On Listening to God

The TL;DR of this post is this: God still speaks. Period. End of story.

If you read nothing else here just know and understand that God has always been speaking, He is speaking today, and He will continue to speak tomorrow. We just have to have the ears to hear what He’s saying.

“Listen to God and do what He says.”

It is simple advice yet extremely hard to follow. Especially when you’re comfortable. Remember my blog post from a couple weeks ago? It’s when you’re most comfortable that God likes to come in and move you. But it starts with distinguishing His voice over the noise of the rest of the world and hearing what He has to say to you.

Have you ever prayed for something for months and felt like God never said anything back to you? It’s not that He’s not talking … we’re just not really listening.

There could be a number of different reasons for that.

  • We aren’t looking for anyone else’s opinion and we don’t care what anyone else thinks. We’ve already made up our mind about whatever it is so any other voices are drowned out … including God’s.
  • We could be panicking or overly emotional about the questions we’re asking and thus it makes it harder to hear because our emotions get in the way.
  • Maybe we’re just not listening in the right places. Our eyes and ears are expecting God to speak in one way and He is choosing to speak in a different way and we’re just missing it.

We learned this past week at church that God speaks in 4 main ways:

  • Scripture
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Other People
  • Circumstances

What was funny about this sermon to me (and by “funny” I totally mean “ironic”) is that God used circumstances (we went to church) so that other people (the speaker) could use scripture (he gave Bible verses) to speak directly to us through the Holy Spirit. God used all 4 of those ways in one message to prove to Heather and I that (1) He still speaks and (2) that what we thought He had been saying to us about a certain matter was true. He literally proved it to us.

God is funny like that.

“Oh you want proof? 💥 Here’s some proof”. 😂

Like we’re Gideon up in here looking for some dew on a piece of wool.

I’m not even sure we were really asking for proof to be honest. We’ve learned by this point in our lives to trust Him when we know He’s speaking. But you know how when you hear something you’re just sort of like “Well, maybe that’s just my voice and not God.” Like maybe it wasn’t God talking and instead you just wanted some lunch so you told yourself what you thought you wanted to hear because in reality you just wanted that turkey and cheese sandwich? Sometimes listening to God is like that. Was it really Him speaking or was it something else?

I think when He speaks through all 4 of those ways at one time and it all confirms what you’ve been hearing … there’s a good chance that what you were hearing was real and true.

If I’m honest, I’m not sure that I’m the best choice to be giving out advice on how to hear from God. But I don’t necessarily think that’s the point of this post. I would, however, say this:

Listen to your gut. If you know Jesus then the Holy Spirit is living inside you. It guides and counsels you. Don’t discount that intuition you feel. It’s there for a reason.

Next, get confirmation. Ask God to confirm what He said through another way (a friend, some scripture, dew on wool 😂, etc.). Ask a friend or spouse to pray about a situation and see what God tells them. Heather is always my filter for what I think I’m hearing. If I’m praying about a thing and I think I’ve heard something but want some confirmation to make sure, then I ask her to pray about it and see what God says. She’s much more holy and closer to God than I am and if what she hears lines up then I feel like I’m in the clear to go ahead.

Lastly, ask for open and closed doors. I do this all the time. When I’m facing a decision and I’m unsure which way to go, I’ll ask God to open the doors He wants open and close the doors He wants closed. This is especially helpful if I get too emotionally caught up in the decision and really want one answer to be the right one. I just ask God to make the decision for me. If the door is open I go through it and I don’t if it’s not. Once I go through one door then it’s “Great, I went through this one door. What about this next one? Which way should I go?”

Here’s the important part about all of this: God says that His sheep hear His voice. He is always speaking. Just be still and listen.