and passages to life in our hearts. I’ve had moments in my reading time where a verse I’ve read countless times before will literally jump off the page with fresh meaning and directly apply to my circumstances.
God does not contradict Himself, so if you feel He has spoken to you, check it against scripture to see if it aligns with His truth. Approach God’s word with an open heart and expect him to communicate with you as you seek Him.
- Be Still
Our lives are constantly cluttered with so much noise, busyness, and technology - and then we wonder why we never hear from God. He often speaks in a still small voice, so we need to create space to focus in and hear it. He’s waiting for us to come sit at His feet and tell Him everything.
Find a quiet spot, meditate in silent prayer, cut out the distractions and listen to what He is impressing on your heart. Write your prayers and thoughts in a journal if you find that helpful. Let’s be honest, sometimes we may know deep down what God is trying to tell us, but we don’t want to listen (because that means we have to choose whether or not to obey Him). Did that sting a little? Stick with me, I’ve been there too!
Thanks Captain Obvious! I know, this seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we just plain forget to ask God for His opinion. Maybe we feel like our “little” problems are a bother, not worth God’s time. He has bigger, more important issues to address; we should handle it ourselves. That’s a flat-out lie! God is relational - He wants to hear about even the seemingly insignificant details of your life. He wants to guide you and give you wisdom to make good decisions; He delights in our growth, healing, and restoration.
So when we say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening,” we open the door for Him to come in and identify areas where He wants to begin working. Next time you find yourself worrying, ask God what He thinks about the situation. He’s always available to listen!
- Seek Godly Counsel
As my pastor likes to say, sometimes we need a little extra help to know if we’ve received a message from God or just had some bad pizza last night. If you’re unsure how to interpret something you believe God may be saying, seek a second opinion from a pastor, spiritual mentor, or Christian counselor. Spend time around people with spiritual giftings of wisdom and discernment, and learn from the wealth of experience they can share. Ask for input from spiritually mature individuals who have faithfully run their race.
Sermons, podcasts, music, and Christian books can also be a means for God to speak, especially if you notice an idea being repeated multiple times across various sources. Pay attention to that!
- Check Your Heart
If your circumstances feel like a door slamming in your face, God may be showing you His timing is different or He has something better planned. Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost For His Highest, “Whenever there is doubt - don’t.” God’s will never has to be forced. When our plans line up with His, things seem to fall into place in ways only God can orchestrate. There are times we may feel fear or uncertainty in obeying His voice, but He is persistent when He is calling us to take a step of faith. If you can’t shake an idea or desire, it’s because God put it in your heart and will ultimately make a way for it to happen.