Having a personal relationship with God through Jesus gives us the ability and privilege to interact with Him. We can speak to Him; we can hear from Him. That’s how a relationship works.
A relationship is a two-way street.
Even when it comes to God. What have you heard God say lately? What have you wrestled with Him about? If your relationship with God is mostly you telling Him what you want, but never stopping to listen to what He wants, then I urge you to re-evaluate it.
We beg God over and over to bless us, to come through ‘just this once’, or to get us out of a bind, but do we ever stop and ask what is on his heart? What does He want for you right now? How does He feel about your current circumstance?
Do you know the voice of God?
How do you know it’s His voice you hear or if you’re off in Neverland? How do we know when He’s truly calling us in a specific direction or we’re just trying to escape our current difficulty?
This year, one of my spiritual goals is to close the gap between the moment God speaks to me and the moment I recognize it’s his voice speaking.
I can look back on countless moments when I was certain He was speaking after the fact, but in the moment I was filled with insecurity and doubt. Eventually I grew in confidence and can look back with certainty, but the gap bothered me.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27
I deeply desire my heart to be so in tuned to God’s that I can hear Him whisper in the middle of a storm. If He asks me to do something that seems crazy in my human abilities, I want to hear it. I don’t want to be passed over simply because I couldn’t hear Him.
My faith has come a long way over the years. For many years my relationship with God was based on fear. After all when you’re a kid presented with the option of heaven or hell, it’s not a hard decision. But the same girl who spent so many years afraid of God is now willing to give her life for Him. When you get to a place where the thought of death doesn’t scare you, you live differently. You stop letting fear drive you and you’re open to taking new risks.
Jesus gave his very life for me and when I came to understand that to the core of my soul, I willingly placed all I am and all I have on the altar for Him. I want everything I do to be an expression of worship to Him.
The thing is, I have no problem doing what God asks of me, as long as I know it’s Him. And that right there is the weakness in my faith. I don’t always know. But I’m intentional to work on it and close the gap- even if I’m played the fool a time, even when I fail. Because the fact is, I won’t always get it right, I will fall short. But getting there is worth a few misunderstandings along the way.
Seeking to Know God’s Voice
Here are a few ways I’m working to close the gap and recognize God’s voice the moment He speaks.
- Spending time reading Scripture- This may be a no-brainer for Christians, but it remains at the top. I cannot know God’s voice if I don’t know Him. Knowing God’s character and knowing His story is the pathway to knowing Him personally. The Bible also has an uncanny ability to give us wisdom and revelation for today.
- Seeking the Holy Spirit- The same God who spoke to Moses and David in the Old Testament, and to Peter and Paul in the New Testament, is the same God I talk to every morning when I wake up and all throughout my day. When I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in our culture, when I’m looking for direction, wisdom comfort, understanding, the Holy Spirit guides me. The Holy Spirit directs my hearts and my thoughts. He also has a way of raising red flags when I should be cautious. Over time I learn to recognize His Voice. The times I hear God’s voice most clearly is when I go running. For me running feels like an instant, direct line with Him. It’s why I like to run alone. I’ve come to recognize clear, specific things He tells me while I run.
- Trust Him- Relationships are built on trust. When God speaks, we have a choice whether to trust Him or reject Him. How do I know God is speaking to me when I run? Because I’ve tested it. He speaks and I respond.
- Act on it- If God gives me direction and I ignore it, why would God keep speaking? The more we do what God tells us to do, the more likely God will keep speaking.
I don’t know where you are in your relationship with God. Maybe you’ve walked with Him for years or just starting out. No matter where you are, God desires a personal relationship with you. After all, He created you. He will speak to you if you’re listening.