But, you see, I’ve come to the place when I know He is talking to me. I mean, I’ve come to a place (though His teaching and my humility) that I can discern when He is speaking, probably about 88.7% of the time. I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you where I have come with Christ.
If I tell people that I hear God, I usually get a few responses:
“He doesn’t do that with me.”
“How do you knooooowww it’s Him?”
Or I don’t get a response, but more of a look. A look like, “Wait. You hear Him?” or, more of an inquisitive look like someone is trying to read more on my face than what is coming out of my mouth. Sometimes I get the “Yeah, right.” look. I don’t like those people so I give them the stink eye back.
Knowing His voice and His will for us.
How did I get here? Funny you should ask.
Time. Years. Months. Days. Hours. Minutes. Days. Days. Days. I’m not saying it takes years to hear the Father. I’m saying it takes building a relationship and knowing the Word of God. That takes time.
Study. I not only studied the Bible, but I read books on prayer and, more importantly, the Holy Spirit. A good one to read is by Andrew Murray, The Indwelling Spirit. If you know me, you’re not surprised that I mention him…again.
Quiet. It takes a settling of the mind. A turning in to the belief that you have the Holy Spirit of God in you. In that quietness, you will pave the way to knowing when He is speaking to you and when you are having a conversation with yourself. (On that note. Sometimes, a rational conversation with what seems to be yourself, is probably the Holy Spirit. I’ll often ask myself, “Could I have thought of that or ministered to myself in that way?” Usually, when the answer if no, then the Holy Spirit is speaking.)(Sometimes talking to yourself is just that. And that’s cool. I do that all the time. “Where are my keys?” I ask. “I don’t know,” I say. “Dang,” we say together.)
Faith. These things are in faith. Faith. F A I T H. Not feeling. Not even understanding, nor knowledge. Faith. Something I learned was that faith didn’t always equal a feeling that went along with it; nor did a feeling mean I was full of faith. Faith is a “yes” to what God says regardless of how we feel about it, or how we feel period. Yes, there are emotions, thank God, and yes, the Spirit of God produces emotions in us, but He resides in our spirit, in the deep, unseen spiritual places where emotion is only a by-product, not a litmus test. He lives and dwells in the mystery, so waiting for your emotions to prove that is not faith. I had to learn to trust that He was doing His work, and then I could trust that I would have those things promised.
Are you willing to take God at His word when He says:
You have the mind of Christ? (1 Cor. 2:16)
Or, that you can know His will? (Rom 12:2)
Or that you can walk in step with the Spirit? (Gal. 5:25)
Or that the Spirit of Christ dwells in you reminding you of all Christ taught? (John 14:26)
Or that He is the Counselor, counseling you in wisdom and truth? (John 14:26, John 16:13)
Or that you have Him because you believed, not because you obey the law? (Gal. 3:5)
Or that you can live by the Spirit and not be full of sin? (Gal. 5:16).
Or that you have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know God better? (Eph.1:17).
These four things cultivated a heart, mind and spirit in me that can hear and receive Word from God. I will say this, my primary knowledge of God’s will and His heart and what His requirements are of me and the Church come from His Word. The Holy Spirit cannot do His work within our lack of knowledge of the Word of God. Nor will the Word of God be able to do the penetrating work of change and power in us without the Holy Spirit.
I would challenge you to explore these four things for yourself. Add journaling in there, for sure.
Through this, you will find that you are less worried about your future, more comfortable in your own skin, sure of your purpose, and happy in your relationship with God.