Hearing From God
What does it mean to hear from God? Some think this means...hearing an audible voice or feeling God saying something and therefore having 100% assurance of God's will.
If you read a general command in Scripture, you have 100% assurance you are supposed to obey it. The specific outworking? Not so much. That's where faith, obedience, and wisdom intersect.
I can already hear the objections: What about the extraordinary occurrences in the Bible of God speaking audibly to people or even in their heads or through dreams and visions? Ah, extraordinary, not normative. Not ordinarily the way God "speaks".
But why do we spend so much energy trying to hear from God? How come we don't get visited by angels? Why can't we hear audible voices? I'm glad you asked.
Because the normative, infallible, inerrant Scripture is the primary way God speaks. Always.
The Holy Spirit uses the Holy Word to make Christians holy. It will never lead us astray or fail to tell us the truth.
Our fickle, sinful, wayward minds can play tricks on us.
Our thoughts are to be taken captive to obeying Christ. 2 Cor. 11:3.
But what about clarity, assurance, and guidance? That's really what we are after. We want to know we are headed in the right direction, on the right track, making the right decisions. We want to discern God's will, walk in wisdom, and have assurance we are doing what God wants.
So what should we do when trying to discern God's specific will? Trust Him, love Him, and engage in three important disciplines:
1. Search Scripture.
Listen to God's Word. John 10:27; 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. Rom. 10:8-17.
2. Persistently Pray.
Speak to God. We are instructed to pray about everything. God will give us peace. Phil. 4:6-7.
3. Ask for advice.
Look for and listen to godly counsel. Proverbs is chock full of admonition to seek the wisdom of the godly wise, the trustworthy. Listening to a fool only leads you to folly. So connect with trusted advisors who know you and have your best interests in mind.
Listen to God's Word + Speak to God. + Listen to godly counsel.
And then do one more thing:
4. Make a decision.
Decide. That's where faith comes in. What seems like the best thing to do? What specific God-honoring thing do you desire to do?
Love Jesus the most and do what you want to do.
Do that and trust God for every step you take.
Remember, He is with you every step of the way. He has promised to lead and guide you. Our souls find rest in God alone. Psalm 62.
We are to dwell in His sheltering presence, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1.
Walk very close to Jesus and you will do what pleases Him. Ps. 37:4.
He wants you to live for Him. To serve for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel. 2 Cor. 5:14.
So, if you need to hear from God, if you are in a quandary, and you don't know what to do next in life, try these four simple yet profound things. Search Scripture. Persistently pray. Ask for advice. Then make a decision. Trust Jesus Christ the Lord every step of the way.
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