Today I want to talk about all the different ways we can hear from God. Let me start out by saying that God is speaking all the time and each of us has the ability to hear from Him. God designed each of us uniquely so the way I hear Him, might not look the same as the way you hear Him, but it is in our DNA to know God and hear from the One who created us.
When I started writing this post, Malea (8), saw the title and said, “That’s the same title as the book I wrote!”. I had completely forgotten about it but when she said that, it made me take a look back at it, and I want to start this post with a quote from her book.
If you don’t feel like God is there, or that He is far from you, that is wrong. He is actually always right by your side! He is always there for you and He is always listening to your prayers, even when it doesn’t feel like it. ” – Malea Moseley
I know a lot of people who don’t think they hear from the Lord. It’s easy to think you aren’t hearing from Him because you don’t hear him audibly, or in words, but today I want to challenge you to not get stuck on the language, that we will “hear” Him, like you hear a friend talking to you.
Most of the time you won’t hear what God is saying with your ears, or with words. A good friend of mine used to lead the children’s ministry at our church and I love how she taught the kids about hearing God. Instead of focusing on needing to “hear” Him with words, she calls it more of an “encounter”. She would tell the kids, “The Lord is going to encounter us right now and He’s going to give you a word, a picture or a feeling.”
Rather than limiting ourselves to just “hearing” God, let’s shift our perspective from wanting to “hear” God, to say we want to “encounter” Him. If we get stuck on needing to “hear” Him with words, then we are limiting Him and putting Him in a box that’s the size of our understanding.
God is a creative God and often times He is so much bigger than just words.
Remember the friends I reached out to at the beginning of this series? Here’s a list of some of the ways they mentioned they encounter the Lord –
- Voice in my mind
- Feelings in my body (like the feeling of Peace)
- Symbols or signs throughout my day
- Other people
- Peace (the still small voice)
- Audible voice
With the exception of hearing God with an audible voice, I hear God in all these ways and more. Something else I’d add to this list – because it’s one of my favorites – is encountering the Lord through nature. He is such a creative God and I love seeing Him in the beauty all around me.
The day we closed escrow on our house, we came over to swim in the pool after work, and as the sun started to set over the mountains, the Lord colored the sky with the most incredible sunset. As I looked up at the sunset I felt like God was wrapping His arms around me and confirming that He gave us this house for a reason. While I watched the sun set, it was almost as if I could hear Him saying, “I know you love sunsets so I gave you this view to be able to watch the sun set every evening.” In that moment I felt so loved, and so seen by my Father. I never heard any words but I still remember the feeling and the encounter I had with Him that evening, as if it were yesterday.
I had a friend in high school that prayed every day that God would speak to him in an audible voice. I remember him being so hung up on wanting to hear God audibly that he missed so many opportunities to see how God was really speaking to him. We have to get it out of our minds that God is going to speak to us the way we expect Him to.
God doesn’t want to be limited to what we know, He wants to blow our minds, expand our horizons and have an encounter with us.
I had originally titled this post “No Expectations” and even though I didn’t feel like that was the best title, so I changed it, I still feel like it’s an important point to make. If we truly want to encounter the Living God, our Creator, we can’t put expectations on Him. Sometimes God’s voice will sound like thunder (Exodus 19:19), sometimes it will sound like a gentle voice (1 Kings 19:12-13), sometimes it might even look like a sunset.
God is speaking all the time and He truly wants an encounter with you. We just need to tune in; will you be “listening”?