Hearing from God is essential in your growing process. Many women I have spoken with, including myself, have prayed and sought the Lord for His will and purpose in their lives. My own growth has come from praying, reading the Word, worshiping, listening to pastors, and reading as much material as I could get my hands on. One author completely changed my walk as a Christian. Henry Blackaby’s book, Experiencing God, awakened a fresh and new relationship with the Lord in my life.
In their book, Hearing God’s Voice, Henry and Richard Blackaby share their personal stories and testimonies of God moving through their lives, churches, and ministries. The authors give amazing examples of drawing closer to God and reminding us all, God is working. Henry and Richard give insightful advice for those listening to discern the voice of God, to identify ways He speaks, and to respond to revelations of His will. I would encourage you to find, read, and study the book. I believe it will change your walk with the Lord. This chapter is inspired from Hearing God’s Voice and the personal examples from Blackaby ministries.
God speaks to His people today. He speaks uniquely, personally, progressively, consistently, faithfully, unmistakably, and diagnostically to Christ followers. “People do not ‘figure God out.’ God reveals Himself to people. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit, no one would understand God’s will” (p. 50).
God has revealed His character through Christ and His Word. He reveals His purposes and His ways to His people. “God will speak to people, teaching them how to do things according to His ways. God’s way are perfect. He will never ask His people to do anything in an unholy way” (p. 51).
God has given us His Holy Spirit, “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name [in my place, to represent me and act on my behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit’s Work will bring assurance and conviction of any sin in your life. He will bring understanding and guide you into God’s Truth. The Spirit will always exalt Christ and reveal God’s will, calling you into some sort of service for the Lord’s purpose. The Holy Spirit will protect you from sin; He already knows the future producing fruit in your life and preserving your heart. God, through the Spirit, will place you in a church and with members where your gifts can be used in the body of Christ. The Spirit will always produce unity among believers; give a godly word, reminding of Scripture.
“The Holy Spirit’s work in your life can be
like that of a surgeon. He systematically removes the sin that impedes a vibrant spiritual life. The Spirit will challenge your selfish actions and confront your sinful attitudes. He’ll guide you to avoid temptation. He will convict you of changes you need to make to live a holy life. Like surgery, the Spirit’s work can be temporarily painful, but the result is worth the discomfort” (p. 85).
While the Holy Spirit works in your life, God’s Word has the power to speak directly to your heart. God speaks through the Bible. “The Bible is the standard by which everything else is measured. For example, if a person says that he or she feels led by the Spirit to commit adultery, we know that person is mistaken. We know because God’s Word commands fidelity within marriage” (p. 91).
God’s Word was written to reveal His activity. Hearing God’s voice will always produce results and usually carries a cost to follow such as letting go of ungodly friends, addictions, sinful behaviors, and worldly thoughts. God’s voice brings life and changes lives. He tests us, which requires digging in His Word for understanding. The Lord holds His promises and gives guidance through prayer, meditation on the Scriptures, and Jesus Christ.
“The best way to hear God speak to you is to spend time reading, studying, and meditating on His Word. God speaks through the Bible in clear, understandable language. Those who are willing to immerse themselves daily in God’s Word will find that He reveals enough to keep them busy for the day at hand” (pp. 107-108).
Through the Spirit, His Word, and prayer God can guide your healing process when we communicate with Him openly. “Prayer is about what God has to say to us. If we spend more time in God’s presence and ask Him to reveal His will to us through prayer, we are sure to be overwhelmed by what God has to say” (p. 131).
The Blackabys remind us of God’s Spirit, His Word, and prayer. I’ve highlighted several words for you to think on: agreement, confirm, adjust, obey, purpose, and obedience.
- God takes the initiative to cause us to want to pray.
- The Spirit of God reveals the will of God through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit takes the words and Truths of Scripture and impresses them on our minds. As we pray, He will bring specific Scriptures to our minds.
- The Holy Spirit helps us pray in agreement with what God is saying.
- When God gives us direction in prayer, He will confirm that word to us through the Bible, circumstances, and other believers.
- We adjust our lives to what God says. Once God speaks to us, we cannot remain the same. God’s Word always requires adjustments on our part. *
- We obey
- God works in and through us to accomplish His revealed purposes.
- We experience God through our obedience as the Holy Spirit revealed we would. *
God speaks through your circumstances and believers in the church. “The Lord established the church, and facets of the Christian life can be fully experienced only in the midst of God’s people. Believers who choose to set themselves apart from relationship with other believers will NOT be in a position to hear all God has to say. By isolating themselves, they will be holding back a blessing from other believers as well. It is essential that Christians find the place in the church body that Christ has assigned for them, so they and those around them, can hear and respond to God’s voice” (p. 175).
As you listen for God’s voice, remember, He will never lie, offer shortcuts, or justify sin; God calls for repentance. God always unifies, brings humility and will never give excuses. Distinguishing between God’s will and your will can be, at times, challenging. Our heart desires something, but God may be leading us down another path. If your decision honors God, there are no excuses to quit, and the Bible is in agreement with your heart, continue praying and watch for God’s reveal. Remember, God’s purpose for you, decisions you make, and drawing closer to the Lord will go against everything the “world” wants:
* The world steers you to your strengths; God works through your weaknesses
* The World claims your rights; God says take up your cross.
* The World measures success differently than God
* The World operates on common sense; God uses divine wisdom
* The World offers management; Christ is the Good Shepherd
* The World divides; God unites
For your growing process to deepen and respond to what God may be telling you, you will have to cultivate an open heart. People whose hearts are hard hardened will reject the Word of God outright. You will have to make a decision to focus, learn to concentrate by eliminating distractions, and develop habitual obedience.
Hearing God’s voice takes time. If we are accustomed to worldly distractions such as blaring music all day, the television diverting you with drivel or you need constant entertainment, and consistently “on the go” with busyness, quietly sitting and listening may be an adjustment for you.
I take every opportunity to hear from God. I’m the first one up every morning. I grab my coffee, Bible, and journal to head outside or on the couch for quiet time with the Lord. I read one chapter or one verse every day. I close my eyes and ask God for a meaning. If a person or situation I am dealing with comes to mind, I stop and pray over it. I may send a text to the person letting them know I’m thinking of them.
I journal the Scriptures read and list prayer requests I may have of upcoming travel or events. I pray over the churches, pastors, and leaders. I repeat Scripture over them and thank God for bringing new believers into service on Sunday. I write in my journal what I am thankful for, desires that may come into my spirit, such as writing a new book. I question God, “Is that something you want me to do or was that just a thought?”
I journal my husband’s and children’s prayer requests or maybe behaviors I see that need to change. I ask the Lord for godly friends and people to encourage. I remember praying over Tommy seeking the Lord’s advice on his business. We prayed for several months with no clear word from the Lord to move or open his own office. Our prayers changed to, “Lord, it doesn’t seem like this is something you want, so while Tommy is where you have placed him, let him thrive there.”
I have prayed over surgeries or known prayer requests from people who may be struggling. I may look on www.biblegateway.com and search under trials. Scriptures will come up I can comb through to pray over these individuals While I am praying or journaling, if a thought of encouragement comes to my heart, I will post on my Facebook prayer group. I journal the Scripture and ask the Lord if this is what He wants.
This is an example of my morning routine. All of this time may take anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour. Time seems to fly when I sit with God. When the patter of little feet interrupts my quiet time, my heart may feel sad I am being pulled away from the Lord.
The Christian life, this journey we spend with the Lord, is amazing! I have learned so much through searching Scripture, journaling, and praying with people. The quiet time I spend with God is where I grow spiritually, feed my spirit, and seek His will. Serving in church, writing, teaching, and mentoring are using my gifts in the body of Christ to serve the Lord. I hope you can see the difference. Healing comes through all of these situations. The choice is left to you my sweet friend.
Woman, please, take the time for growth and change in your life; allow God to work in your life and transform your mind, heart, and spirit to His will. Allow God the time to reveal His purpose for you. This will take intentional change on your part.
I pray you find these helpful resources by the Blackabys. Their ministry has life-changing books and testimonies I know will lift your spirit. With this last prayer, let us pray over our purpose and God’s Truth in our lives.
I want to close with reminding you, you are loved. Knowing and having a personal relationship with Christ is amazing. He will draw you into a courtship, so loving and precious, you will never see yourself other than loved. My prayer is you have received the seeds planted with joy and know God has you’re here for a purpose. My He bless you exceedingly and abundantly!