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You and I are living in times where we need to hear the voice of God clearly. These are truly perilous times. Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice. (John 10:27) and that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)
In order to hear the voice of the Lord clearly, you must create an atmosphere in your life that the Holy Spirit is welcomed in. The Holy Spirit is symbolized as a gentle dove. Although we know that the Holy Spirit is always present, He will not barge in and interrupt you. He only interacts with us when welcomed and invited.
You must also sharpen your listening skills. You need to learn how to discern the still small voice of the Holy Spirit from all the other competing voices in your life and in this world. This needs to be a major priority if you are going to live a life that is Spirit-led.
I believe that God wants every Christian to hear His voice and to know His will for their life. In order for Him to do this, there needs to be a clear line of communication. Here are 4 principles you can use to learn to hear from God clearly.
4 Powerful Principles To Help You Learn To Hear Clearly From God
#1 Stay Off The Phone
You can’t take a call from God if you are busy talking to someone or something else. Your heart does not have call waiting. You need to keep yourself focused on listening and you can’t do that if other things are distracting you.
Emotions like fear, worry, anxiety, and depression can dominate your thinking and when you are thinking about these things then you cannot hear His still small voice. (2 Timothy 2:7)
Another distraction that keeps us from hearing the voice of the Lord is selfish ambition. You might have a doer personality and that is fine. You might be the type that likes to set goals and achieve them and that is fine as well.
But if your thoughts are dominated by how you can succeed and everything you have to do, then you won’t be able to hear the voice of the Lord clearly. You must be willing to lay down your own success for His success.
Another major distraction to hearing the voice of the Lord clearly is the pursuit of pleasure. Whether it be the pleasure of material possessions or the pleasure of bodily pleasures, these things will crowd out the voice of the Holy Spirit. These temporary pleasures and comforts only last for a season, they are not eternal.
This can include the pleasure of family and friends. It is not bad to enjoy your family and friends, God gave them to you, but when you get to the point you hardly give a thought to God because you are so wrapped up in your family and friends, then it becomes a hindrance to hearing the voice of God.
Another big distraction is escapism. When we are so engrossed in being entertained through books, movies, games, or music that we escape from our life and the issues we are facing, then we cannot hear from God.
Whatever it is, the Holy Spirit will not shout about the clamor that you are filling your mind with. To tune in to the voice of the Holy Spirit, you have to tune out all the garbage and clutter you have been replacing Him with. One of the ways you can do that is by becoming a worshiper.
#2 Become A Worshiper
One of the greatest methods I have found to reduce the clamor of my innermost thoughts and to focus on the Lord is by worshiping.
Worship draws your spirit closer to God and focuses your attention on God. When you do this, then your spirit gets in tune with the Holy Spirit and you become more sensitive to the voice of the Lord.
Worship is something you do, not something you have to happen to you. Worship doesn’t just happen at church. It is not something that only happens after you receive some great miracle from God. It happens as an act of your will.
Worship focuses on the greatness of God and when you focus on that greatness, your thoughts, your clamor, your garbage that you have been thinking becomes very small and minuscule in comparison.
A couple of great examples of worship being the conduit to hearing the voice of God come from the Old Testament. When God parted the Red Sea, and the children of Israel crossed over on dry land, Moses started leading worship.
During the midst of their worship time, the Spirit of God descended upon people and they started to prophesy all the victories that God would give the people when they entered the promised land. (Exodus 15)
David was probably the greatest worshiper in the Old Testament. When confronted with his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, David cried out to God asking God not to withdraw the Holy Spirit from him. (Psalm 51:10)
This was done in the form of worship. He did not want to lose the sweet communion he experienced with the Holy Spirit.
#3 Learn To Perceive In Your Spirit
I think most people get hung up on the term “voice of the Lord.” They think that they will hear an audible voice. They think that it will somehow come from inside their head. It does not come from our heads but from within our hearts.
The voice of the Lord speaks to our inner man, our spirit man. When you worship God, you will start to notice that it does something to your heart. You are blessed on the inside.
This is the beginning of spiritual perception. As you worship more and spend time communing with God in worship, you will develop your spiritual ears. You will start to perceive the nudgings and leadings of the Lord. You begin to hear His whispers to your spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
#4 Make Use Of Your Prayer Language
In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 and verses, 2 and 4 Paul talks about one of the things that happen when you speak in tongues. It says that you are speaking to God. That is prayer.
It also says that when you do so, you build yourself up. Now Paul was not talking about making yourself proud or arrogant but was talking about being strengthened. (Read Scriptures about strength here.)
When you pray in your prayer language you are developing your skills at hearing the Holy Spirit since it is the Holy Spirit that is praying through you.
Many times I have received guidance (read more Bible verses for guidance here) from God after a time of praying in my prayer language. When you face a dilemma or a decision, don’t just sit there and reason in your heart. Take it to God. Pray in the Spirit over the situation. Tap into talking to God spirit to Spirit.
Final Thoughts On Learning To Hear From God
Being able to hear the voice of the Lord isn’t an option. I do not believe that God is playing hard to catch. I believe that He wants to make His will to us as plain as possible. We just have to learn to pick up the right phone and listen.
God speaks in many ways. He speaks through the Bible. He speaks through creation. He speaks through His Spirit. These methods He uses never contradict one another.
We have the responsibility to be the ones that have “ears to hear.” Your job is to turn off the noise blaring in the background and turn up the volume on your phone too high.
Saturate yourself in God’s Word, and re-order your priorities. Make whatever lifestyle changes you need to make. Nothing in life is more important than hearing from God.