Perhaps one of the biggest questions Christians have today is, “How do I know the will of God?”
Some believe that they should just wait for an open door (and hope that it is God’s will).
The problem with that philosophy is that not all open doors are necessarily for you to walk through. The Bible even says that “Broad is the way that leads to destruction…” In other words, there is an easy and “open path” that might not be the right path that God has for you.
Without diving into this topic too deeply today, I wanted to share a conversation that I had with one of my kids (a teenager) this morning.
My child wanted permission to do something. Because I wanted to give him more responsibility in the decision-making process, I replied: “Your Dad and I are not always going to be around to tell you what to do. You need to begin to exercise your ability to hear. In order to follow Him, you have to know how He is leading.”
This child then expressed that it is difficult to always know what God is saying. I encouraged him to read his Bible and to listen to what God is saying. I also told him this important truth: “If you want to hear from God, then you need to be ready to obey Him immediately and fully.”
I share this because I wonder how many times we, as adults, have struggled over what we are to do next, and the issue is not with God’s desire to speak with us. The issue is with our desire to actually listen and obey Him. Let me repeat that.
The issue is with our desire to actually listen and obey Him.
Sometimes, that next thing we are to obey is to repent of a wrong heart attitude on our part or to release forgiveness to someone else.
Repentance and forgiveness are two important keys to unlocking our ability to hear.
Sometimes, it’s repenting of a lie that we have come into agreement with that is blocking our ability to hear. So often lies about God will cause us to not listen because we are afraid of His answer.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
We can give “lip service” to wanting to know God’s will, but if we are afraid of His answer, the reality is that we often are not actually asking Him. We are merely hiding behind suggestions and pretensions.
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[a]”
The issue with not hearing God’s voice is a matter of our willingness to even hear.
Our willingness to hear is often connected with our trust in God. Trust in God is always connected to the truth of our understanding of the heart and character of God. If our view of God is twisted in any way, our trust will be affected.
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hearing from God is about our willingness and yieldedness to Him. It is not about some “magical formula” for hearing. Let me repeat that.
Hearing from God is about our willingness and yieldedness to Him.
The Word of God will always give you the foundation for hearing because it will help you to recognize the voice and tone of God. Sometimes, the voices we thought were God were other people falsely misrepresenting God to us. Sometimes, the voices we have heard are from the enemy of our soul, and sometimes, the voices we have heard are from our own destructive self-talk.
Ultimately, hearing from God is about relationship with God first and foremost.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: