Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Infant Steps: How can I Hear from God

My Beloved EROLyrics Readers,
Hope your week has started beautifully. Our first question on the Infant Steps series is here. Angela shares with us her question on the voice of God.

Please offer your invaluable responses to her questions. Thank you.


Dear Rita,

I am a growing, born again Christian. One thing that puzzles me is when I hear people say “God told me…” or “God showed me…” In other words, they heard from God.

Does God speak verbally? What is the voice of God? How can I hear it? How long do I need to be a born again Christian to hear from God?

I truly look forward to your response,
Angela

28 comments:

Uzezi said...

and i get to be first after soooooo long.

Uzezi said...

I took God seriously last year, and since then my life has not been the same.

God speaks our spirit through His Spirit. And I have noticed that if u are not attentive, you can't hear Him.
it doesn't matter how long you have been a christian. what matters is ur heart and sincerity of worship.
commune with God in the same way you commune with ur friends.
leave Him room for response also. because He will always reply.

i had the problem of not knowing when God speaks to me. After a sermon in church, I put into practice of leaving him room for response when I pray.

And He doesn't only speak to you when you pray. at all times.

haven't you ever had a sudden urge to do something out of your way for someone? That was God pushing you. You didn't plan it.

when you think, the Holy Spirit is thinking with you, trying to direct your mind where it should go. That is God speaking to you.
just know that any action that goes contrary to God's word, did not come from God.

The more you develop your intimacy with Him, in His word, knowing what He says and His stands about your live and situations, the easier it is to determine when God speaks to you.

sorry if this is long. I just can't seem to put my thoughts together, so I will stop here.


i just remembered on trick. when i started practicing hearing from God, I followed what Nike Adeyemi said in church.

'ask God when you pray, for what He wants you to do for Him that day'

it shouldn't all be about Him doing for you, do for Him also. and one day, you will be surprised to hear yourself telling someone that the Holy Spirit told me to....

Uzezi said...

ok, i think i have a summary.
the secret is knowing God so intimately. and this happens when you study and meditate on His words, read books, listen to tapes and CDs.
Knowing what God says about every situation, and His promises to you, and your inheritance by being in a covenant relationship with Him, through the Blood of the Lamb is a key to hearing from God.
because then you can ask Him questions and remind Him of His words and promises. And He will speak to you.
but never forget, as long as you are in a covenant relationship with God, and you keep the conditions of the covenant, He will never be far from you. It is sin that puts a barrier between us and God.

doll said...

Nice one Uzezi…God speaks through people, through your thoughts, through circumstance around you, etc

BSNC said...

I guess you have to really listen. he doesn't necessarily speak to you directly. Like doll said, its by thoughts, people, circumstances..

Telekinesys said...

Fellowship is birthed from intimacy with God.Hearing from God requires quietness/stillness.Like Uzezi rightly said,you need to seek to be spoken to.Create a sanctuary were God can come visit and stay.God speaks in pictures, voice and feeling sometimes but truly he is kinda unique with each person.Its funny cos he relates to you in your own language and even pattern/diction. Hope i'm making sense.Just ask him to speak to you and anticipate it.He'll come for you.And his words are never contrary to the bible.

Original Mgbeke said...

Love this! Uzezi, I definitely appreciate your response. I have a hard time with trying to hear the voice of God but I will certainly be asking him what he wants me to do on a daily basis.
I long for a very intimate relationship with God and I am working on this on a daily basis.

Great responses.

chayoma said...

Rita,
this is a question faced by most Christians, i myself included.
My mom started off from hearing the word thru the Bible, she would open it and the words just jump right in her face (i was always confused about that one). Now she has visions, in the form of dreams.(which are like 99% on target)
Me, He sends people(sometimes even strangers) to reassure me of a particular situation. i used to hear the spirit stir up in ur soul, but i have backslid ( i admit).
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).
Just wait upon the Lord, he will show himself God!
Hope that helped.

Philip said...

Dear Angela,
Thank you so much for your question.

First I want you to be rest assured that you are not the only one asking this very question. Indeed almost 4 of every 5 Christians today, young or old are asking the same question openly or secretly and those who sincerely seek an answer do receive. It will take a whole study to fully dissect the subject but i will try to respond to your specific questions and then give you a reference material to study...deal? Ok, let’s go!

Does God speak verbally?
Yes he does. He often speaks to our hearts and mind and sometimes you can hear an audible voice like someone speaking to you live! It is very necessary that we hear what God is saying because his word is gives us direction in life (Ps 119:105)). There is the Written word of God called "Logos" (the Bible) and there is the Spoken word of God called "Rhema" ( the revelation word or applied word which relates to your specific situation). There is several examples of God speaking verbally both in the scriptures and today. I have personally heard God speak to me on different issues from the word and directly too.

What is the voice of God? How can I hear it?
There are instances in the bible where the voice of God came to man in different forms but the most common is the "still small voice" (1 kings 19:12). The problem is that we find it difficult to differentiate between the voice of God and the voice of our conscience. But like almost everything in life, you can learn to hear from God in steps. First you have to recognize that you must be tuned to God's frequency to get divine signals. You have to work towards holiness, be expectant to hear from him and dwell in his presence - spend time with him. Then you need to know His word so you can relate his voice to his word. he will not contradict his word. God cannot ask a man to divorce his wife for his girlfriend. Divorce is not in His plan for us. You also need to over time establish how God speaks to you. As a young Christian, God used to speak to my specific situations through the Bible a lot. I will be fasting and praying and he will drop a scripture in my heart that i never read before. When i open to read it is a direct response to my prayer. Other ways he speaks include dreams/revelations, visions and through people or things around you. One thing is key for developing your sense of hearing from God in my experience - FAITH. You must believe that it’s God when you feel it and don’t think its coincidence or its just your conscience. Gradually you start to develop a pattern of trust, faith in his voice.

(Other parts to be continued in next comment)

Philip said...

How long do I need to be a born again Christian to hear from God?
I want you to realize that God is so eager to speak with us. Ps 25:14says "the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him". He wants to share deep things with his servants the prophets. Let him that hath an ear hear....(Rev 3:22). God is speaking to you all the time and he wants you to develop your ear to hear. This has nothing to do with how long you have been in the Lord, though you should hear better and have more confidence in His voice as you grow older in the Lord.

I have a 10month old son who I just discovered doesn’t only know my voice but knows when I call his name. When he was 3months he knew neither. Every voice was the same. That’s the situation for an unbeliever or a baby Christian. At 6months he would recognize my voice once i stepped in the house from word and say a word. He would get excited though he didn’t know the meaning of what i said. If i called his name he wouldn’t turn to look. It was just a familiar voice and i could be calling out to any of his siblings. Now when i call his name he turns. He has mastered the fact that it is when i want him i call that particular name. When i call his sisters name he doesn’t respond. As he grows older, he would understand me better. He will interpret my blink and he would know my mind even before i say anything. And when I am not with him in college, he would know what i expect of him. It’s the same thing in our walk with our father. In John 10:4, 5, 27 Jesus declares that those of us who follow him know his voice. That should be the ultimate for every believer. Remember, those who seek him will find him. As you earnestly and passionately desire to hear his voice, he will fulfill the desire of your heart.

Study Reference: http://www.acts17-11.com/hearing.html

I will love to walk you through this process and try to provide answers for other concerns you have on this or other subject. Please feel free to respond and let us know your thoughts. I will be praying for you to experience God in a new way!

God Bless.
Philip (philmoen247@yahoo.com)

naijagirl said...

"my sheep hears and knows my voice"--that must mean God has a voice. The bible said God spoke audibly and the children of Isreal heard it. There are different instances in the bible (our guidebook) that shows God speaks; When God came to speak to Samuel, Samuel must have heard an audible voice for him to go running to Eli. Samuel did not know God's voice, he needed Eli to explain that it was God speaking and to tell him what to say in response.
sometimes I ask, "you revealed yourself so much to people in the bible, why does it seem as if we are not getting a lot of that in our generation?"
Does God speak? yes he does, but We need discipline and help in differentiating God's voice and our feelings.
First you have to believe God speaks. "To come close to him or to receive something from him, you have to believe he is a rewarder of those who seek him". You have to believe that when you want to hear from him, he would reward you with his voice.
You have to be attentive or sensitive to the voice. God can speak through your inner mind/spirit, through another person,dreams, visions, or even audibly.God spoke through a camel to address balaam.
How long a xtian? a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, in the eyes of God. Therefore, if he needs to speak to you, he could start speaking from the day you gave your life to him.The question shouldnt be "does God speak but how can I hear him or how can I know his voice?"
How do you hear his voice? why not go directly to throne of grace and ask him to favor you in that aspect "Oh Lord, I want to hear your voice. I want to know your voice, please reveal your voice to me"
How can you identify God's voice and a voice not his--my sheep knows my voice and they follow it. Who are my sheep? those who do my will. So God's voice aligns with his will. if you heard "thus says the Lord or God told me to tell you, and it doesnt align with the will of God--Ruuuuuuuun from the naysayer.
That must mean you have to know the will of God and where do you find his will?

I could go on and on but let me stop here....

akaBagucci said...

Perhaps it often is a question of understanding the ways God speaks to us as individuals... Sometimes, maybe God speaks by exclusion; by shutting some doors or removing some options for us?

Emilia said...

I ask the same question too... anticipating an answer

RocNaija said...

I'm in the audience applauding..
The responses here are very.. all-encompassing.

Mimi said...

hello rita!

missed u!

:) i believe they've said it all.

we serve a loving Father. spend more time with Him and the most important way to do that is through His Word.

Pray in understanding and in tongues.

You have a Shepherd who loves you and you will not hear the voice of another stranger. I pray you will only hear the voice of our Loving Shepherd. In Jesus' Name. Amen

48 said...

Wow ! Definitely well-said guys. Just an additional 1 cent from moi:
Hearing from God is easy, but trust and faith are key. He speaks to everyone - contrary to the belief that he only speaks to long-time christians. The only difference is that those christians have mastered the art of recognizing his voice. All there is to it is this: always remember that he loves you with an everlasting love and hence he wants to guide you and direct you so that you can remain in his perfect will - so that you can be all that he designed you to be. Once you're confident of this truth, certainly expect to hear from him, ask him about everything(seriously!), look out for his instructions and his nuggets of wisdom daily, because it is only in this attitude of expectancy, propelled by faith of course, that we can get anything from him. Commune with him as much as possible - like you would with a friend. My last advice would be to cultivate an attitude of obedience, when he does speak, because that also helps with distinctly recognizing his voice. Remember as his child, his spirit already dwells inside you, so all you need do is train your own spirit to be sensitive to his counsel.*ooh wee, I think this is more like 5cents yo*

Yan Tan said...

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**YANTAN**


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aloted said...

God speaks to his children through his word (the bible), circumstances, people etc..we just have to be attentive...

Lolia said...

You know, I used to ask the very same question myself and then I realized that the very first step to hearing God is being willing to LISTEN to God...

In fact sometimes I was listening too hard, waiting for some sort of voice...

Uzezi is right, it doesn't matter how long you've been a christian, all that matters is what's in your heart which only you and God know and how sincerely you want Him to be a part of your life...

God talks to us in numerous ways, through other people, in our dreams, through the things around us...But sometimes we don't listen because we already have our own ideas and we want God's plan to be the same as ours when really it should be the other way around...

Try not pushing your ideas on God and allowing Him to make His plan for you known to you...It's hard especially when we feel like things are going wrong but what we all have to realize is that

The will of God will never take us where the grace of God cannot protect us

and that

Everything works onto good for those who believe

All the best Angela

xxx

NigerianDramaQueen said...

For the longest time, I use to wonder how God speaks in this day...
I mean reading the Bible, he spoke to Moses face to face, to Abraham through Angels, to Joseph through dreams and to the Israelites with a consuming fire...so I wondered, how do people hear God today...
I can only speak for myself and say, God speaks to me in different ways:
1. A still small voice in my spirit
2. His word, the Bible
3 His prophets..men/women of God
4. My mother
5.My friends
...and sometimes...in very random ways. But sometimes, I still struggle to hear God's voice and/or to know it is him speaking...
Thanks Rita for this. So Glad you're back!

fantasy queen said...

i agree with uzezi.

god speaks to our hearts, we hear him in our thoughts when we keep still. hes that still small voice within us.
sometimes we feel this urge to do something so badly after praying. thats Gods spirit nudging us.
sometimes it comes in his words, we open a page and it speaks to our situations.

Rita, how've you been? its been ages.

Debbie said...

What can I add to this great responses.

God speaks through various ways, the most obvious is is word the bible. He also speaks through people as well as directly to us, creating the atmosphere is the key as has already been stated.

This is a really good thought provoking question

Rita said...

@Uzezi : - thank you for this. One thing I have learnt is to leave room to hear from God after I pray. And I love your summary.

@Doll & BSCN: - I agree with you that there are so many ways through which God can speak to us.

@Telekinesys: what really struck me about your comment is where you said “he relates to you in your own language and even pattern/diction”. That explains why God can speak to a man in the village who does not know English.

@Original Mgbeke: - I have also been blessed by the responses.

@Chayoma: - thank you for reminding us of the verse of scripture. I used to rely on God speaking to me through dreams but now I want to hear his voice becos my dreams are sometimes contaminated by my thoughts (and sin :-))

@Philip: - Your response is so reassuring and encouraging. I could actually relate to it and I am sure Angela will continue being thirsty for God.

@Naijagirl: - OMG…this is awesome! I love the way you broke it down…

@AkaBagucci: - Wow! I like the different slant you brought in. Personally, as I look back, I can see several occasions where he “spoke” by exclusion.

@Emilia: - I hope you got something from the responses so far…

@RocNaija: - so true…the responses are just amazing…

Rita said...

@ Mimi: - thanks love, especially for the prayer :-)

@ 48: - did you call that 1 cent? That is invaluable and priceless…thank you.

@Aloted: - Dearest, longest time. Thank you for your comment and for stressing the role we have to play – be attentive!

@Lolia: - it is as if you touched a chord when you said you were waiting for some sort of voice. It is good to know there are different ways and how to be sensitive to those ways he speaks to us.

@NigerianDramaQueen: - you have reminded us that we need to know how God speaks to us and not someone else. Thank you…
I hope I am back :-)

@Fantasy Queen: -God’s word is so powerful. I have experienced His word speaking to my situation.
I’ve been fine, love, thank you.

@Debbie: believe me, your response is so much appreciated. Thank you.

Brokeass said...

So then he does speak by exclusion, and shutting doors?

Simi Speaks said...

loveeee all the responses.

Kafo said...

i like this new series

Kafo said...

i have to come back and read all of the comments when i am not working