Podcast #113 Learning to hear from God (6:36) (Connecting with God #3)

Folks often ask me how do I hear from God. It’s actually pretty simple, but it’s a very personal experience. I’ll share a great exercise to help you get started.

Here’s the podcast transcript:

Welcome to the Sabbath Cafe Podcast. This is episode 113 – learning how to hear from God.

One of the questions people often ask me is how do you hear from the Lord.  I always have a hard time explaining because I think this is a very personal experience. But there are practices that can help.  So that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Let me just clarify first… that hearing from God isn’t anything weird or strange. It’s not like you hear this “deep voice” from the sky.  It’s really just learning how God communicates with us in a personal way.  Hearing from God is also a major part of the Christian tradition. From Catholic to Protestant groups, You’ll find many classical Christian literatures that talk about it. I learned a lot from reading classics like “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence and “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. Hearing God is an essential part of our spiritual heritage.

For many of us today, when we think about this topic, we tend to imagine God speaking from heaven in a booming voice. There may even be thunder and lightning in the background.  Kind of like what happens in a Disney movie, right? But in reality, it’s the complete opposite.  When God wants to communicate with us personally, He actually speaks in a gentle and quiet voice.

It’s like that Bible passage when Elijah hid in the mountains after his big showdown with Jezebel. And God came to meet him. There first came this great and powerful wind that tore the mountains apart, but God was not in the wind. After the wind, there was a powerful earthquake that shook things up, but God was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there came a fire. But God was not in the fire. And after the fire, God showed up in a whisper. And that’s when Elijah went to meet God.

And that’s how God speaks in my life too, with a still and quiet whisper. That’s why when I’m seeking God’s insight and wisdom, I need to first calm down my heart. I notice that when I’m relaxed, I can sense God’s thoughts more clearly. However, if I’m feeling stressed or worried about something,  it’s hard for me to sort out what God is trying to tell me.  And it’s not until I journal and process through some things to calm those emotions down, and then, I can sense more clearly what God is trying to say.

So in today’s session, let’s look at some easy steps to help you practice how to tune into God’s still small voice.

I really think the most important part in learning to hear God’s voice is learning to pay attention to God. The truth is if you’re used to multi-tasking or doing many things at the same time, it’s very hard to hear God when you’re in that mode.  Because all of the things you’re doing will distract you and drown out God’s quiet whispers.  So I recommend that in the beginning, you set aside time when you can be alone. And if you can’t be alone, find some time when you can give God your full attention.

Now relax, and take a deep breath.  In the beginning, pray this prayer, “Lord, I’m here to meet with you.  You have my full attention, come and meet with me.” We declare to God and to ourselves that this is our focus.  And then focus on a short prayer like “Thank you Lord, Thank you Jesus.”  “I love You, Jesus.”  And if any thought or worry suddenly rise up, acknowledge them, and simply pray, “Lord, I just give this concern to you.”  Return to your simple prayer – “Thank you Jesus. I love you Jesus.” and continue to focus on God.

After a couple of minutes, your heart will relax and you’ll begin to calm down. As you start to feel more at peace, the thoughts that usually clutter your mind will clear up.  And that’s when God’s thoughts will quietly appear.  Sometimes, God chose to be silent, and that’s fine. Allow your heart to rest and just enjoy the Peace and Stillness for as long as you can.

The first few times you try this, maybe you won’t sense anything yet. And you may still get distracted. And that’s okay.  Just like everything else, it gets better with practice. 

And as you continue these short sessions where you learn to focus your heart and your mind solely on God, then it will become easier, and you’ll know how to tune into God’s voice in your own way. 

Just remember this.  God wants us to succeed. And as we make our hearts available to Him. The Holy Spirit will come and help us learn how to dwell in Peace.

Eventually, as you become familiar with hearing God’s voice, you’ll start to recognize His voice throughout your day even when you’re busy.   For me, God often talks to me when I’m driving, or when I’m on a walk. And lately, He’s been especially chatty when I’m doing dishes. 🙂 

So as you can see, there’s no secret handshake when it comes to hearing from God.  All you need is a willingness to hang out with Jesus. And it’s just like making a new friend. The more time you spend together, the better you’ll get to know each other.  

I hope what I’ve shared has been helpful, and I’m excited to see what God will show you this week. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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