“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way,
walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)
Believers frequently ask, “How do I know when God is speaking to me? Is there a way I can be sure I’m hearing God’s voice versus my own inner thoughts? How can I recognize His voice?” Great questions!
Believers devoted to God should make every effort to listen for God’s voice. This involves being spiritually attentive to Him through prayer, fasting and meditating on His Word. We must silence our own voice in order to hear Him speak. This requires eliminating the demanding cry of our soul–our mind (“I need to know!”), our will (“I want it my way and I want it now!”) and our emotions (“I need to feel something!”). God hears our every call (Ps. 91:15) but do we hear Him?
Believers must identify what they expect God to say. This will require spiritual honesty. Are you open to what He may say to you? Many times we only listen for responses from God we want to hear versus what He has on His heart for us. As believers come with their particular issue or request, they must be open to the possibility that God may have a very different agenda. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:33-34
Believers’ desire to be obedient to the Lord will help greatly in hearing God’s voice. The issue many times is not whether God is speaking or whether we are hearing. The real question is, are we willing to obey that which He has already revealed to us–through His Word and through our circumstances? This dilemma may require us to identify intentions that conflict with the godly purpose the Father has designed for our lives. “For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16
Advent is a great time to either discover or rediscover hearing from God. God speaks not only through creation but God speaks directly to each of us through the person of the Holy Spirit. Do not neglect such a great opportunity to commune with God daily.