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Online Course

Session 2: Am I WILLING to Hear God’s Voice?

How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture

We’ve all experienced dry seasons when reading Scripture and reading the Bible lacked power. In this session, we’ll explore what causes God’s Word to come alive and the steps we need to take to experience God’s voice.

Welcome to Session Two of How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. In our last time together we talked about “am I ready, am I really ready to hear God’s voice?” Now I want to talk about if am I willing to hear God’s voice. This may be one of the most important sessions from my perspective. If you and I could only maybe have five or ten minutes to ever spend with one another, this is what I would share with you about really hearing God’s voice.

We all have seasons when we’re reading through the Bible and God speaks to us and a verse comes alive and we sense we’re in this rhythm. And I think everyone kind of has some times where I’m reading, I’m getting nothing, you know? It’s just like “It’s just words, just words off a page.” And then I’m not very motivated and then I don’t want to do it much anymore, and I ask myself “what is it? What is the key that causes God’s Word to come alive?”

I want to suggest that Jesus gave it to us. If you have a Bible, turn to Luke 8. This, I think, is the most important teaching of Jesus about His Word in all of scripture. In fact, he’s going to tell His disciples “if you don’t understand this parable”, are you ready, “you cannot understand any of the others.” You’re going to get to read this on your own, but here’s the story. Jesus is teaching and He gives a parable and He says “the son of man is like a sower who seeds the Word of God. The seed of God’s Word falls on four different paths. The birds pick up one path, and on the second path it begins to grow up but the soil is shallow. On the third path it begins to grow up but the thorns come and choke it out, and on the fourth path it falls into good soil and it grows and multiplies 30, 60, 100 times.”

The disciples come to Jesus and at the end of it. He has this great line, if you can imagine being there, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” In other words, you’re supposed to understand this. I mean, there’s a huge spiritual principle here. I love the disciples. They say, “Uh, excuse me Lord, could you maybe go over that one again with us?” Then the text is so critical. He says to you “it has been granted to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.”

Then He’s going to explain the hard soil is a picture of people’s hearts that are hard and as a believer your heart can be hard and you know what? God’s Word goes, the devil takes it away. You never even hear. Second, a heart is shallow. In other words, God wants to speak but He says something to you but you’re kind of shallow, as soon as persecution comes, as soon as it gets hard, we bail out so God doesn’t speak. The third is God wants to speak and people are responding because each one of these soils is the condition of our heart, and so pretty soon we’re responding. We’re responding and then it gets choked out, and He says it gets choked out by the worries and concerns of the world and by money and materialism.

Then He says there’s a fourth condition of the heart, this is the man or the woman … Let me read it. In fact, follow along. It says “And the seed in the good ground,” Verse 15, “These are the ones who have heard the Word in an honest and good heart and hold it fast and bear fruit”, notice, “with perseverance.” He goes on to say then that this truth that you receive, we’re opening ourselves, am I willing to hear God’s voice? Here’s then what He says, “Be careful how you listen,” because if you respond to the Word to the truth with the light that He gives you, He’ll give you more light, but if we don’t respond to the light that God gives us, even the light we have will be taken away.

Now just stay with me and skip down now to Verse 19. Right out of this it says, “And His mother and His brothers came to Him and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside wishing to see you.’” Listen to what Jesus says, “But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it.’” When you sense that God’s really not speaking, in large measure what I ask myself is “am I really willing to hear?” In other words, obedience.

Write this down, will you? My relationship to the Word will determine my relationship to the Lord. Family relationship, can you imagine Jesus, this is His mother, this is His brother, and they’re crowding and they want to see Him and He turns to His disciples and He says, “Family relationship, deep connection, hearing God’s voice, intimacy, it’s about obedience to God’s Word.”

Let me just give you a practical application here, when I’m reading through the Bible on a regular basis and, candidly, I don’t feel like God’s speaking to me, and it’s not always true, but I ask myself what’s wrong. Then one of the things I do is almost to an extreme, “Lord, I don’t know exactly what you’re going to say but if there’s a promise here or there’s a command, I’m going to apply this somehow.” I mean it, I’m going to apply this somehow.

Recently, I was reading and it was talking about having purity of mind and your heart and so I write down stuff in my journal, “Deliver me I ask from my encumbrance of TV. It’s my default.” I mean, some people when you get tired, you eat. Some people struggle with logging on to stuff. For me, I’ll watch a football game. I don’t watch bad stuff, but it’s just a distraction. I’m watching too much of it.

As God spoke to me and I addressed that and I wrote it down and I put a little box in my journal, then the next day as I read God’s Word, here’s what I know: when I respond to the truth, God opens His Word to me. So here’s my question, “where has God been speaking to you?” If you find that sort of the truth is bouncing off like BBs of your soul, you know, just like tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, that it doesn’t go deep and you’re not hearing Him and you’re not responding? Let me encourage you. Say “Lord, speak to me. Is there an area you want me to obey?” As you respond to the truth, God will always give you more truth.

Are you willing to hear God’s voice? Here’s what I can tell you, if you’re willing, He will speak.

 

 

 

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57 comments on “Session 2: Am I WILLING to Hear God’s Voice?

  1. I am in a difficult season in ministry. I am seeking God’s guidance often and deep into his word everyday. I am praying, journaling, reading, and now doing this study, in hopes that his voice is heard over the noise and chaos.

  2. In order to keep my heart good I must died continuously. If I want to bear fruit it comes from obedience and surrender; being eager to respond as well as committed to work with God and allowing Him to change me.

  3. Made me realize that I spend time in God’s word so that I can say I did it and then be on to the other things I want to do. I might even read a commentary or two on what I read and learn something, but actually having God speak to me, doesn’t seem to happen much. Even though I want to have God speak to me from His word, I realized I don’t whole heartedly give myself to it. I need to love God more and self less.

  4. This session made me realise I have been deceived into thinking I’m doing OK when in actual fact I have a thorny heart. I have been so distracted by life that I have been fitting Jesus in when I can, instead of making Him my first priority.

  5. This session really made me stop and evaluate my heart condition. My relationship with the Word is directly proportional with my relationship to my Lord. I am a doer. It is hard for me to “be still and know that I am God.” I am not a good communicator, with my wife or my Lord. I really need to listen more and maybe not do so much. Lord I ask you to help me prioritize being with you more than doing for you.

  6. I think this session caused me to see we need to be obedient to the word. Not just read it but obey it and let it change us. To allow the word to become truth over lies I may be believing from the enemy. To walk and live it out in my life with His help.

  7. I have had to face the fact that I spend way too much time playing on the computer when I could be reading the word. If I spent more time in the word, God would speak to me more clearly. He has touched my life personally several times and I should be more aware of how close he always is.

  8. I learnt that there is no burning bridges with the Lord, when challenges arrive, He helps me go through them victoriously but I can fail if I do it my own way, accept distractions, neglect my time with Him and am no longer grounded in the only thing that actually helps me grow, Jesus. Awesome reminderto be bold and face whatever scares me.

  9. It helped me to self evaluate my heart. God has probably been speaking to me all along I am just not spiritually mature enough to hear it.

  10. It showed me the condition of my heart right now – the”thorns” that are choking out the Word of God and preventing me to hear His voice. The Lord showed me how to respond by focusing on the attributes of Jesus. He is Provider, He is faithful, He sees me and my needs. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Phil 4:13). I am asking the Lord to help me fix my thoughts on Him (Heb 3:1).

  11. I need to do a better job getting in God’s word without distractions. I rise early in the morning to have my QT before getting the kids up for school and getting ready for work. Often I’m too tired or rushed to complete it, and it’s not as impactful and I don’t hear God’s voice. I realize that I need to go to bed earlier so that I’m fully rested. This means to eliminate all the distractions that keep me from getting to bed on time. This will help me to be ready to hear from God when I get up in the morning to have my QT.

    #eliminatedistractions

  12. With a lot of soul searching I have come to the conclusion that I am scared to really listen to Gods word because I am weak and afraid that I can not be obedient. It is so hard to explain but it is such a challenge to have this desire to grow my faith but at the same time continue having a strong relationship with my spouse who does not share this faith with me. The devil knows this and worms his way into my marriage all the time. I am scared that if I really make God #1 in my life I will lose my husband. My faith is strong but yet it is also weak. I am listening to these videos and really taking them seriously but I have not yet been able to open the bible. I cant answer the question yet of being truly willing to listen. I will keep asking for Gods help.

  13. I believe my soil is good but in the last week, temporal circumstances have caused a rock slide. These “rocks” will remain for another week but now I’m determined not a distraction from my daily time with my precious Lord.

  14. I always thought I wanted to obey God’s Word. I always thought I was ready and willing to hear, but something is wrong because I’m not hearing, and I used to hear God clearly.

    I’m afraid of what kind of soil my heart might be, probably not good soil, and if so, I’m lost as to how to fix a heart whose soil has gone bad due to hurt, and trials of life. Lord, help me.

  15. It makes me realize when I’m reading God’s word that it is God’s word and I need to try and understand and follow it

  16. This was a really tough session for me and I had to read and digest it several times. At one point I thought I would just skip this one altogether. But early this morning before the sun rose, I git up and read some of your comments and then read the passages again. Can I take this moment to say thank you to each of you? Chip and his staff for creating this series but also to all of you that are willing to share what you have gone thru, are dealing with and where your heart is. Thank you!
    I have always been terrified that my heart/soul/ mind would not be able to hold onto Gods Word. I have been terrified that I would somehow fail at all this. I did not grow up a follower,and came to know Christ late in life. I have always judged myself a little harshly for that. I have had a hardened heart, I have had rocky ground, I have given up and I can even say that I have turned my back…but that was all before Christ intervened in my life. At the start of this lesson I found myself rooted in all that fear again, but as I sat in the discomfort and faced those fears, acknowledged that feeling of “less tha” a thought occurred to me: the good works He has begun in me, He will continue til completion.”
    The Lord has claimed me, as He has you. He is taking my rocky, shallow, easy to quit heart and changing it. He promises that if I seek, I will find. So it’s not my perfection, it is His! Those fears and harsh judgements are not from Him, they are from my own making, from me allowing the enemy to create doubt.
    All I have to do is recall what our Lord has accomplished in His Life, on the cross, in the grave, and in His Resserection….and what He has done in my life…(amazing! Grace and mercy-filled!) and in that Truth and Knowledge, I am assured He continues His good works in me. ❤️

  17. I am so blessed and thankful for this teaching. I already do a lot of the things that Chip is teaching. However, he gave me a structured format that I can use to not only stretch my faith in hearing God’s Word but also systematically incorporate the 2PPro-App method he is using. I look forward to putting this method into practice and sharing it with others in bible study.

  18. I need to keep going back to God’s word and listen to what He is saying when I allow the world to draw me away and bring me down! That just happened to me and coming back to Scripture strengthened me.

  19. I can relate to v14. I hear the word but it gets choked out by the worries of life. I will do better at keeping Gods word constantly in my thoughts so I can push the worries out

  20. Reminds me to always pray that God will prepare my heart when I dig into His Word, and clarify any rocky or thorny obstacles that may dull His will or prevent His will from being fulfilled in my life.

  21. I find without distraction, I am elated to be in God’s presence. However, like you mentioned there are various simply distractions and the distractions take away what I know in my heart and mind I should be applying myself to-and one is spending more time in the Word.

    Thank you…I greatly appreciate the gentle wisdom in hearing from God.

  22. As a Sister in Christ, I realize in my Flesh, it is at time hard to follow Jesus. Recently, I have been asking God to give me a heart of flesh. In my weakness, I have be broken in heart by other Christians. These are continually in my prayer.
    As I read of the soil, I continue to share Jesus to others while trying to keep my heart focused on HIM. It has been tough but He is showing that He alone can humble me. In forgiveness, He is with me.

  23. This session taught me that in order to really hear God’s word, I needed to take the time to hear it; without the distractions, that I let get in the way.

  24. Wow – this session is eye opening for me! As I reflect on the past and where my heart has been I see areas of my life that were ever so challenging but even so God saw me thru even during the times I felt so defeated. I see that I need to always put my trust in Him and keep my heart open to Him even when life situations seem against me. And remind myself it’s in His time not mine!

  25. Keeping Jesus as the constant focus is the key. I have choices I need to make to say no to the flesh and persevere in the seasons of life even when I don’t feel like it. The insight that the Holy Spirit gave was humility is the key and that choices are with me to allow the Word of God to be heard ( unlike the hard path) , to be retained ( unlike the rock one) and to persevere against the storms and pleasures of life ( unlike the Thorny one).

    The Holy Spirit reveals and enjoying Him now is the key.

  26. I don’t know how to study Gods Word. I know that I read every morning for about 30 minutes before getting ready for work but I don’t feel like that is studying. I pray God will teach me to really STUDY

  27. I need to check my heart to make sure that it is on good soil. Seek God to see if any sin is in my life that will keep me from hearing God speak and then to take the time to really listen to what God is saying.

  28. I was in tears while doing this session because there is an area in my life in which I am refusing to obey God. The past few decades have proven that obeying Him in that area just results in me being hurt by others and God seldom intervenes to protect or vindicate me. I couldn’t properly answer the last two questions because of this stalemate position.

    Then I had an insight and some might argue that this is not a great way to respond. Since I couldn’t wholeheartedly switch camps back to full obedience because I feared the same results as previously, I decided to take it one day at a time and see if God would come through for me. And He has, every day. I feel that I am moving back towards wholehearted obedience in this area of my life.

  29. My faith and belief are there. My obedience isn’t. I need to grow my roots and do what the Lord asks of me – despite my enemy; myself.

    How will I survive and be able to visit family if I don’t work my butt off. Why do I continue to let the effects of alcoholism affect my responses and attitude. Why do I continue to shut down and instead be the me God knows I am: HIS!

    STAY in the word Daily. Obey Him. Trust Him. AND He will make a Way.

    “Don’t let satan win!” (he doesn’t deserve a capital S)

  30. It helped me see how my life has been thru all the different phases of sowing and that NOW I finally believe my Heart is good soil ready tobeused by the Master’s Hand. Amen

  31. This made me realize that God speaking is a matter of my heart. I need to assess where my heart is at when I read the Word. Do I bear fruit with perseverance?

  32. So easy to get distracted and fall into a routine. God is showing me I need to be intentional about my time with Him, and to be aware of Him all throughout the day.

  33. All of the steps that are needed for me to enhance my relationship with hearing God’s Word and being more faithful and obedient are attainable and realistic. This is a big encouragement to me because this closer walk and lifestyle is what both God and I want.

  34. The Lord had to clean up, my soil and fertilize before I was able to recieve and have the word become apart of me…still must be mindful of the enemy wanting to steal it, rocks that may rise or fall , and weeds that have away of popping up again unless they are pulled by the roots.

  35. I will turn off all distractions and ask God to open my mind and heart to His Word and to teach me how to be still to hear Him speak to me and I will trust him to be obedient to what HE asks me to do.

  36. This session pointed out the fact that I don’t always let God’s word sink in and take root. I need to take more time out of my day and study God’s word without other distractions.

  37. This lesson was a reminder that I have to be “about my Father’s business”… I have to spend time in the Word…daily. It is important for me to get back into the “time with God” set apart. I think of when Jacob wrestled with God and he wouldn’t let go until He blessed him. I need to approach my time in the Word like that. I will read until God speaks to me…

  38. It reinforced the idea that I need to continue to build on my foundation and read, learn, pray, listen. There are things I can do to minimize distractions and maintain focus when I study.

  39. I agree Alexandria; I found this very helpful as well… as I am re-learning to live life with Christ I start to see what changes i need to make. Some are just natural after so long, but i ask God to help me change my heart and my ways.

  40. THIS SESSION ALLOWED ME TO LOOK AT WHERE I WAS AND WHERE I AM. I STILL HAVE THINGS I NEED TO WORK ON BUT AM EXCITED TO GET TO THE NEXT STEP

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