How To Listen To God

How To Listen To God
By Leann Albrecht

I think the first step in listening to God is to understand how much He loves you and desires a relationship with you. He delights in your conversation. He not only likes to hear your prayers, He wants to be able to respond to you and longs for your intimate friendship.

John 15: 13-15 Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command, I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

That revelation changed everything for me. He was calling me His friend! Soon I became comfortable with Him, and began having intimate conversations with Him day and night. The more we talked, the more I fell in love with Him. My heart awakened to His kindness. Time and time again He showed me His unconditional acceptance and how He didn’t measure me according to my past but according to who I am in Him

My greatest joy came from spending hours just sitting in His presence. Even though I couldn’t see Him, I felt Him next to me. Before that time, I had no idea I was so loved. His love was radical! As I opened my heart to Him, He filled me with His Spirit. Then He began to teach me His ways and reveal His thoughts to me.

Amos 4:13 He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name.

I soon realized…. the Lord was not only speaking to me; He wants to speak to every one who takes the time to listen to Him. Every Christian can hear the voice of the Lord. Our greatest enemy is the lack of time and quieting our mind from the distractions that steal our attentions.
Psalm 25:14 The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

I am no different from anyone else who struggles with finding the time to meet with the Lord. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of putting it on the calendar like I did Monday of this week. I set aside the entire afternoon for a personal retreat with Jesus. I made a date with Him and by one o’clock we were off to the park by the lake. I packed my Bible, a journal, a blanket, a pillow and a bottle of water. Excitement rose as I neared my favorite spot in the shade along the waters edge.

When I sat down I asked Him what I was to do first. He said, “Just lie down and look at the sky through the tree tops.” So I did. Rest and peace overwhelmed me while listening to the wind move through the branches and the cicadas whirring in stereo. As the rays of sun broke through the leaves, I was reminded that summer was still here. I was glad for the bottle of water next to me.

Tears rolled down my face. The feeling of happiness overtook me as I expelled short sobs of relief. Jesus was already washing away the stress that lined my soul. Finally I was alone with Him – with no watch on my wrist and no schedule for the rest of the day. Our date was open ended and I could stay with Him as long as I wanted. My husband, Carl, was away having his own day with the Lord.

First, the Lord wanted me to journal some of my recent dreams. I finished writing and then waited. Soon he began to speak and brought revelation to what they meant. Then He said, “Read the entire book of Galatians.” Wow…what a dose of truth about God’s grace that was! I think I underlined every line as He brought greater understanding to Paul’s words.

It’s beautiful how the Lord speaks to us in a way that we can understand. For instance, anyone who knows me well, knows how I “glaze over” if there are too many details or bunny trails in a story. I like the “facts,” the “bottom line,” or “to the point” details. So when God speaks to me, He usually gives me short answers. If I need more details to complete my question, I will ask it. I love how precise and accurate He is! He cares about every specific detail of our life!

By the time the sun was setting in the sky, my stomach was calling me home for dinner. Even though my body was craving food, my spirit was brimming and content. As I walked back to the car, I smiled. My soul had feasted deeply in His presence and fellowship with Jesus satisfied my deepest longings. What an incredible day!

Listening to the Lord requires exercising your “spiritual ears.” Linger in quietness to hear Him speak. Listen with your Spirit, not with your mind. At some point, stop your flow of words and simply listen. Let Him speak with words of love and encouragement, wisdom and knowledge, instruction and direction. We will never hear Him if our mouth is constantly moving. It’s like any other conversation. In order to listen, it is necessary to stop talking.

In times of waiting on Him, I don’t pray, sing or study. I simply wait in silence. If you don’t hear anything the first time, try again. Don’t give up. Your spiritual ears have to be trained to hear. God speaks Spirit to spirit. He can also speak through His Word or through other people but He will always speak directly to you. Train your heart to listen to His voice.

He is waiting to commune with us. Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

The more we wait on Him, the better we know Him and the more finely tuned we become to His voice. Give God space in your life and He will come and respond to you. Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

As you learn to discern His voice, remember that the Lord will never say anything that contradicts His Word. If you’re not sure that you heard Him correctly, ask Him for confirmation of what He said. Or, ask a mature and trusted Christian to help you discern His voice. If it was His voice speaking to you, He will confirm it. It will resonate in your spirit and feel like warm honey flowing over your heart.

Isaiah 7:10-12 NLT Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.” He understands the process of learning and will help you. John 14:26 NIV But the Counselor, 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.

So…don’t be afraid, He is waiting for you. Make a date with Jesus and see how it will change your life!

Portions of this article are from the chapter “Friendship With God “taken from my book “Screaming on the Inside”.      Buy Online

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Comments

  1. Wow! This article is so encouraging, Leann! It makes me desire to carve out time to “hang” with the Lord more. What a reward is ours for being deliberate with our time! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jeni Squiric says

    Leann:

    Thank you so much for being a true disciple of our Lord. I actually am printing this off and distributing to others. At church yesterday, I had a lady (who has been dealing with some pretty horrific happenings in her life lately) ask me how to Listen and Hear God…I shared your article with her! Thank you so much for writing this great ministry tool!

    Hope to see you soon at the Well!

    With God’s Love and Grace,
    Jeni Squiric
    Columbus

    • Jeni….that is GREAT! I am so thankful these thoughts hearing the voice of the Lord are helping others. Please feel free to share them as much as you want. BTW…I heard you and Katie did a fabulous job promoting my book at the conference. Thank you! If you ever want write a review, I would be happy to post it.
      Many blessings to you.

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