HOW TO HEAR FROM GOD.
- 1. Does God still speak to us today?
- 2. Must I be a pastor or prophet before I can hear God?
- 3. What to do to hear from God.
- 4. Ways God speaks to us.
- 5. Things that hinder us from hearing God.
- DOES GOD STILL SPEAK TO US TODAY?
The answer to the above question is a big yes!. In fact God yearns to speak with us, but unfortunately most of us are too busy chasing our dreams to listen to Him.
Have you ever wondered why God created us? Well, the answer isn’t farfetched, it’s because God wants to have a relationship with us. That’s why we are created in His image, so we have the ability to relate with Him.
The problem here is that we are too busy. We wake each day and dash off the bed without even saying good morning Jesus, talk less of praying. God has given us 24 hours in a day, but we can’t give Him even 30 minutes or an hour of that time. We use up all the time for our personal satisfaction, forgetting that the Creator of the Universe, the owner of our lives and time is waiting patiently to hear from us.
Don’t be too busy for God, whatever you’re chasing out there, that is taking all your time, actually belongs to God. They are right in His palms waiting for you to come to Him and receive them. All you need to do is, learn how to speak to God daily, and not just that, learn to wait at His feet to receive divine instructions that will lead you to your desired goal(s).
- MUST I BE A PASTOR OR PROPHET BEFORE I CAN HEAR GOD?
The ability to hear God is not tied to any title or position. All God requires is for you to be a child of God, a true Christian. You may ask why must I be a born again Christian for God to speak to me? This is because once you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you automatically establish a link or connection to God Almighty. You cannot approach God without Jesus. He is the only way to God. Jesus Christ makes it possible for you to be recognized as a Child of God, meaning God is now your Father. God gave us Jesus, so that mankind can have access to Him and relate with Him personally.
So you don’t need to be a pastor or prophet before you can hear God. Neither do you have to go from one prayer house to the other in search of revelations and prophecies concerning your life.
All you need to do is, cultivate the habit of sitting at the feet of Jesus to receive divine and priceless information and directions concerning your life, be it marriage, career, business, health, etc.
If you have not yet given your life to Jesus, please it is necessary to do so now, because the remaining chapters of this ebook is centered on a spirit filled Christian.
Wherever you are, say this simple prayer “LORD JESUS I ACCEPT YOU AS MY PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR. I REPENT OF ALL MY SINS, AND I NOW INVITE YOU INTO MY LIFE. PLEASE COME AND TAKE CHARGE AND LET YOUR WILL BE DONE IN MY LIFE, IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
- WHAT TO DO TO HEAR FROM GOD
God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What this simply means is that, you cannot expect to hear from God if you are canal in your dealings. Allow the Holy Spirit who resides in you to take charge of your affairs. You have accepted Jesus Christ into your life; hence you are no longer the master of your life but Him. Allow Him to dictate what happens in your life and not you or the circumstances surrounding you.
You may wonder how can I do this? Simple, acknowledge Him in all your ways. You have heard that before, right? Let me break it down for you; before you go visit that friend, did you ask God if it is His will? Before you bought that form to proceed on a course, did you acknowledge God, by asking Him if you should or should not? You just went ahead right? Because it seemed right to you. Or probably, you wondered, even if I ask Him, how will I know His mindset concerning this particular issue?
Well these are all valid points but certainly not the best way to live your life. You have been bought with a price and you now belong to God, so allow Him to take the lead while you follow. This is the sure way of fulfilling your purpose here on earth.
I have set below some principles that will enable you hear God speak. They have worked for me and many others, but certainly not limited to these only.
- Spending time with God: I started with this because this is the most important as far as I’m concerned. When you spend time with someone, you get to know the person better, his likes, dislikes, what pleases or displeases him or her, his or her character, what attracts them, what brings them joy, what turns them off, etc. The more you spend time with someone, the more the person opens up to you and draws closer to you, because he or she feels treasured and important. They begin to share their secrets with you, they give you access into their lives and personal information.
This same principle applies with God too; you cannot expect God to reveal Himself to you when you don’t have time for Him. How will you know His voice when He speaks? The bible says in John 10:27
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”
How will you follow a voice you do not know? You can only know His voice by spending time at His feet daily, allowing Him feed you with His words, while you soak up His glorious presence in the process. His presence makes the difference in your life.
In case you are wondering how to spend time with God, please follow below steps, but don’t be limited to this, allow the Holy Spirit lead you.
- Pick a particular time of the day or night and call it your covenant time with God. It’s called a covenant time because you are entering into a covenant with God to always be there with Him at that particular time. That time is meant for Him ALONE. No phone calls please, no reading of sms, no chatting on social media, no distractions whatsoever. This particular time has been dedicated to God only. It’s a time of intimacy with your Creator, every other thing can wait. I usually advise people to pick a time during the night, so at least you are sure of peace and quiet. You may decide to make it 30 minutes and gradually upgrade to an hour or more as the Spirit leads.
- After choosing your time, say this prayer ” DEAR LORD, I HAVE CHOSEN THIS PARTICULAR TIME TO BE WITH YOU (please mention the time you chose and how long you desire to stay with Him) AND LEARN AT YOUR FEET. I HAVE COME THAT YOU MAY PURGE ME AND MAKE ME WHOLE. SO THAT I CAN ABIDE IN YOU AND YOU IN ME. I DESIRE TO KNOW YOU MORE, IN ORDER TO HEAR YOUR VOICE AND OBEY. I LAY ALL MY PLANS AT YOUR FEET, AND I NOW TAKE UP YOUR OWN PLANS FOR MY LIFE. FROM TODAY LORD, PLEASE TAKE THE LEAD, WHILE I FOLLOW IN JESUS NAME, AMEN”.
You only need to say this prayer once, to signal the commencement of your covenant time with God.
- During your covenant time, please take along the following, (a) a journal to write what God says. This is important because it shows seriousness and readiness to do what He tells you (b) a bible, (c) hymn book or praise and worship songs, a Christian book on spiritual growth or relationship with God.
- When it’s time for you to start, begin by acknowledging His presence, because He is there already whether you can see Him or not. God always honours covenants. Remember it’s called covenant time, so God will ALWAYS be there, it’s your duty to ensure you don’t miss that particular time or go late.
- Ask Him to make you Christ like, and purge you of all that is not of Him, then begin to worship him with songs, hymns or reading psalms (I recommend psalms 92 to 100, and 145 to 150 because they center on exalting God and singing His praise). Covenant time is not a time to focus on your need or prayer requests, it’s solely for God and allowing Him cleanse you, so you can begin to hear Him and align to His will for your life.
- After your worship session, take up your Bible, open to any chapter you feel like and start reading. Ask Him to come and teach you His words, so that you can be renewed by it. Never read your bible without asking the Holy Spirit to come and teach you, otherwise you may just be reading the bible like any other story book without any spiritual backing, revelation and transformation. The bible has the ability to renew and transform you while you feast on it. This is so, because it is the word of God and Jesus is made manifest in it.
John 1.1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Anytime you read your Bible, God is speaking.
- When you are done reading the Bible, ask yourself what did God just say to me through His word? Sit still and reflect on it, then write down whatever comes into your mind. Remember He is there beside you and His Spirit is leading you.
- Then, take up your Christian book on spiritual growth or building a relationship with God and start reading. Once more, ask Him to come and teach and illuminate what you are reading so that your spirit man can be blessed. Now, with a pen in hand, start marking out those places that speak about issues concerning you.
- When you are done with all these, take a break and just sit still. Tell Him to speak to you. You may just sit for a few minutes and then you leave. He will decide how and when to speak. The reason I prefer choosing night time for covenant time is because you can always go back to sleep and expect divine revelations.
- Living a disciplined life: some Christians live a carefree life. They cannot account for the time they spend each day. Remember what the book of Ephesians says in 5:15-17 “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
So, how do you apply this to your life? It means every minute of your life matters to God. What are you doing with your time? Watching TV? Chatting on social media? Visiting friends, so you can spend time talking about things that will not add value to your life? Commenting on every post you see on social media? What about sleeping all day? If you desire to hear God, then you need to change your lifestyle and be more accountable and productive with your time. Being productive here, doesn’t necessarily mean you must be working in an office or doing business. I understand a lot of people are jobless and that’s not entirely their fault, but even in that state of joblessness, you can still be productive by engaging in spiritual matters. Use that idle time to pray, but this time around stop asking for money, job, spouse, etc. Start asking for His presence in your life. Remember, His presence makes the difference in your life. Being a carrier of God’s presence causes doors of opportunities to open of their own accord. What you spent months praying for begin to come to you with ease. The reason? His presence goes before you and causes men to rise up and favour you.
Remember the Ark of Covenant in the old testament? Anywhere the Ark was taken to, unusual things began to happen and always in favour of the Israelites. The Ark signified the presence of God with them. Today, that same Ark is with us, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
- In all you do, always ask God for His will to be done: Proverbs 16.3 says “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
How do you practice this in your daily life? You can do this by making a habit of always saying ” Lord, I want to do this but let your will prevail” Do you wish to go to a certain place for vacation? Before you make those arrangements, pause and say that prayer above. You will be surprised at the turn of event if it isn’t God’s will. How about hanging out with friends? Also pray the same prayer and allow Him decide. So, whatever decision you want to make, always pause and say that prayer. It’s vital in living a God driven life.
- Consecrate yourself to God: last but not the least, dedicate yourself to God and be willing to use your resources, talent and time for God. All that you are and have belong to God, so let Him decide how they should be used. If you are an artist, use it to glorify God. A teacher? Teach with heaven in mind. An influencer? Let your influence make people long for Jesus. A writer? Write to glorify God. A public speaker? Use that platform to win souls for God. Nothing of yours should be used to expand the kingdom of satan. In all you do, ask yourself, will this action of mine draw people to Jesus or push them further away from Him?
Finally, if you know you have a calling upon your life, this is the right time to answer that call. Please stop shying away from what God has purposed to do with your life. You are alive today, simply because of the Father’s love. Why are you running away from your father? Answering God’s call is what will enable you live a fulfilled life.
4. WAYS GOD SPEAKS TO US.
There are various ways God speak to His children and we will choose a few to discuss in this book.
No one can dictate to God how He should speak to us. God decides the best means to communicate with each of us, just be willing to submit to His authority and obey what He tells you. The surest way to keep hearing God’s voice is to do what He says. Once you start disobeying Him and refuse to listen to what He tells you, maybe because it’s not palatable to you, then He will stop speaking. God deals with serious minded people.
- A still small voice: The Holy Spirit resides in us, so if we allow God to purge us and spend time with Him, you will begin to hear a voice within you speak. This usually happens after you have prayed that His will be done concerning a particular issue or matter. Of course, He can always speak to you at other times too, so be conscious of that still small voice and practice the habit of listening. Remember, whatever you hear must align with God’s word. God is not the author of confusion. He cannot ask you to do what the Bible has forbidden us from doing. So what you hear in your spirit must tally with the word of God. Also, remember to ask Him for another confirmation if you are not sure you heard Him right. Sometimes, this confirmation may come through other means like a book you are reading, a phone call from someone you know and the person will say almost the same thing you heard in your spirit, sometimes you turn on your TV and the next thing you hear corresponds with what you earlier heard. So these are just a few ways He may choose to confirm what you heard earlier but definitely not limited to these.
- The Bible: Anytime you read your bible, God is speaking. Unfortunately, over familiarity with the bible has made us not to realize that God is actually speaking to us when we read His word. Most times, people read the bible just because we are in church and the preacher has requested that the congregation should open to a place in the bible and read, after that the Bible is back on the shelf. Or, maybe you have a prayer request to present to the Lord, once again you dash for the bible for a quick reference verse to back up your request and then off you go again, no more bible till the next prayer request surfaces.
This is certainly not how God designed for us to use the bible. The bible is such a powerful tool in our hands, given to us to enable us communicate with our Father in Heaven and also to live a victorious life on earth.
When you are in trouble or a crossroad, the word of God says in Jeremiah 33.3 “call unto me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and mighty things that you know not”
How do you call unto God? By prayer, and also by meditating on His words.
Next time something bothers you, or you need to know God’s mind concerning that issue, pick up your Bible and open to anywhere God lays in your heart, read it and ponder on it. Was that bible portion talking about discipline? Then search yourself and see where it’s applicable in your life. That bible verse may be speaking about idol, then perhaps what you have in mind has gradually become an idol to you. You are placing far more importance on it, than God. Even your phone, friends, project, etc can become an idol once it begins to interfere with your relationship with God.
So next time you read your bible, pay great attention to what it says, and then see which area of your life it is addressing.
- Prayer: When we pray to God, we have already kick-started a communication process with God. However, the problem here is that most of us engage in a one way prayer. That’s to say, after praying, we don’t wait to hear what God has to say in return. We do all the talking, then stand up and leave His presence without waiting for a feedback. Have you ever experienced a situation whereby, while you were praying you had a strong impression in your heart concerning the matter you were presenting to God? What did you do about the impression after prayer? You forgot about it or you brushed it aside? That may have been the answer to your prayer or a key to the solution of that problem. Next time, don’t brush it off, store it in your heart and act on it after prayer. It could be an idea you need to develop on, a call to someone who may have the answer to that prayer request, a duty to fulfill or something you are yet to complete, etc.
- Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit: we have been bought with a price and we belong to God, therefore His Spirit dwells in us to lead and direct our paths daily. It’s our responsibility to pay attention to what He is saying and to make a conscious effort to walk in the way He lays out before us whether it’s conducive or not.
The Holy Spirit prompts us daily in various ways like, losing your peace after a conversation. What were you discussing? Did it glorify God or was it filled with profanity? Have you decided to go visit someone or some place, and all of a sudden you can’t find your car keys? Your keys haven’t disappeared, it’s just a little way of God trying to get your attention and make you reconsider your mission. Did someone just say something you didn’t like and when you were about to respond, you bit your lips? It sounds dramatic right? But it does happen to people but they fail to realize God was trying to pass a message to them to keep silent and not respond. What about that phone call that won’t go through? There seems to be no network or poor connection whenever you desire to speak to that person, please pause and pray about it, God may be saying something. What about that admission you have been seeking and yet nothing is forthcoming? Go back to prayer and ask God if that’s the institution He would want you to attend or if that’s the course He has purposed for you to study. Most people have missed it in life because they never paused to ask God which career path He has laid out for them. They just followed what was trending, or their parents took the decision on their behalf, etc. No wonder, upon completion of their studies, there seems to be no head way for them in life. Why? Because God was never the foundation of their studies. They simply did what they felt was right. The bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death”. How about people who go into marriage without hearing from God? Today, many marriages have hit the rocks due to lack of spiritual due diligence before marriage. We cannot keep living life like gamblers, gambling away our precious time and life on the table of canal mindedness and spiritual insensitivity.
That notwithstanding, we have a merciful Father who is ever willing to change our circumstances for good, if only we will yield our lives to Him and depart from our old way of life.
There are numerous instances God speaks to us through His prompting but it’s impossible to list them all here. The most important thing is to wake each day with the intention to allow His Spirit lead and then be sensitive and obey. Disobedience disconnects us from God. If you desire Him to keep speaking, then be willing to obey. Also, pray daily to be filled with His Spirit, so you can easily discern His voice.
- God speaks to us through people: God may choose to speak to us through men and women we come across as we journey through life with Him. It could be a clergy, group leaders in church, our parents, our children (yes, you heard me right, children, I believe it’s because they are innocent and more willing to say what God lays in their heart). God can speak to you through your friends too, that’s why it’s imperative to surround yourself with godly people. The bible has this to say;
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT).
- God speaks to us through dreams; this is one of the easiest ways we can hear God speak concerning any area of our lives. I believe God uses this method most times to communicate to His children who are not yet spiritually matured to discern His voice when He speaks as a still small voice. Dreams and revelations have been a common means of hearing God speak, even right in the bible there are so many instances God spoke to His people using this way. People like Joseph, the dreamer is a popular example that we all know about.
I strongly encourage people to cultivate the habit of taking their dream life seriously. A Lot of information is being passed through this channel and no one is making good use of it. Job 33:15 says “He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds”.
God created us in His image and likeness, there are three persons in one God, we also are three in one. We have a body, soul and spirit. So while you sleep, your spirit man is the one you see in dreams. Sadly, this is the time the enemy also targets, in order to sow tares in our dreams. You will agree with me that not all dreams come from God, so we need to watch and pray. Please don’t just lay down and sleep without praying, no matter how worn out you may be. Purge yourself of every impurities that may affect the free flow of information from God to you and then commit your sleep into God’s hands.
To fully understand what God is saying in your dreams, you need the help of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will grant you the insight and interpretation to those dreams. So next time you have a dream and seem not to understand the message embedded in it, call on the Holy Spirit. Even the ones you can’t remember after waking up, invite Him to help you sort them out and He will lead you through.
- Trance: “On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he *saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground” (Acts 10:9-11).
From the above Bible passage, you will agree with me that God can speak to you through a trance. In this case, you are not totally asleep, you are a bit conscious of your surroundings, and this usually happens when you are in intense prayer, worship, meditating on His word, etc. Trance is usually short and precise, like a vision. I believe God uses this means to speak when He has urgent information to pass. As earlier stated, whatever dreams, revelations or trance you have, check that it doesn’t go contrary to the scriptures. It must always align with God’s word.
5. THINGS THAT HINDER US FROM HEARING GOD.
Our God is a God of rule and order. He has given us rules and guidelines to help us walk in harmony with Him. God is disciplined and organized, and He expects us to live a disciplined life too. We may not be perfect, but at least make conscious effort to stay on the path God has called you to, the path of righteousness and holiness. Listed below are things that can hinder you from hearing God:
- Laziness: to maintain an effective communication link with God requires hard work. Your prayer life must be topnotch. The importance of prayer in the life of a believer cannot be over emphasized. It is the life wire of Christianity, even Jesus Christ didn’t joke with it. He spent quality time praying, rising as early as possible to go to mountains and pray alone.
Some Christians will tell you Jesus has paid the price already, so they don’t need to pray, but the Bible says “pray without ceasing”. Most of them are shying away from prayer because it requires time and dedication. You must create out time daily for prayer, aside from the ones done in church. You need your own personal prayer altar, burning continuously. This is no job for a lazy man because it will deprive you of some comfort, but I tell you it’s worth every sweat of it.
Don’t neglect your quiet time, where you study the word of God for yourself, this will safeguard you from the lies being preached now as truth. Unfortunately, many are entangled in this web of falsehood because they are too lazy to search the Bible for themselves and know the truth.
Please note that your prayer time, quiet time and covenant time all have separate times. For example, you pray at midnight for 30 minutes, you may choose to do your covenant time by 12.30am, and then sleep. Then 5am could be your quiet time. This is just an example, not a standard.
- Disobedience: as you journey along with God, He may set some personal rules just for you. Meaning, others may do it but you can’t because He has set you apart for a purpose. For instance, you may plan going for a party with friends, but He will ask you to stay back and read a Christian book or study the Bible. If you disobey and go for the party, then you have started the process of gradually disconnecting yourself from God. Can you recall what disobedience caused Adam and Eve? Stick to His instructions and you will enjoy a free flow of communication with Him.
- Skipping your covenant time: remember your covenant time? When you promised God to be always available at a particular hour to spend time with Him? Well, it’s essential we don’t miss that time or go late. Missing it once or twice is understandable but making it a habit will certainly hinder us from hearing God speak. God is a covenant keeping God, so honour yours too. During your covenant time with God, a lot of things take place which we may not even be aware until we see the manifestation in real life. While you spend time in His presence, His glory comes upon you but you can’t see this except He chooses to reveal it to you. Remember Moses? After he spent forty days with God on the mountain, and came down, the Bible records that his face shown (Exodus 34:29-35). Are you wondering why this happened? It’s because the glory of the Lord came upon Him after spending so much time there. The same is applicable today but don’t expect a shiny face, rather demons will begin to bow out of your way because you are now a carrier of His glory/presence.
- Evil communication: sometimes I wonder how true born again Christians feel comfortable sharing dirty jokes. I mean, what exactly are you going to achieve sitting in the counsel of the ungodly? What comes out of your mouth gives us an insight to who you really are. Make conscious effort to speak edifying words, avoid conversations that will pollute your spirit man. Mind what you listen to, it gradually robs off on you. We are not perfect, so occasionally we may default in this area, but constantly making a habit of it, isn’t going to help your walk with God and this will certainly affect you hearing God. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners”. So please, let’s make conscious effort to filter what proceeds from our mouths.
We have come to the end of this ebook. I hope you were blessed. If you desire to reach the author, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.