How do you hear from God?

This piece appeared first on Everyday Exiles. The words are my own.

How do you hear from God? For me, the answer changes frequently; it seems every time I hear, it’s a little different. Sometimes, I need confirmation from another person that I didn’t just make something up in my head. I don’t get a burning bush or a pillar of fire, or any other kind of fire, and I also wouldn’t say I hear the thundering, or even slightly audible, voice of God… so how am I supposed to know it’s really Him?

There are many examples in the Scriptures to support the fact that we can (and should, and will!) hear God speak, but sometimes, I wonder if the “wonder” (yes, that was on purpose) is lost on us, because we aren’t used to listening. Is it somehow, some way, our fault that we don’t hear from Him? Is the crux of the issue that He isn’t speaking, or that we aren’t listening?

It’s easy to get the thought into our heads that God only speaks to those who are “worthy” – whatever that means – or those who are following Him more closely, doing His will more completely, or building His kingdom with bigger bricks than we are. We let the idea that He’d have anything to say to little ol’ us pass by completely, instead of remembering that He loves us, too. He wants to impart His knowledge and love to us, too. His ways are higher than ours, and far past our understanding, and so it does make a little bit of sense that we can’t comprehend why He’d stoop down and speak directly to us, but let us not think that this is some excuse to not listen.

When we desire to hear God speak, I believe we will. But we have to keep listening, keep talking to Him, keep searching for the ways we might hear from Him, because He’s the most creative Being there’s even been. That means whatever box we put Him in, or way we expect Him to communicate probably isn’t the only one He’ll use. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that Scripture is God-breathed. HE SAID IT. TO US. Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that His word is living and active! That means it brings the very words of God straight to us. Need to hear Him speak? Open your Bible and dig in. I believe God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Spirit in other believers. As John 14:26 tells us, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” What clearer confirmation of hearing from God do we need? That sentence (spoken by Jesus, by the way) wasn’t just meant for a select few. The Father sent the Helper to ALL OF US who believe, not just those of us who are better at doing things right.

So what I encourage you to do is this: listen. Be expectant. Ask Him to speak. Tune your heart to His. Be still, and listen. You may be surprised how much you hear.