By Don Gentry
As a follower of Christ you may have heard leaders and other Christians use the phrase “God spoke to me.” If you are like many people that phrase can create questions and doubts. I know it creates questions because I have used the phrase many times in my preaching. I inevitably hear the questions and often times see the skepticism on peoples faces.
What does it really mean to hear God speak to us?
I cannot speak for everyone that uses that phrase, but I can explain what I mean. When I say God spoke to me, I am referring to a time when God clearly downloaded a message in my mind and in my spirit. It is always in alignment with the scriptures. I never receive a message that is contrary to His nature.
For example, He would never tell me to “sin or harm anyone or anything” that would be contrary to His nature. He has also always confirmed whatever he has said to me with a passage of scripture in my devotional time.
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.
Jesus is the leader of my life. I have a very personal relationship with him and His word says I will know His voice.
God through the work of Jesus on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my individual life clearly wants to have a relationship with me. He wants to speak to me. Like the story of Elijah he usually does it in the still small voice. If he wants to speak to me that also means he wants to speak to you!
The scriptures say to “be still and know that He is God.” It is in the stillness and the silence that we are able to hear God.
Unfortunately, most people don’t truly take time to listen and hear God. We usually have far more to say to God than to hear from God. We are usually too busy to even take 30 minutes of our day and spend in prayer and reading of His word.
If you don’t take time to read the scriptures daily and pray regularly, I can imagine it would be difficult to hear God speak. I personally believe regular prayer and fasting will take your relationship with God to a whole new level.
I used to take my old youth group on a silence retreat in order to teach them the discipline of solitude before God. They had to take an oath of silence for 24 hours or they couldn’t go. I will never forget Melissa (one of the teens) saying, “I never new how loud it was in my head.”
Learning to be still long enough to hear God speak to us can be a challenge. But I can assure you once you learn to hear His voice it will take your personal relationship to a whole new level.
I am not talking about any weird stuff, I am simply talking about learning to turn the noise of life down long enough to actually listen.
He will always listen to us, but do you really long to hear from Him? The shepherd is calling, we just have to ask, “am I listening?”