The foundation of our walk with God is His desire to have relationship with us. He paid the ultimate price so we would be able to draw near to Him. In order to move into a deeper relationship with God we must have healthy communication. God is speaking, and the key for us is learning how to hear his voice.
Cultivating the ability to hear God’s voice for myself and for others has been a passion of mine for a long time. It is the reason Cultivate Connection exists, creating space for people to encounter God’s heart towards them and allowing Him to transform your thoughts into His. I love this quote by Bill Johnson:
I can’t afford to have thoughts in my head about me that God doesn’t have in his.– Bill Johnson
Psalm 139 reminds us that God has so many thoughts towards us that we could not even count them all, they outnumber the grains of sand. Wouldn’t you like to know all those thoughts He is thinking about you? The good news is He wants to tell you!
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.– Psalm 139:17-18a (NLT)
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
As with all things in life, if we want to get good at something it requires practice. I believe you can come to love practicing hearing God’s voice as I have. There are so many fun and engaging ways to interact with God in this way. Below I will give you 3 different ways to practice hearing God’s voice.
Number one is through the word of God. Invite the Holy Spirit to engage with you in the word of God. When God breathes on His word it becomes alive and active in your life. You can find creative ways to do this, here are a few ideas that you might try:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to highlight a part of scripture as you read. As something stands out to you don’t be in a hurry, stay with it, chew on it, and ask questions about it. Allow it to become a conversation starter with the Lord. Remember the bible isn’t a book of fairytales, it is a history book. The Holy Spirit was there when what you are reading about happened, so ask Him for insight.
- Try writing it out. Maybe you get a blank page and write the scripture on the page and see what else comes to mind as you write. Ask God what He wants to show you about that particular scripture and as words come to your mind write them down; maybe you doodle some. Then take time to reflect on what you have written.
- Personalize the scripture and declare it. Try and put yourself in the scripture you are reading. When you come to a part of the scripture that speaks of God’s promises, or his thoughts towards you declare it out loud. Hearing the word of God in your own ears in powerful. Speak it out often!
- Sing it! Whether you believe you can sing or not there is something powerful about putting God’s word into song. First of all it causes you to slow down as you read the scripture and as stated above, the spoken word is powerful. It also causes you to approach the scripture in a new way. The bible says sing to the Lord a new song, and how many of us actually sing to the Lord when we’re by ourselves?
Number two is to look for the language of The Spirit. Remember, in different seasons God speaks in different ways. Have you ever find yourself seeing a theme from God? Maybe God starts speaking to you on a certain topic and all of sudden everywhere you go everything is pointing to that same topic? Friends are talking about it, you see it on social media posts, you see it in a show you are watching, it is on a billboard, etc. Pay attention to what may seem like “coincidences”, it might just be the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Take these opportunities to open up a conversation with God.
Take a moment to right now to reflect. Is there a theme God is speaking to you in this season? Ask Him to reveal the ways He may have been speaking to you that you may of missed.
Number three, practice hearing for others. It doesn’t always have to be about us! We have all had people in our lives who have spoken God’s thoughts or encouragement to us. We can be that person for others and grow in hearing God’s voice at the same time. The idea that we could partner with God, releasing an encouraging word that could help shift people onto the path God has for them is amazing! I will expand on the creative journey God has been taking me on in this area in my next blog. In the meantime try practicing these exercises:
- Ask the Lord for a scripture for someone. When He highlights one I recommend taking some time to pray, declare, and even sing that scripture over the person as intercession in your personal prayer time.
- Ask God for His heart towards someone. Write their name on a piece of paper and then take time to listen and write down any other words you hear. Then reflect back on what you have written, crafting it into a prayer for this person.
Asking God without knowing who the words are for. Doing this exercise “blind” can be a really fun way to practice hearing God’s voice without relying on your own thoughts.
- Pick a few people you want to hear God’s voice for, at least three. Write the names of each person on individual pieces of paper and fold them up. Mix them up so you don’t know which is which and then number each. Write the same numbers on three blank sheets paper. Now ask God for His thoughts towards each person. You don’t know who the person is, but God does. Once you are done, unfold the names and match the numbers up. Then take time praying for each person.
We will talk more about releasinging the words you have been practicing hearing for other people in my next blog. Getting feedback from people can be very helpful in growing in our practice. Remember that not every word is meant to be shared right away, and some are simply God asking you to pray.
So if you are hungry to grow in hearing God’s voice try out the exercises above and let me know how it goes. Oh and make sure you let yourself off the hook. Don’t put pressure on yourself, it is practice. Remember no one gets mad at a baby as they stumble when they are learning to walk. Everyone is created to hear God’s voice, you will get there. Have fun with God!
Look for my next blog where I share the creative way God is growing me in this. Taking art, creativity, hearing God’s voice, intercession, declaring truth and mashing it all together!