Posted: March 6, 2020 by Sarah O'Sullivan, Executive Pastor
I was recently asked the question “What does God want from me?” I responded with, “Have you asked Him?” To say it as clearly as possible, God desires to speak to us. He wants us to hear Him clearly. He doesn’t want to confuse us.
Why Hearing From God Can Be Hard
Why do we have such a hard time hearing from God? Could it be that we aren’t listening? Have you ever called someone or had someone call you on the phone and rattle on and on (seemingly without taking a breath) and then need to get off the phone abruptly? How does that feel? It probably depends on which side of the phone call you were on. Important to note, it is not a conversation unless there is more than one party involved in it. If one person does all the talking, it is more like a lecture. So why do we lecture God? We call Him and talk on and on and then we get off the phone because: we have met the criteria in making the call or because we must hurry to the next activity or responsibility etc. There are any number of reasons why we hang up, but on the other side of the phone, God is like “hello”.… “hello?”… I want to tell you something, answer your question, and point you in this direction.
What would it look like if we stopped and listened? Can we learn to be quiet and wait for Him to speak? John 10:3-4 (NIV) says,
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
How To Do It
“They listen to His voice.”
Step 1: The first step to hearing from God is asking, “Do we know His voice?” We all long to hear him. Do we recognize it when we hear it or wonder whose voice we are hearing?
“The sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
Step 2: Once we have heard him, are we willing to respond or are we too busy? Is what we heard too hard?
There are so many beautiful and creative ways God communicates with us. We may have visions and/or dreams, supernatural circumstances, Angels, believe it or not even hearing an audible voice is possible! Although there are many supernatural means, I have found that God seems to speak most often through His beautiful Creation, the completely true and trustworthy Bible, guidance from His Holy Spirit, Worship, Prayer and Fasting, and, through other believers.
Hearing from God through other believers is an awesome reason to get more involved at the Village! We ask for advice often and we are so willing to listen to people’s opinions regarding our choices and circumstances but what criteria do we use for determining who gets to speak truth into our decisions? Having people as a sounding board can be a great benefit or detrimental to our growth.
Here are my criteria for allowing a person to speak into my life; They must love the Lord, love me and my family and live a life that visibly bears fruit of the Spirit. When someone displays love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), God can definitely speak to us through them!