We are constantly being bombarded with information in this digital age. We receive all kinds of information via email, social media, television, newspaper, magazine, etc. daily. How can we hear God’s message for us amid this information overload?
Listening to God is like listening to anyone-before we can hear Him, we must be ready to listen. Just as in a conversation, we cannot hear the other person if we are talking or if our mind is distracted. So it is with God. If we want to hear Him speak, we must be quiet and we must be focused on what He is saying. Regular conversation with God can transform our lives! Consider identifying a place and time to meet with God everyday. Prayer is how we begin a conversation with God. Think of it as saying “hello.”
Listening to God requires a deliberate choice to shut out the chaos around us and focus our thoughts. Is God someone we can hear? The Bible says He is, and He speaks to us through the Bible which is His Word (Heb 4:12).
We live in a world of noise. Almost everywhere we go, we find sounds competing with our minds, keeping us from letting our thoughts get below the surface level. Hearing God’s voice means not listening to the noise of the world around us. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
King David, author of most of the book of Psalms, gave us a model for meeting with God, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).
He sought God’s direction in the morning, at the beginning of the day. Like a general in God’s army, he wanted to hear from his Commanding Officer before he entered into battle. Beginning each day fresh with God is a great reminder that, as the Scripture says, His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). We must find the time of day that works for us, but morning is the best time if that is possible.
Do you want to hear God speak to you? Listening to God requires regular Bible reading, since the Bible is the Word of God. “[We] have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)”
Listening to God requires a right attitude in our hearts. In order to listen to God and receive His instruction, we must want to do His will, much as David did. God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him. If we are stubbornly clinging to our own desires, we are likely to get a garbled message that will not be God’s voice at all. As a result, we are likely to continue pursuing a path that is contrary to the one God has designed for our lives (cf. Heb 3:7-19).
Psalm 40:8 says, “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
Do you desire God’s will for your life above every other desire? If you do, you can trust that He will direct your path. Listen to His message, and be quick to obey. Write down what He tells you and be ready to share it so that others may understand (cf. Isa 8:1; Jer 30:2; Hab 2:2).
Two thousand years ago on the Mount of Transfiguration, God spoke from heaven and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matt 17:5) In other words, God was saying that there is one to whom all the world must listen, and that one is God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Why should we listen to Jesus? Because he alone can forgive all our sins. He can do so because Jesus alone took our sins upon himself and removed them once and for all in his death on the cross. Therefore, God the Father says to all generations, ” Listen to him!”
We must listen to Jesus because he is the last word of God the Father and the prescription of God for all our ills. In Hebrews 1:1-2 we read, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” That is why we should not be listening to the philosophers, unbelieving theologians, politicians, and technocrats for our salvation. None of these people can save us from our sins. God’s last word is Jesus Christ, and in Hebrews 2:2 we read, “For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” meaning the salvation preached by Jesus the Son of God. All the words of Moses and the prophets pointed to this Son. He is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. In Jesus Christ God the Father has spoken the last word for our salvation; therefore, we must hear him.
When we listen to God and obey Him, we will discover a life that is full and rich with purpose, confident we are following the Master’s plan.
Let us ask God for the grace to listen to Him with the song “Give Me Ears to Listen”: