Can people really hear God speak? When Christians say “God told me” it sounds nutty to the world. For that matter, it may sound nutty to some other Christians. Do you wish you could hear from God like those super spiritual Christians who seem to have conversations with Him? If you are a Christian YOU CAN hear God. But being a physical, flesh-and-blood creature can make it difficult to communicate with God in the spiritual, invisible realm. However, just like we develop and cultivate relationships with people, we can also cultivate and develop our relationship with God and not only talk to Him but hear Him speak!
When God communicates with us, it is not typically in the form of an audible voice. I’m not saying He can’t or won’t; I’m not saying He doesn’t speak through other people, our circumstances, emotions, the written word or even a donkey if He so chooses. But typically God speaks to us from His Spirit to our spirit. God speaks through our spirit, and His Word is then received by our souls. This is fancy talk to say that God communicates to us through our minds. So how do we make this happen? Allow me to give you two disciplines to help you cultivate your relationship with God so that you can hear Him speak:
Be Quiet and Listen
First, if you want to hear God, you must listen! Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God!” (NLT) We tend to be better at talking to God (prayer) than listening to God (being still). Be still, stop striving, tune out to the visible, and tune into the invisible. To hear God: Know His Spirit is present with you, then be still and listen.
Get His Word into Your Heart
Second, if you want to hear God, memorize Scripture. Tony Evans says that the Holy Spirit works as a highlighter for us, highlighting truth that we have hidden away in our hearts. He highlights these truths when we need them. This is often the case with me. I remember a visit I once had with one of my former youth group students. This young man was struggling with what to believe. He told me that the Bible itself doesn’t even claim to be divinely inspired (or words to that effect). I responded by recalling a verse that I, at one time, had committed to memory: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB)
Even I was amazed how this came to me, but in reality it was the Holy Spirit uncovering a truth that I had hidden away in my heart. He brought it to me when I needed it. This occurrence stands out in my memory, but there have been countless times when I have been struggling with insecurities, feeling discouraged, wrestling with problems or just feeling bad in general, and God highlighted a truth in my mind–a comforting, reassuring, universal truth from Scripture. Memorizing Scripture is like burying treasure for the Holy Spirit to mine when you are in need.
I encourage you to begin burying treasure by disciplining yourself to memorize Bible verses. For years now I have been memorizing verses that are meaningful to me. When a verse impacts me in this way, I make note of it and later record the verse on an index card. I write out the verse on one side and where it is found “the address” on the other. Then, when I have time, I work on committing these to memory. These days I pull out five cards at a time and carry them around for a week or so, reciting them when I have a minute. I have even begun recording them on the “voice memo” app my phone provides and listening to them on the way to work. I’m sure you can come up with your own system, but as a shoemaker once said, “just do it!”
Below are some of the verses that I hold precious from my card collection. Perhaps you would like to start your memory card collection with some of these…. It’s okay, I don’t own the exclusive rights. I bet you recognize the first one?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Acts 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Try reciting these verses out loud and then listening to see if the Lord provides any insight in your thoughts.
Remember, if you want to hear God speak: 1) Listen and 2) Memorize things He has already said via Scripture. The Holy Spirit will guide you by highlighting hidden treasure or speaking through your spirit to your soul.
I would love to hear Bible verses which are meaningful to you. Please respond by sharing some verses you have treasured.