Session 1: Am I READY to Hear God’s Voice?
How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture
How can we really know when God is speaking to us? Before digging into God’s Word, it’s important to prepare our hearts and minds. In this session, Chip will teach us how to develop the proper attitude so that we can hear God speak.
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Welcome to the online course, How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. All of us probably have a friend or met someone who said, “Wow, God really spoke to me and He let me know that I really need to be dating so and so” or “He spoke to me about one of my kids” or “You know, the Lord clearly directed me to a new job.” I don’t know about you, but I long for God to speak to me. How does that work? How do you really hear God’s voice in scripture and, honestly, how do you know when it’s really God speaking?
I ask myself probably four or five questions on a regular basis to connect my heart with God, my mind with God, and to really hear Him. The first question I ask is “am I really ready to hear God’s voice?” At the heart of hearing God’s voice is we’ve got to pull the lens back of “why am I even meeting with God?” What the scripture says is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” What I want to do is I want to ask myself “Do I want to have an ooey, gooey, warm kind of spiritual experience or do I really want to hear God’s voice?” I literally pause and I ask “Okay, am I ready to hear God’s voice?”
Every morning I get up pretty early, so the stars are still out and I go out and I look at all of those stars. You know what I remember? God spoke the world into existence. Then I go where I have a little place where I personally meet with God and I’ve got my Bible and I’ve got my coffee. I quiet my heart and then I say, “Okay, Lord. You are the living Word. I’m not coming to some book, I’m not just going to pull a verse out of here or there, but I want my heart ready. I want to be surrendered to whatever you want to say to me. I want to hear your voice, but I want to hear your voice with a sense of reverence for your Word. You spoke the world into existence.” Then I think, “Jesus, you’re the Logos. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and all things came into being through you.”
Then I have this sense and I want you to get this. We need to have a reverence for the Word of God. This isn’t just a book, this isn’t just going through the motions. I want to have a sense that, as I hold this, this is the living Word of God. “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joint and marrow. Able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” What I really want to ask myself is am I really ready to love God by hearing His Word and submit to it?
One of the things that has helped me the most is looking back through scripture and seeing that the men of God and the women of God, when God speaks, they have this reverence for His Word. Jeremiah would say, “Thy Word was found and I ate it and it became the joy and the delight of my heart for I’d been called by your name, oh, Lord.” David would say, “If your Word had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” All I want you to do, as we start, is not think “okay, is there a little trick? Do I read through the Bible and I’m going to hear God’s voice?” I want you to understand you prepare your heart.
Second, we have to prepare our mind. There are two ways that we read the Bible. One is we need to study the scriptures, we need to know the framework. Right? There are key doctrines, books were written, they all come together, so there’s a bit of an academic way. Let me give you an example. I want to study the book of John, so I want to read all of the book of John. I did, I read all 21 chapters. Then I decided how do I remember what’s in each chapter? I wanted to get a framework of this is what John teaches. There’s seven interviews, there’s seven miracles. The purpose of the book is that we might believe. All I want you to know, all scripture, right, is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
When we come to the scriptures, we always want to remember that there’s a bigger framework, but what you and I are talking about today is I imagine a heart inside that framework and it’s Jesus saying, “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I’ll refresh you. Take my yoke upon you. Learn from me.” When I hear His voice, when I hear the whisper, when sometimes we talk about it seems like the scriptures come off the page, when the spirit of God takes the written Word and makes it the living Word and He’s speaking directly to me, I always want to check that with the doctrine and the bigger picture.
As we begin, here’s what I want to ask you. When you come to the scripture, are you ready to hear His voice, are you living in submission to it, do you have a sense of reverence, or are you just looking for sort of a spiritual high? Second, whenever God speaks to me – this is very, very important – I’m not going to grab a verse here, it’s not something out of a devotional over here, I’m going to take the whisper of the spirit of God as I’m in His Word and I always measure it against my study of God’s Word. Does that make sense?
Now, here’s what I want you to know. As we go through this process together, God longs to speak, and this is a sobering moment, but He doesn’t speak to people who are not ready or willing to hear. Jesus said, “They hear, but they don’t perceive. They listen, but they don’t get it because their hearts are hard.” So the very first step is saying, “Lord, I’m here to learn.” In our next time together, I want to teach you how to know for sure whether it’s God speaking to you or not. We’re going to have a great time together and thanks for joining me.