God speaks to us in different ways: through dreams, visions, people, scripture, prophets, audible voices, angels, worship, creation and donkeys. He can speak to us in anyway He wants to speak to us. Yet, He will never contradict His Word.
Word of God -- Jesus and the written Word of God.
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
We need to learn how to listen to God. But we can even mess up hearing God's voice if we aren't in tune with the Spirit. We can interpret the Bible through our own experiences -- rather than interpret our experiences through the Word of God. We can Deny the Word. Or we can put doctrine over relationship.
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." John 5:30
God wants relationship with each of us.
To have a relationship we must communicate with each other.
"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
"5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:5-6
Hearing the voice of God is comparable to a horse wearing a halter. Getting a halter on a horse is just the first step in seeing a horse become trained. This is just like a person acknowledging God.
"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20
"But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water." 2 Peter 3:5
No one will have an excuse.
A New Christian is like a horse in a bosal -- we know we need to learn how to hear God's voice.
We are starting to listen.
"As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”" Acts 9:3-6
Saul listened when Jesus confronted him. Saul became a Jesus Follower.
Beginning Discipleship -- the snaffle bit:
1. In this stage we are learning to be "all ears.
A snaffle bit has a one-to-one pound of pressure -- In this stage God can give us more subtle directions. We're learning. We still might take time to get focused on God, but we are moving forward. We are growing. Be silent and focus, seek time alone.
"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone," Matthew 14:23
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35
"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:16
Jesus needed His time alone with the Father. So do we.
2. Open your Bible
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”" John 8:31-323.
3. Let the Spirit Lead Through the Word
Surrender control. God's got this. Just put yourself aside. Let Him lead.
"At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness," Mark 1:12
"While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you . . . Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:36,45
"these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us." 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
4. The Spirit is a gift to understand the Father.
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26
We learn as we go. We will get more and more sensitive to God's voice if we keep learning. Keep seeking.
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17
The Word of God is are one offensive weapon. We need to know it so we can know God's voice.
5. Open your mind to what God is saying.
"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9a
"The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12
Go up the mountain -- challenge yourself. God is there.
Listening with all we are -- the spade bit with a horse. A horse isn't ready for a spade bit for years and years. We will get better and better at hearing God's voice the longer we walk with Him. It takes time.Lots of time.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
Our Amazing, Living God, wants to speak to You! Personally! Learn to listen to His voice. We never finish with our training.
Am I listening for God's whisper?