Fully Alive:
Becoming The Man God Intended

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The Definition Of Listening…Wanting To Hear

I can think of no other time in my life experience where hearing from God is more critical.  We are living in an unprecedented era fraught with anxiety and confusion.  Even those who do not believe in God are searching for answers albeit in all the wrong places.  Order and clarity are desperately needed yet no where to be found.  You would think at times like this the natural outcry would be a deep desperation for answers and solutions.

Unfortunately for too many people answers and solutions are not what they are seeking—they are desperate for all of this to just go away.  Blaise Pascal said that all men are looking for peace…even those who hang themselves.  The take away is that people will go to almost any effort to find peace.  This unfortunately includes putting our head in the sand.  While that may be the predictable posture of those who do not know God it should never be the response for those who do.

As a follower of Jesus there is only one thing we should be looking for right now…a clear perspective from our Lord.  It is not important how we feel or what our opinions might be, what is important is hearing a clear directive from the One and only true source of peace and direction.  Lord, what is your message to me right now?  I am desperate for you and I so need to hear you speak into my life.  This must be our prayer.

Every one of us have been uniquely prepared for such a time as this.  God has clear marching orders for every one of His followers—the problem—we are not hearing Him.  Andrew Wommack says, One of the greatest benefits of our salvation has to be that of hearing God speak to us personally. There can be no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it. But, as easy as it is for us to speak to Him, the average Christian has a hard time hearing His voice. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be.

Why?  Why is it so difficult to hear our Lord?  A friend of mine says the world is bombarding us with weapons of mass distraction.  I believe this is one of the reasons.  But sadly I am also convinced it is because we are not inclined to invest what is needed to truly hear Him.  The secret to hearing God…being still.  Resisting the distractions, not giving in to fear and anxiety and just being quiet.  Is this hard?  Indeed it is.

So, what’s the answer?  For me it is requiring of myself quiet solitude sitting at His feet.  Emptying my mind of all of the cares of this world and pressure of the day and being filled with a desire to just hear His voice.  I want to share a personal experience I had just a few days ago as I was praying and seeking Him:

During my prayer time Bentley, our Golden Retriever, was stretched out on my lap. I started talking to him and you know how a dog picks up on certain words and kind of tilts their head?  It’s like they’re trying to understand what you are saying. So, I said to Bentley, I’ll bet you’re trying to understand what your daddy is saying, aren’t you?

Instantly those words came back and hit me right in the face and I broke out in uncontrollable weeping. I immediately saw my father looking down at me saying the same thing. With all that is going on in our ministry and life transition at this time those words could not have been more profound.  I wept and cried out to the Lord asking His help as I desperately want to hear and understand His voice.

This experience was amazing on so many levels. Think about it—when it comes to the difference between me and that dog it is profound.  Two creatures yes, but miles apart.  That difference however doesn’t even come close to the separation between us and this amazing God we serve.  Unfortunately for Bentley he will never be able to fully discern what his master is saying.

But, here is the incredible news for us—God has uniquely made us to not only have fellowship with Him but to be able to discern everything He wants to tell us.  I am finding that the secret to hearing Him is directly related to my willingness to empty myself before Him and wait in expectation.  I don’t know about you but right now I am desperate for hearing from Him.

Do you have a desire to hear God?  Are you, like me, finding it difficult?  Here are some closing suggestions to consider:

  • Find a quiet place every day to meet with God
  • Turn off or leave behind all electronic distractions
  • Pray for Him to make His presence known as you read the Word and pray
  • During your quiet time listen to some good Christian worship music in the background, preferably instrumental
  • Have pen and paper ready to record any impressions you may have
  • Write down everything even if you think it may be your thoughts and not from Him
  • When finished prayerfully submit back to Him all you may think He is saying
  • Consider sharing with trusted believers for confirmation—my wife is my go-to

A final word of caution regarding giving place to others who may claim to have heard a word from God for you.  Tuck it away and pray, God if this is truly from you I ask you to speak to my heart and give it validation.  Sometimes He will do that by bringing others to you who may have had a similar impression.

Remember that no one is infallible when it comes to hearing God.  Anyone who claims to be should be avoided.  Listen courteously to others who may have visions and dreams but always take it with a grain of salt until God affirms it.  The proper approach when one gives a “word” should go something like, I believe I may have heard a word from God for you and I want you to take it before Him for confirmation…I could have missed it.

Let’s endeavor to tune in our hearts to His heart!  As Christ followers this is imperative especially in the season of time we are experiencing!