“God does not talk to me the way He talks to you.” I clearly remember these words from my best friend. The thought had never occurred to me. In my mind, God directed everyone the way He directed me. In my mind, He “spoke” to everyone the way He spoke to me. My mind was wrong.
In writing this, I tried to remember the first time I knew, really knew, God was speaking to me. And by speaking, I do not mean an audible, out loud voice straight from heaven. I mean the still, small voice that talks directly to the innermost part of myself. How did I know? When did I know? What did He say? Truth is, I do not remember. Perhaps, I have always recognized His voice, even as a child. Maybe I did not start hearing Him until I was fully grown and out on my own.
Whatever the case, I now have full on conversations in the stillness. We talk in the space after prayer but before I continue with my day. We talk in long commutes to work. We talk as I “pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
I ask Him to prioritize my day, my time, and my to-do list. I ask Him to help me make space for my husband and my children so I do not get lost in the details. Then I hit Him with the hard stuff. I ask Him to help me grow, grow my platform, grow my ministry, grow my faith. I ask Him to save my children, my husband, my sisters, and my parents. I ask Him if perhaps today is the day He wishes to shift my career to something that takes a little less than all of me every day. I pray He takes away doubt, discouragement, and bitterness that layer my heart – scars that result from days when life was not so kind.
Sometimes He interrupts while I am still speaking. Sometimes He waits for me to finish, and then sends His words of wisdom. Other times, He says nothing until much later. It may be hours, or days. It could be months or years…
…which brings me to how…How can you hear God? How can you know He is speaking? How can you recognize His voice to follow His direction.
1. He speaks through others
I dragged myself to work this past week. I kicked myself for giving up my summer for teacher training. It was one week of my life that I could never get back. On Monday morning, I prayed. I asked God if maybe He could find a way for me to do something else, something less stressful, something less demanding. I asked God if He could find a way for me to stay home. He said nothing. On the last day of training, the “big boss” at work said a few words. She said that each person in the room was hand picked and hand selected by a higher power. She said that we were all missionaries called to serve.
I work at a public school. Let that sink in. Those words came from a leader working in the public school system.
I know God when I hear Him. He uses pastor, preachers, and teachers. He uses the extraordinary and the ordinary.
2. He speaks the way you will understand
He speaks to people in a way that they can hear Him. For some, He uses your gut feelings and intuition. For others, He reveals Himself to you in Bible study and devotion. He is the conversation you have with yourself. He is the thought that comes out of nowhere, the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) that comes out of the blue, right as you were beginning to obsess. He is the voice that whispers “get up” when you want to stay down. He tells you to “keep going” when you would like nothing more than to give up. He knows how to sound a lot like you when you are talking to yourself. But, it is NOT you. It is Him.
My best friend was right. God does not speak to her the way He speaks to me. God is perfect at getting as message through especially for those of you who “seek Him with all their hearts.” He ensures that you “find Him.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
You were hand picked and hand selected. Some days that purpose-filled life life He picks is full of laughter and fun. Other days, it is filled with sadness and tears. Lean into Him either way. Follow His direction either way. Learn the sound of His voice because it is instrumental to you carrying out all that He has for you.
Want to hear God? Want to discern His “good and perfect will?” (Romans 12:2) Ask Him to speak to you. Then watch and wait. He comes through every time.
What are some ways you hear God?
Leave your email so that I can send more faith filled messages straight to your inbox.
Need more information on how to live a faith filled life?
Here are some of my favorites:
Like what you read here today? Feel free to share with friends and family.