Just as couples regularly com-municate with each other, God desires to be in constant com-munication with His people. He has a lot that He wants to share with us and we must be willing to take the time to listen. Developing a listening ear to hear what God has to say will change our lives when we follow what He tells us to do.
There are several ways to develop and maintain a listening ear to hear what God has to say:
Develop your “inner man”
What is your “inner man?” It is the spirit within you that connects to God. It is the part of you that is “born again” or revived after you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Reading the Bible, meditating on the scriptures, and worship contribute to the growth of your inner man. This growth process helps you to become a stronger believer and more willing to rely on God to direct you.
Prayer, Praise and Worship
We usually use our prayer time to ask God for things that we want and then get up and walk away without waiting for a response from Him. While the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 (NIV) that we are to “present our requests to God,” We should also build in time for praise and worship simply because of the fact that God is worthy of our praise (Psalm 145:3). Many times it is following this prayer time that we hear from God and receive clarity on what to do in certain situations. Praise and worship help to give us a strong confidence that God will answer our prayers, even though it may be awhile before we see the answer.
Get rid of any unconfessed sin or unforgiveness
David said in Psalm 66:18 (NLT), If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. In these cases, the Lord will always speak to us about any unconfessed sin or unforgiveness issues in our lives before we can move forward.
Develop the discipline of stillness
Get quiet before the Lord. You won’t develop a “hearing ear” on the run. Find a place where there is privacy and no distractions. God may not always speak to you immediately after you ask Him to, but rest assured, He will speak to you in His appointed time. The Bible says in Psalm 34:15 that, The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers. We must realize that God has the right not to speak. Sometimes, a “no” or a silent response is God’s way of saying, “Continue to walk on this path until I am ready to change your course.” He may tell you this through a minister, a stranger, a friend, the words of a song, a thought from a book or anything else.
Some people believe that God only speaks those who are called into full-time ministry. But in reality, God speaks to all of us, regardless of our walk in life. Throughout the Bible we see that God spoke to His people and they heard what He had to tell them. We are part of the New Testament Church and that means that God is still speaking to us today and we can hear His voice! It is important that we have a desire to deepen our relationship with God. The success of our Christian walk depends on our ability to hear God’s voice and make a decision to do what He tells us to do.