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How do you hear from God?

Published 10:55pm Friday, October 26, 2012

By Chris Surber

Why do some people intuitively listen for the voice of God, while others go their whole lives without ever knowing or believing that they have heard His voice? How do you hear from God?

Crazy people claim to hear from God all of the time, but that doesn’t mean they do. There is no shortage of people claiming to hear God’s voice, but how can a person interested in getting God’s opinion on things go about scheduling a sit-down with the Almighty?

First, you’ve got to believe that He exists. (Hebrews 11:6) It’s awfully difficult for me to have a conversation with the boogeyman, because I know he isn’t real.

Sadly, though our culture once largely assumed the existence of God based on the record of the wonder of nature, the record of Scripture and the witness of the changed lives of Christians, today many people have rejected the basic idea of God’s existence or hold only to a vague possibility of His reality. It’s pretty tough to hear from someone that you don’t believe exists.

Second, you’ve got to stop tuning Him out. I’m really good at this. Having four loud young children at home, I have acquired the ability to carry on a conversation as a baby wiggles in my arms, as a 2-year-old at my knee begs for candy, as a 4-year-old watches Spider-Man for the 100th time at deafeningly high volume, and as a 7-year-old plays his guitar while singing “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.”

He’s talking, but are you so good at tuning Him out that He is to you as silent as a bell with no hammer? He speaks through the record of the Bible, through the voice of the Church, and in a thousand other ways pointed right at you.

Is it that you can’t hear Him or is it that you are tuning Him out? He doesn’t always speak audibly through a burning bush, though He does speak in ways that are not hard to hear, see or read. You and I don’t have to be 15th-century monks to mystically connect to the voice of God.

Third, you’ve got to learn to recognize His voice. God may impart wisdom for your life through a friend, a family member, a spouse or a perfect stranger.

I know of a woman who recently was given information for her life from strangers who knew so much about her that she cannot but believe them to have been angels. Does God work in such ways? Sure. More often He speaks through more ordinary means.

The thing is He always speaks in ways that are consistent with what He has already said through the Bible, the Church and the testimony of transformed lives.

The late A.W. Tozer said it this way: “The voice of God is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.”

God is speaking. Are you listening?

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