Be Still and ListenDuring our quiet time, we may sing praise songs, pray, read Scripture or daily devotions, meditate on God's Word, or simply be still and listen. Quiet Time - Be Still and Listen Quiet time could refer to those precious moments after the kids are in bed, but for Christians, a quiet time is more than that. Quiet time, or devotion time, refers to our daily appointment with God, when we shut out as much outside interference as possible.
The Outer Challenge
But making time for daily devotion is critical to hearing God! If we stop to think about it for a moment, we recognize that we live in enemy-occupied territory, so constructing an ideal spiritual surrounding is nearly impossible.
Quiet time is a goal that sounds simple, but which meets with greater challenges than many physical endurance contests. Satan, our chief opponent, does not want us to spend quiet times with God. Praise God because His plan is greater! Satan is no match for God, but he can trouble God's children, and he does. Then remember who is greater!
The Inner Challenge
Have you ever noticed that when you sit down to read your Bible or pray, your mind begins to wander or you suddenly remember what you needed at the grocery store? Inner "noise" can be just as troublesome as outer noise when it comes to having quiet time with God.
Why Is It Important to have a Quiet Time?
Jesus took time to connect with the Father regularly, as the following Scriptures tell us: "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray'" (Matthew 26:36).
If we fail to understand the importance of having a regular, committed quiet time with God, we are not likely to hear His voice…the one that whispers, "This is the way; walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).
How to find a Quiet Time, Even in a Busy World?
Is being with God a daily priority for you?
If you desire quiet time with God, but find it difficult to attain, try these tips: • Carve out time in your day by writing it into your calendar. How can we possibly find quiet in the midst of loud music, cell phones, 24/7 news channels, or the leaf blower next door? With man it is impossible. If a wandering mind is your hang-up, pray for discipline and then keep lists handy.
Have a list of the people and things you want to pray about. Have a daily Bible reading plan printed out and easy to find. You can find 70 free Bible Reading Plans here and free Bible Studying Reading Methods here. Keep a note pad nearby for those shopping list items and errands that pop to mind. Jot them down and go on with meeting with God. Our God is a God of order. Give Him your wandering mind and your desire for discipline. He will help you find ways to make it work.
Finally, do you desire to hear from God? Are you passionate about wanting His will in your life, above your own? Daily quiet time prepares your heart to listen. But because you've made time with Him a priority and have been willing to shut out the world to hear Him, He will make sure you do.
LISTENING TO GOD
Preparing Your Heart to Hear Him
Listening to God is like listening to anyone-before you can hear Him, you must be ready to listen. Just as in a conversation, you cannot hear the other person if you are talking or if your mind is distracted. So it is with God. If you want to hear Him speak, you must be quiet and you must be focused on what He is saying. Regular conversation with God can transform your life! It's important to identify a place and time to consistently meet with God every day.
Prayer is how you begin a conversation with God. Think of it as saying "hello."
How Can I Hear God?
Do you want to hear God speak to you? Listening to God requires regular Bible reading, since the Bible is the Word of God. King David, author of some of the book of Psalms, gave us a model for meeting with God, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalms 143:8)
How Can I Hear Him? Listening to God requires a deliberate choice to shut out the chaos around you and focus your thoughts. Beginning each day fresh with God is a great reminder that, as the Scripture says, “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is you faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Is God someone you can hear? The Bible says He is, and the Bible is one of the main tools through which He speaks. You can find 70 free Bible Reading Plans here and free Bible Studying Reading Methods here.
Listening to God….
Listening to God requires a heart committed to understand His message. God often speaks to us in visual images. Consider the example of the prophet Habakkuk, in Habakkuk chapter 2. The prophet longed to hear from God! He was so determined that he was willing to stand and wait as long as it took. "I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me…" (Habakkuk 2:1).
Listening to God requires a right attitude in our hearts. In order to listen to God and receive His instruction, we must want to do His will, much as Habakkuk did. God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him. If we are stubbornly clinging to our own desires, we are likely to get a garbled message that will not be God's voice at all. As a result, we are likely to continue pursuing a path that is contrary to the one God has designed for our lives. In order to listen to God and receive His instruction, we must want to do His will.
HEARING GOD'S VOICE
Are You Ready to Listen?
Hearing God's voice is something we all long for, but did you know that it's not hard to do? In fact, God wants you to hear His voice! Hearing the voice of God is as natural as hearing your best friend talk to you. What's more, we can hear Him every day and not just on special occasions or by chanting special incantations. He speaks to us in the natural moments of life. Do you want to hear God's voice? Then you must be ready to listen.
Do You Want to Hear Him?
Why do you want to hear God's voice? That may sound like a silly question, but motives are important in anything we do. The Bible says this about God's Word: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
Do you want to hear God's voice? If you do, it's possible you're hearing Him already, for He may be the one giving you the longing to hear Him.
Hearing God’s Voice in the Bible!
You may hear people say that the Bible is just a book written by men, but the Bible itself claims to be God's Word! Can we rely on it? The evidence of history, archaeology, fulfilled prophecy and personal testimony over thousands of years is overwhelming that the Bible is, indeed, God's Word. Check out Does God Exist here. Do you want to hear God's voice? Then read the Bible. Find a good daily Bible reading plan here, and stick to it and Bible reading and study methods here. The Bible itself declares, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Hearing God’s Voice Through Prayer.
When you want to have a conversation with someone, how do you begin? Do you stand in front of the person and hope they will talk to you? That might work, if the other person is outgoing enough, but usually we begin a conversation by opening our own mouths and talking, engaging the other person's attention. It's the same with God! He loves to hear us talk to Him, and it's in those moments that we prepare ourselves to hear the voice of God.
Prayer is like saying, "Hello, God, it's me. I believe You created me and that You know way more about how I should live my life than I do. I'd like to get to know You better. Here's what's going on in my life, and I'd sure like Your thoughts on how to handle it. Would You please speak to me about this today?"
In an ordinary conversation, we speak, then listen for the response of the other person. It's the same with God! Once we've prepared our hearts to listen through prayer, we're more likely to hear the voice of God. Does He speak to us through an audible voice? Some claim He does, but usually that's not the case. We may not actually "hear" the voice of God, but He speaks to us in many ways.
Here are some of them:
- God speaks through His Word.
- God speaks through our thoughts.
- God speaks through conversations with others.
- God speaks through circumstances.
Hearing God’s Voice through Jesus.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is God in the flesh. Therefore, if you want to hear the voice of God, you must study and know the teachings of Jesus. Here's how John describes Him: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life" (1 John 1:1). You must also have a personal relationship with Jesus. Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation of any depth with a person you did not know? It doesn't usually go very far.
Shortly before He was crucified, Jesus met with His disciples to reassure them of what would happen after He was gone. He promised them a helper: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit, then, is the fulfillment of the way we hear God's voice!
Hearing God’s Voice with help of the Holy Spirit.
"But the Advocate,, 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." (John 14:26). His Spirit, that still, small voice inside you, is the One who will remind you of what God said, and help you recognize God's opportunities in your life.
Hearing God’s Voice
So we have the Bible, prayer, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our own hearts to help us in hearing God's voice. Do you want to hear God's voice? That is the final question, for God responds to willing hearts. In the book of Revelation, we read: "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 that person, and they with me." (Revelation 3:20). God will never force you to obey Him, but waits for your willing response to His call.
Are you hearing His voice right now? Don't let your final answer be the wrong one.
KNOWING GOD'S WILL
Knowing God's Will - Insight from George Muller
When it came to knowing God's will, George Muller (1805-1898), an English evangelist and was remarkably and humbly gifted. A man of faith and prayer, Muller established orphanages in Bristol and founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad. The following are wonderful excerpts from one of his essays.
Knowing God's Will - How to Ascertain the Will of God
Knowing God's will is the key to prayer, spiritual growth and fruitfulness in our individual lives. Here's how George Muller set out to ascertain the will of God on a daily basis:
1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are over come when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
- 2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3. I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
- 5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me.
6. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
Knowing God's Will - The Key to Everything!
Christ taught us that knowing God's will and living in obedience to that will is the key to it all! God is the potter; we are the clay. God keeps us spinning on His potter's wheel, shaping and reshaping us as He bathes our lives in tears to make us more Christ-like so He can use us for His will. Surrender daily. Keep your clay moist through daily prayer - prayer that's in accordance to His will.
A Christian Prayer for being Quite and Listening and Hearing and Knowing God’s Will.
Christian Prayer: A Scriptural Model
A model for Christian prayer is found in the Gospel of Matthew Chap 6. Jesus Christ himself gave all of us a pattern for prayer:
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV).
Christian Prayer: An Interpretation For All Of Us
The model for Christian prayer in Matthew 6 is known as the Lord's Prayer. Many of us have recited this prayer for years, but have never truly meditated on its meaning. The following are spiritual snippets based on the Lord's Prayer that can help deepen your prayer life with God:
"Our Father" - God wants us to approach Him as "Daddy" (Aramaic: Abba). He wants to take care of us and protect us. God desires intimacy. Remember, He has infinite love and grace. God wants us to be secure in His family as adopted children and heirs.
"Which Art in Heaven" -- Look up to God. Fear Him and revere Him. He is all-powerful and can deal with all our problems, even the big ones. But He loves us so much that He doesn't stay up there.
"Hallowed be Thy Name" -- Holy, holy, holy. Approach God with awe and wonder. Save the word "awesome" for God. Live a life that honors Him.
"Thy Kingdom Come" - "Take this job and love it!" Working on behalf of God's kingdom is the ultimate joy. Bloom where you're planted. Do everything as unto the Lord. Find your gifts and use them. Be open to God's leading each day.
"Thy Will Be Done" - God is the potter; we are the clay. God keeps us spinning on His potter's wheel, shaping and reshaping us as He bathes our lives in tears to make us more Christ-like so He can use us for His will. Surrender daily. Keep your clay moist through daily prayer.
"On Earth as it is in Heaven" -- Thy will be done - not my will be done!
"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" - Trust! God will provide for our needs. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me.
"Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors" -- Forgiveness = Surrender. Don't carry your own backpack - surrender it to Him. Revealing the feeling is the beginning of healing. Act as if you have forgiven and the feeling will follow. In our weakness, God sends His strength and peace.
"Lead Us Not Into Temptation" - Watch for unrecognized temptation. Pray, so you won't fall. We are tempted every day. It deepens our walk and strengthens our faith - but be careful of spiritual blindness. Open my eyes, Lord, to my blind spots - use honest friends and family.
"Deliver Us From Evil" -- The Evil One, Satan. We are saved from death to life. Jesus is more powerful than Satan - God is greater!
"For Thine Is the Kingdom (obedience), and the Power (confidence) and the Glory (joy), Forever"-- This is our Father's world. Everything we have is His. He is the ruler!
Recommend you printing out the PDF and keeping a copy in your Bible. Look at it often as a gentle reminder to how to be Quiet and Listen and Hear and Know God’s Will for Yourself.
Questions God. Com - Brian Duncalfe