Hearing God: Can you hear me now?

Hearing God: Can you hear me now?

So many times you hear Christians say “I don’t know what God wants me to do” or “If I only could hear what God is saying” and such. It seems to be such a sticking point with so many, what did God say, what does He want, how can I do what I’m supposed to if I don’t know what that is? All those questions are about one thing.

Hearing God.

It is many times not the “doing” of God’s will that can be so frustrating for Christians (and here I mean REAL Christians who are on their walk of discipleship) but knowing how to follow Christ in the first place. Many times we seek the path, but don’t know which way to go. It makes it rather difficult, if we can’t hear, to avoid the pitfalls of “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 KJV).

It is so important NOT to following our own ways that God even said it twice in exactly the same word. God tells us things for a reason, I think we need to pay attention to what He is saying. As I always say we can’t do what we don’t know to do. In other words, we NEED to know what God is saying, and then obey. It is necessary to our walk of faith.

So this is all about “hearing” God. I am no expert, just another sojourner on the path home. But I believe if we can understand the principles of hearing God, then we can use them not only to following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but that it will draw us closer to our God, and keep us in the living center of His will.

Or within the living center of His purpose, His power and His plan!

His purpose is to bring us home, just like the story of the Prodigal Son. His power is the strength He gives us to meet the challenges along the way, it is that which saves us, supports us and gives us the power of His might in our lives. And of course His plan for our lives, the destiny, the calling and the mantle He places on our lives that accomplishes all the aforementioned.

So like the phone commercial, God is saying to us “can you hear me now?” We need to be able to say back to Him, “yes Lord, I hear you!”

The Basics

“Be still, and know that I am God…” — Psalms 46:10(a)

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” — Hebrews 13:21

What did you say?

Have you ever thought to yourself that you really don’t know what God wants you to do about this or that concern? Or perhaps you have spoken to a friend that says, “If I just knew what God wanted me to do I would do it”? In each of these incidents it is concluded that you just can’t “hear” God and what He is trying to say. That it is too difficult to get connected and know what God wants you to do.

Some even goes as far as to say that you can’t hear God anyway. Cessationalists, people who believe the gifts of God no longer operate today, will tell you that He doesn’t talk to us anymore at all, citing a function of the Holy Spirit that does not manifest in the present day, that that time has passed. Or that you can only follow what is in the Bible, as it is the only voice God has given us to listen to. These are the things many professing Christians truly believe, however, this is far from the truth.

We must always remember that God is the same today as He was in the past, or even will be in the future. God never changes. (Hebrews 13:8 ).

What actually keeps us from hearing God, besides our own unbelief, is that we are too busy with life to stop, be still, and know Him. A good starting point here is to know what know means. It is very interesting and enlightening study. The following definitions are taken from the OneLook Dictionary Search (accessible online at http://www.onelook.com):

1. know; verb: be familiar or acquainted with a person or an object
2. know; verb: be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about
3. know; verb: be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt
4. know; verb: have fixed in the mind
5. know; verb: have firsthand knowledge of states (state of being), situations, emotions, or sensations
6. know; verb: perceive as familiar
7. know; verb: be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
8. know; verb: know the nature or character of
9. know; verb: accept (someone) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority

Let’s take a look at each of these nine aspects of what it means to “know” someone or something. In this case to understand how to know God, and what we should do so that we will know Him. We will then begin to get an understanding of how to hear God and to be guided by Him in our lives. In other words, how we can effectively build a dynamic, and interactive, relationship with God.

This is important in our walk of discipleship, because we are called to be disciples in Christ. In Luke 9:23 it states: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me…” (KJV). How are we to follow Christ if we do not know where He is going? Yes, we have the Bible and it tells us the principles, tenets and the details of our faith and how to follow.

First, it is vital to our walk of faith to know what is within it’s pages. But our relationship with God, once established, is also a dynamic, living connection with Him and He speaks to us through it. He guides us, correct us, supports us, and of course, answers our prayers. So we need to be able to hear Him, and obey.

When a person disciples themselves to something, they must understand it, live it and make adjustments along the way to accomplish it, no matter what it is. Like a master of any endeavor they start out as a novice, then an apprentice, then a journeyman and finally a master. Their tutelage is to a master of the craft, and in following him they learn their way about and deepen their understanding, until one day they too are a master in their own right.

And this is expected of us in our disciplining to Christ (Roman 8:29).

Let’s get acquainted

(1. know; verb: Be familiar or acquainted with a person or object)

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” — John 7:37&38

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” — John 6:35

First we must know that God exists and that He can, and does, function in our lives. In other words, we must first be followers of God and the Lord Jesus Christ in order for us to have a relationship with the same. How can we have a dynamic communication with someone that we don’t even believe exists or are familiar with in the first place? So we must then know that God is there, and be acquainted with who and what He is. This, of course, is the first step we must take.

To understand WHO is God.

We are not here to explore and discuss Salvation and becoming a Christian. This is for those who are already Christian, and are seeking a more real relationship with Him. Where there is no separation and where they can hear His voice and know His will. And again, to establish a dynamic relationship between us and God. And when I say God, in this sense I am speaking of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The triune God of our faith, and with whom we have a divine heritage through Christ Jesus.

This of course is a function of belief. Faith follows as we exercise our belief in God. We become acquainted with the personage of God, and just as importantly, we establish a relationship with Him. Any time we pray, we are establishing and exercising our relationship to God. Any time we study the Word of God, we are establishing and exercising our relationship to God. And there more examples, but the underlying truth is that when we seek God, in prayer, in study, in worship and so on, we will find Him.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” — Matthew 7:7&8

So what really happens when we find God? We, in that moment, establish a link to Him, a moment in time when we have a relationship with Him. And in that moment we know Him, can communicate with Him, and more importantly, He can communicate with us. The question is “can you hear Him?”

So what we have so far:

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives

But do I really know you?

(2. know; verb: be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” — II Timothy 2:15

Now that we know of God’s existence, we must understand what God is all about, how He does things, and what He expects of us. There is only one way to get that information, and that is through research and study. We can’t do things that we are supposed to do if we don’t understand what those things are. We are held to a different standard under Grace, however, the law still has the effect of judging sin when we are not living by Grace. So we must understand what this living under Grace is all about, otherwise we are judged under the law (Roman 6).

And all mankind falls short of the glory of God.

Remember that it is the Word of God that gives us the power to understand how to live life. II Timothy 3:16 states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Our purpose, when we are truly Christian, is to live a life of righteousness that we may gain an holy reward and be with our God eternally. It is why we are walking this walk of faith.

So if we don’t know what faith is, what Grace is, what God expects and what His laws, promises and unctions are and do, or have affect in our lives; then how can we apply them in our lives? We aren’t able to, so therefore we must understand them in order to live by them.

This takes study.

So we see that in order to hear God, we must understand these things and how they apply to our lives. We must also understand how to apply them IN our lives. We must seek understanding, not of manmade doctrines, or the “isms” of the world, but in what God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the men and women of God (being divinely inspired and moved) actually said. We must discard the filters of men, and how they perceive the things of God, and perceive for ourselves.

So we see the need to be responsible for our own faith. We are the only ones that can deepen it, widen it, and apply to our lives. We are the only ones that can establish a real and dynamic relationship with God, our father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our beloved Holy Spirit. We are family, and we can not interact and live with our family through the minds and actions of others. WE must establish and live within our familial ties with God.

We are God’s kids.
So we must learn what it means to be God’s kid. We must have the information and understanding of it, then live it. It is expected, it is part of our son/daughtership in Christ and it is the adoption to our God (Romans 8:11-17).

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth

I believe in you

(3. know; verb: Be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt)

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”
— Matthew 21:21

The second step is that we must have faith in God. In order to have faith in God we must first believe in what God is all about. This of course leads us directly to Christ, in whom we must place our trust. Trusting Christ is an act of belief and faith. First that we believe in what He teaches, and then having faith that what is taught is the truth, that it has the power to effect change in our lives for the better. That the heavenly goal is real and tangible — without doubting the truth of it.

Believing in essence means “being” and “living”. Being a Christian means that we know the truth, it is part of who we are. Living as a Christian mean the we live those truths daily, constantly and consistently, again as disciples of Christ. Christianity is not just something that you do (living it) but also WHOSE you are (being). So this dynamic believing is truth of our walk of faith. It is not only the what, the who and the why, but the how of our faith as well.

Faith extends from this, as you don’t place your faith in something that you do not believe in. That would be foolishness. But we must understand what we believe in first. We then can take that and make real and alive in our lives.

We can live it.

This is the walk of Christianity for this is our walk of faith, and this is what faith is. In this we build an awareness and regard for the truth, without doubt because we now are beginning to know that God is real and seeing Him act in our lives. We believe in Him, the truths He teaches, and have faith in Christ Jesus, and trust that in doing so, will place the power of God in our lives to effect dynamic change.

We are that much closer to hearing God.

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth
3. We must have faith in His truth and believe without any doubts

Heaven on my mind

(4. know; verb: Have fixed in the mind)

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” — Matthew 6:22

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3

Here we understand that we must constantly be aware of our relationship that we are building with God. This is accomplished by setting our minds on godly or heavenly things. Too often we are consumed with our own lives, in other words, we are NOT still-ing our world in order to focus on God. Work, family, and other concerns fill our lives so fully that we lose sight of our connection with God. It is important to note that the very quality of those concerns, is firmly founded on our connection with God and how He does or does not interact in our lives.

In other words, if we are focused on other than God, then how can we put God into those things? What we are focused on is what we will reflect in our lives. We focus on lack, then we will only see and react to those things lacking in our lives. This will make our lives bleak and lifeless. But if we focus on the abundance in our lives, we will have a life abundant and overflowing. This makes life vibrant and joyous.

Just think if we are focused on God what our lives would be like!

So it is important to be mindful of not only our connection with God, but how it impacts and interacts in our daily lives and to apply our relationship with Him to our other relationships that we have in life. In other words, change our focus.

We don’t have life and then add God, we have God which adds quality to our lives. So, this is how we draw closer to Him, in that we place His will in the living center of our existence and effect powerful and lasting change in our lives. It becomes a living and dynamic focus of our lives. It is when we leave God out of the equation that we lose our ability to connect with Him and hear His voice.

It is in following these steps to know God that we firmly connect ourselves to Him and begin to understand His purpose, power and plan for our lives.

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth
3. We must have faith in His truth and believe without any doubts
4. We must place God in the center of our lives

By Jonathan Payne: http://theenochcovenant.com

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