I’ve come to find that one of the most important things we can learn as Christians, but especially as missionaries, is how to hear God’s voice. I don’t know about you, but, at times, I am desperate for Him to speak to me. And if that describes you, I’m glad. For, in that state of desperateness, God speaks. So, here are six practical steps to take in order to start hearing God’s voice
1. Position Your HeartThe first step of hearing God’s voice is knowing Him. You, of course, wouldn’t expect for a random stranger to start talking to you out of nowhere, well the same can be said about hearing from God. Your heart needs to be yearning to know more about this powerful, yet loving God that we serve. As you learn information, you need to delight in the character of God. Just as it says in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Delighting yourself in God is an attribute of this relationship you have with God. Please be careful though; too many Christians only run to God in the troubles. Too many Christians only try to have God in their life when there are problems and they need answers. God is not a genie. He is a friend, a father, but most of all He is the God of all. And if you take on the mindset that God is only there to make your life better, you may need to reposition your heart. Especially if you are seeking to hear His voice.
2. Prepare Your MindThis world is filled with so many temptations and evil thoughts that it can sometimes be difficult in order to focus completely on Christ. God works in many different ways: our thoughts, impressions, visions/dreams, other people, and, of course, the Word of God; but, in order to receive God’s voice and words, we need to have our minds engaged in what He might say. This means your mind needs to be in the correct place. Here are some ways that I have learned to prepare my mind:
Have Questions for GodSome of these questions include:
- What sin is keeping me from getting to know you more?
- How can I grow to be more like you?
- In what ways can I be your hand and feet?
- How do you see me right now?
- How can I use this life for your glory?
Focus on God’s GoodnessPsalm 100:5 says “For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.” God is an amazing God, and when I first just think about how good He is, normally it overwhelms me completely. I stand in awe of how amazing He is, and I bask in His goodness. Because, sometimes that’s all I can do, for my words would never be enough. My acts of service could never repay Him for all He has done. We serve an amazing God, and it makes my heart sing when I just think of how great He is.
I meditate on what God has to say about meI realize that I am a sinner, and I would completely understand if He would turn away from me, and forget my name. For I am a broken individual, who has slammed the door in His face countless time and yelled at Him for the problems in my life. Yet God still loves me. And that alone is absolutely amazing. So sitting there, and just looking over my list of things that God says about me.
- I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- In Him, I am a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
- I am chosen (John 15:16)
- He calls me His child (John 1:12)
- I am His beloved (Deuteronomy 33:12)
3. Ponder the WordOnce you have your questions in hand and your heart is in wonder and awe of God, you are ready to hear God speak. So you might be asking, “So what now?” And my answer to that is for you to open up the Word. For In God’s word, you will find His voice, and He will speak to you in amazing ways. Yes, God has a way of speaking through other methods as well, including thoughts, versions, dreams, other people, but those things have to line up with the Word. So I encourage you to sit down, ask those questions to God, and just allow Him to speak in any way that He is willing. There is a chance that God is going to allow certain thoughts to run through your mind. However, there is a chance that those thoughts aren’t from God though; it could be or from the enemy, or even from you. That’s why it’s important to check back with the scriptures and see what God has to say. The scriptures are alive and active, allow them to speak for themselves, and change your soul. For the scriptures are the very words of God spilled out for us. But please, be patient as you read through the Bible. Allow yourself to meditate. Focus on what you’re reading. For God wrote this for you, and when you meditate on God and His Word, that is when God will speak to you. Personally, I have found that reading out loud and actually writing in my Bible helps me immensely. It forces me to remember what God has told me in the past and allows me to freely come before the throne and ask those questions that I’m seeking answers for.
4. Praise with Your SoulAs you ponder the Word, you will begin to realize that things catch your eye. God is going to convict you of some sin or encourage you to stay strong in the faith, or even just bring up a thought for you to pray for. God is at work and will speak to you in His time. And when that happens, be sure to praise Him for that. The God of all is stepping down and talking to you.
5. Present it to Your MentorsMake sure you share what God is saying to you to different people. They can help you understand when things are confusing. They can also help discern whether it really was from God, or if it’s our emotions getting the best from us. Please don’t allow your fear of being wrong stop you from sharing with others. I’ve come to find even when I am wrong; God still finds a way of talking to me.
6. Please Never Stop LearningThis is a very brief view on how you can hear God’s voice, but there are in-depth courses that can help you understand this concept more. Here at BGU, we have enrichment videos series, which will help you grow with your relationship with Christ. Right now, we have two series of videos: “How to Hear the Voice of God to Discern Your Calling” and “The Plan: Discover Your Role In God’s Plan”. But we are working on much more here and will have them out soon. Those including:
- Mobilization: Helping Others Hear the Call
- Missions Sending: Strategies for Successful Partnership
- Missions 101: What to Know Before You Go Overseas
- Short-Term Missions: Strategies for Long-Term Impact
- The Purpose and Power of Prayer in Missions