I love asking Siri questions. I’ve programmed her with an “English accent.” So that when I ask her “why firetrucks are red” she answers me like James Bond’s secretary. I love that she has something to say to me every time.
God has something to say to you. He wants to talk to you. And our biggest question we can ask ourselves when we read this statement is this: Is it me or is it God speaking?
Truth 1: God has a voice. We see the 3rd verse of the Bible when God spoke light into darkness (Genesis 1:3). Not just any voice, but a voice that creates upon command. That be like me saying, “Cheeseburger with swiss cheese, mushrooms, carmalized onions, A1 on bun that’s not so big that the bread overtakes the meat” and instantly my voice created something incredible (...yet another reminder why me being God is a bad idea).
Truth 2: You can hear his voice if you are a follower of Jesus. In the new Testament we read some powerful words, “I am the good shepherd and I know My own and My own know Me. My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me” (John 10:14, 27). So if you are a lover and follower of Jesus, then God has something to say to you.
Truth 3: You hear by the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth, to speak these truths loud and clear (John 14:26; 16:13-15). God wants to speak and He takes initiative in this…we simply have to take the time to listen.
As a son of God, If we can’t hear what He is saying, it’s because our lives are too noisey…not because God isn’t saying anything. I’m a father and I thoroughly enjoy talking to my kids. I want them to know what the right way to act, say and do, to not get hurt, so I’ll tell them every chance I can get. I can’t think of a time when I wouldn’t talk to my children when they asked me for something. My no isn’t “no response” but my no is no. My "yes" is yes. If I act this way as a father, how much more perfect is God who is the perfect father.
So how do we know when God is speaking?
When we read the Bible.
If you don’t read the Scriptures regularly, God won’t speak to you regularly (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Isaiah 55:11). It’s when you have read a verse and even though you have read it before, this time it jumped off the page. You continue reading the chapter but that verse continues to be heard in your head. That’s God. He’s taking his highlighter from heaven and trying to get your attention to stop there and meditate on that verse throughout the day (psalm 1:2).
When we worship God in church.
That lyric from that worship song you have sang a 1000 times is the song you wake up to in your head that you can’t seem to stop singing. It’s when you are worshipping and your emotions seem to rise because of what is being sang. I always say that worship songs are “prayers with notes added to them” so as you are singing and praying, that lyric becomes louder and more obvious than the others. That’s God putting a truth in your heart and speaking a thought to you.
When we are in our community.
That Bible study you are going to can be an amplifier of God’s will to your life. When the truth from the study page from your study hits your heart, when the accountant from the firm downtown suddenly drops wisdom out of nowhere and you suddenly find yourself saying “amen” and you “never" say amen because that’s “not you", when the barista from your local coffee shop shares their testimony of what God has done and their story is relevant to your situation, when your pastor shares a Scripture and message point at church and you felt like “he was speaking directly to me”…those are moments when God is speaking.
When we journal.
I bring a journal with me to my quiet time every time. I will date the top of it and whatever God allows to jump off the page of my Scripture reading…I write it down. I might copy the verse, I might put it into my own verbiage and site the location so I remember it. i might put it into my S.O.A.P. format (Scripture, Observation of what God is saying, Application of what I read to my life, Pray it). I like to think of that blank page as a place where God wants to fill it with His Words. I always allow a time where I say, “God speak to me…” and then I write down whatever comes to my thoughts. I write down whatever picture comes to my thoughts. I write down whatever other verses that God is putting in my head.
When we are still.
Sometimes we come to God with our list and we have been talking the whole time. Ever been in a conversation when the other person was talking the whole time? Yeah, annoying right? We can be that way when we pray sometimes. Stop bringing God your giant list of what you want God to do and what God needs to change and start taking time in your prayer moments by saying this…”God, I’m listening.” I have learned the best way to hear God speak is to ask Him questions. What if you applied the ratio of what you spoke to God in prayer and did the equal amount of listening? Just simply not saying anything but realizing being with God in His presence is actually enough for you?
Keeping this in check: does it line up with God’s word? That’s always the “go-to” for every Christian.
What’s the last thing God spoke to you recently?