So in parts 1 and 2 of this series I talked about Five Things Keeping You From Hearing God’s Voice, and Five Things To Help You Hear The Voice of God respectively. Just to give a quick recap, the five things that can hinder us from hearing the voice of God are Sin, Pride, Lack of Understanding, Trials & The Cares of This World, and Our Past. The five things that can help us hear the voice of God are Repentance from Sin, Submission to God’s Divine Order, The Word Coupled with Prayer, Patience & Perseverance, and Forgiveness & Moving Forward. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 of this series yet, you can read them here, and here.
In this part of the series I want to focus on hearing God for yourself. In the last two parts I focused a lot on how God talks to us through others because so many times we want to hear God for ourselves but don’t really want to listen when he speaks to us through others, or maybe that was just me.
When I first started seriously developing my relationship with God, back when I was in college, I knew that God was always talking to me but I didn’t always know WHEN he was talking to me. I figured that God was always talking to me because he would whisper things in my ear and I would watch them unfold right in my face and then I would realize, oh wow that was you Lord, but it was always after the fact. When I began to seek God, I wanted to get familiar with what his voice sounded like to me so that I could know when he was speaking at that moment instead of after the fact.
There are three things that have really helped me to develop my ear to hear God for myself. They are prayer, the word of God, and faith. I talked about how prayer and the word of God can help us hear the voice of God in Pt. 2 of this series, but now I want to give my own personal experience of how prayer and the word of God helped me.
To be a little more specific, my prayer time also includes worship, so not only was I spending time praying to God but I also spent time developing my relationship with him through worship. When I really started seeking God I would get in my corner, turn on some worship music, get on my face, and just praise and worship him. It was through that time of intimacy with God where gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:1-11) were birthed out of me and where I also began to develop my ear to hear his voice.
The word of God was crucial to me at this point because sometimes God would confirm to me what he had told me in prayer through his word, or he would answer one of my prayers through his word. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked God something and then randomly opened my bible and the answer was right in my face.
Perfect example, I remember one day I was crying to God about why he would always allow certain things to happen to me, and why was I this way, and why this and why that, just really questioning him probably getting on his nerves lol. When I finally got finished complaining, I said to myself, let me read my bible and I opened it up to read the first thing that I turned to. Well, the first thing that I turned to was Romans 9. So I’m reading, probably not really getting anything out of what I’m reading, and then I get to Romans 9:20 and the Lord just jacks me up.
It reads, (NKJV) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” I was like daaaang!!! Really God?! REALLY!?! He was like yea, who are you to question me about why I made you a certain way or why I allow certain things to happen? God shot me all the way down and put me right in my place. Even though that was a time where the Lord got me together, I felt reassured in my relationship with him and in my ability to hear him when he spoke to me.
Faith also helped me to develop my ear to hear God for myself. I developed my ear to hear God through faith because it takes faith to act on the things he tells you to do, and by acting on them and seeing the outcome I became reassured that God really was talking to me.
There was this one time when I was in college and I was going to a church called Restoration Place of Tallahassee and the collegiate ministry there started doing what we called treasure hunts based on Kevin Dedmond‘s book entitled “The Ultimate Treasure Hunt.” Basically, we would pray together and ask the Lord to give us words of knowledge or “clues” to the person that he wanted us to talk to or pray with.
Whatever we saw in prayer, for example, red shoes, blue jacket, etc, we would write it down and when we saw that person that had the word of knowledge that we had received, we had to have enough courage to walk up to them, tell them about the treasure hunting thing we were doing and simply ask them would they like us to pray with them or for them.
So one day we were doing this in church, because we always did it in between services, and during prayer I had seen a red square purse with a golden buckle. This was my second time doing a treasure hunt and my first time was successful so I was excited. My friend and I were so excited that we decided to go looking for our clues to see if we could find them instead of just going about business as usual and looking out for the clue. As we were doing this to no avail, I heard the Lord tell me, “stop looking, I’m going to lead you to the person.”
When I heard that I told my friend, “OK let’s stop and just go find somewhere to sit for service.” I think service had either begun or was about to begin at this point. As we were walking down the aisle looking for a spot on the pews that could seat two people, this girl called out to us as we walked by and said, “you guys can sit here there is some room.” We began to scoot past her and the people she was with and I looked down and behind her was the red square purse with the golden buckle.
I almost didn’t believe it, but it confirmed what I had seen in prayer and what the Lord had told me about not searching because he would lead me to the person which is exactly what he did. If I had not acted in faith on what I saw in prayer and heard in my ear, I may not have gotten a chance to meet that young lady, or the opportunity to build my faith to trust the voice of God when he speaks to me.
Because of these experiences and many more I am now more aware of when God is speaking to me, but even now I still have my moments of doubts and questioning. As I continue to build my relationship with God through prayer, the study of his word, and faith, I know that I will become more and more confident in knowing when he’s talking to me.
If you are desiring to get to a place where you are more confident in knowing when God is speaking to you, I challenge you today to spend more time in God’s presence and in his word and to step out on faith when he gives you instructions.
Remember transparency saves life,
Ephesians 4:25 – Put away lying, speak every [wo]man truth with [her] neighbor: for we are members one of another.
What are some things that have helped you to hear the voice of God as you developed your relationship with Christ?
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