Sunday, January 13, 2013
Post # 69 – LEARNING to HEAR GOD’S VOICE
More than a decade ago a good friend gave me a copy of Listening Prayer by Leanne Payne. This book helped launch me into a discipline that has seriously reinvigorated my spiritual life. I remember reading:
“Knowing that Jesus is truly Emmanuel, God with us, and learning to hear His voice is vital to becoming spiritually mature. Listening to God – which is a key part of practicing His presence – is not a method, but a walk with a Person.” p. 121
Listening isn’t about trying to get things from God, it’s primarily about developing greater intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A few Christians I know think listening to God is the latest evangelical fad and even doubt that it is biblical. 700 years before the birth of Christ (nearly 3,000 years ago) we see the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk listening to God. He said, “I will stand at my guard post. I will station myself on the wall. I will watch to see what He will say to me and what answer I will get to my complaint” (Hab. 2:1). Habakkuk had a question or complaint of some kind and so he went to a place where he knew he would be alone, asked God his question, and watched and waited for His answer. Listening to God is not a new whim. It’s as old and historical as the Bible itself.
Commenting on Habakkuk, Leanne Payne says, “In order to hear we look up and out of ourselves to the Source of all being – the Uncreated, the Objective Real.” p. 122
In 1 Corinthians 2, the Apostle Paul explains that a primary function of the Holy Spirit is to help us “understand what God has freely given us.” Later in this chapter, Paul reasoned out loud, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” He concluded his thoughts by boldly declaring, “But we have the mind of Christ.”
I have access to the mind of Christ that resides deep within me (See John 7:38-39). If you’ve placed your faith in Christ, so do you. This means we can get away from the noise of our 21st century world and fully focus on God just like Habakkuk did. We can employ the authority of Christ to command all voices other than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be silent. Following the prophets’ example we can ask God a question about something that we are concerned about. Then, as we listen, the Holy Spirit (the mind of Christ) can think His thoughts deep within us.
Do you have something you’re worried about or struggling with? Have you taken it to God and asked Him about it? Follow the 3,000-year-old example of Habakkuk and listen to God. I’m betting He’ll have something helpful to communicate with you.
God is more interested in speaking to us than we are in listening.
You may find this meditational worship song to be helpful in preparing for a time of listening to God.
Examples of a few different questions you may want to ask God:
· Jesus, what is Your word for me today?
· I really got upset at work yesterday. Would You reveal what was being triggered deep inside of me? What do You have to communicate with me about I was triggered about?
· In Psalm 40:17 the Psalmist says, As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. God is constantly thinking about you. Why not ask Him; Lord, would You reveal to me some of the thoughts You’re thinking about me?
· I lost my temper with my spouse last week. Anger is usually a secondary emotion. Ask God, what was the emotion I was feeling just underneath my anger? After He reveals what was under the anger, ask Him, what do You want to say to me about what I was feeling?
· If you’re going to meet with a good friend for coffee ask, Lord is anything special you want me to say, do, give, or ask this person today?