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Online Course

Session 3: Am I POSITIONED to Hear God’s Voice?

How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture

Hearing God speak is not a passive activity! In this session, Chip will unpack the transformative impact of five ways we can get a grasp on God’s Word. These practices aren’t new, they’ve stood the test of time for thousands of years.

Welcome to session three of How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. In our time together, we talked about: Am I ready to hear God’s voice? And the second was: Am I willing to hear God’s voice? For me, the third question I ask myself is: Am I positioned to hear God’s voice? Here’s what I mean by that. As a parent, sometimes you’re saying stuff to your kids and they’re out of earshot or they’re doing something else and you’re actually speaking, but they don’t hear you. They’re not in a position to hear your voice. All of us probably have been with a friend and you’re talking to them and you’re saying stuff and then you realize they’ve got their earphones in. They can’t hear you. In other words, they’re not in a position to hear your voice, and that’s true of us all. When I kind of mentor some people or try to encourage them, often we’ll get pretty honest about life and they’ll say something like, “I really want to hear from God and I really want to be his man and I really want to do what God wants me to do.”

So I’ll ask a few questions and I’ll ask, “Tell me a little bit about your spiritual diet.” And they’ll say, “What do you mean?” I say, “Well help me understand your relationship to God’s work.” And more often than not, it’s “well, I …” They stall. “I read the bible some.” I said, “Well are you reading it systematically?” “No I just kind of … I skip around here and there and then, well, I kind of had this one thing on the internet. I read a verse here or there.” And I try and be really gentle. “Basically you’re telling me it’s mostly junk food. You’re not positioned to really have your mind and your heart saturated with God’s word in such a way that the Holy Spirit can grab it and speak to you on a regular basis.” And I put my arm around them; and God’s not down on them; I’m not down on them, but you know what? If you’ve got earphones in, if you’re distracted, if God’s word is not going into your ears and you’re eyes and your heart, you’re not positioned to hear him.

When I was a young Christian, I was associated with a loose group that had been influenced by the Navigators. They had an illustration about God’s word called the Hand Illustration. To this day, I keep sharing it with people because it helped me. It’s how to be positioned to hear God’s voice. The fellow that helped was a brick layer – an actual bricklayer – great guy, his name is Dave. I remember Dave had a big Bible like this, and he said to me, “Chip, if you really want to get a grasp of God’s word, you need to really grab onto it.” Then he showed me a little illustration. He said, “You know what? People that really understand God’s word, they hear His word on a regular basis.” And he said, “You know what? If you hear His word, you get a grasp of it. Just a little bit.” Then he said, “In Revelation Chapter one, there’s a promise for those who hear God’s word, there’s a blessing.” He said, “But it’s more than that Chip.” He said, “You need to read it” and then he put two fingers on the Bible.

He said, “You know, you get a stronger grasp in Acts 17. It says that the Bereans were more noble minded than the Thessalonians for they received the Word gladly and they examined the scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” And then he said, “You know what Chip? A lot of people read … Some people hear. But if you really want to hear God,” he said, “you need to study. You need to study the Word. You need to make it as a goal to literally master the books of the Bible.” Now I was a young Christian and that was pretty intimidating. But like he said, you’ve got your whole life to do it. Study to show yourself approved as a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed. Then finally he said, “Chip. Let me tell you something here.” He said, “Temptation is really hard to beat. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t have his Word inside your heart to bring help to you in those moments of temptation, you’re going to struggle and struggle and struggle.”

He said – here’s the forth one – he says, “Not only do you hear, you study. You read, you memorize. How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word. Your Word, I’ve hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Now you’ll notice that I’ve got a little King James in here. I was a very young Christian and that was sort of the early passages. But let me just be honest and tell you how this happened. I’m sure many of you don’t have this struggle, but most men that I know and probably many women. Lust is an issue that’s hard to beat. The whole pornography issue in our day is overwhelming. I was at a campus where there four girls to every guy. I sort of kiddingly said, “you could be ugly and get a good girlfriend.” I’d become a Christian and I was in God’s Word and I was now and then reading and trying to listen and trying to hear. I honestly was almost ready to quit the Christian life because, even though my actions got better, my thoughts and the lust in my mind, I felt like such a failure.

I remember a friend of mine having some cards on his desk that he was going to memorize, these 30 cards. He was a wrestler and I was a basketball player. I thought basketball players are better than wrestlers. He was doing a couple each week. Well, I memorized all 30 cards in 30 days and reviewed every single one of them every day. I mean, I had them down pat. I did it just to impress this guy. But at day 21, I’ll never forget, I met a co-ed and she was a very beautiful and a Godly girl. I remember having an encounter on the sidewalk with her and leaving and realizing my mind was pure. God made this connection. As a young man, how do you keep your heart pure? By guarding it according to God’s Word. That sent me on a crazy journey where I’ve started memorizing hundreds of verses and then whole chapters and I even memorized a few books.

Because then when I was driving or walking or doing anything, I could meditate; I could hear God’s Word; I could read God’s Word; I could study God’s Word. I began memorizing God’s Word and then, as I began thinking about it – are you ready? – I was positioned. You see, when the Word of God is in your heart and you can think about it, the Holy Spirit will take the written Word and make it the living Word. I’m telling you, I’ve had moment after moment after moment where God will give me a prompting from a verse to say “I want you to go over and help that person.” Or I was in a meeting and I said something and the Spirit of God will bring a verse to my mind as basically “Chip, you were posing. You were trying to impress people.” What I want you to know is that if you’re ready and if you’re willing, and if you’re positioned, our God will speak to you on a regular basis. It’s awesome.



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46 comments on “Session 3: Am I POSITIONED to Hear God’s Voice?

  1. Just look! what I learned on Chip Ingram today. Of course I knew this but he put into different words.

    “Here’s the truth: if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Both actions are the same—focused thinking—but the objects of your thoughts are different. When a person worries, they think about potential harm or hardship, and the result is anxiety. When a person meditates, they think about the truth found in God’s Word, and the result is understanding and peace. Which would you rather have: anxiety or peace? Pick a verse from this passage and meditate on it a few times this week. Make the time to write down what you’ve learned.”

  2. I enjoyed this lesson and study. I have taught the Navigators material several times and I praise God and enjoy looking at how far their legacy/influence reaches.

    Chip Ingram is a man used by of Christ because he was taught discipleship by a Navigator. Quiet time, The Secret. Which actually, is not hard.

  3. This session allowed me to think in a more clear way about the gap that exists in my life. I read, hear, study, yet without memorizing the word and meditating on it, the application piece is a struggle. Understanding this connection allows me to begin on a journey to follow God’s word more fully as I connect His word most directly to my life.

  4. I would say this session made a personal impact, because it should me that I not only need to hear and read God’s word, but I need to study, memorize, and meditate on God’s word too.

  5. I recently finished the LOTE program before beginning this program. In the last week, I’ve gotten a bit out of routine, not beginning my day with my morning devotions as we were taught on a couple days…yesterday was one of those days…I piece-mealed things throughout the day….but didn’t finish all the questions until this morning…..after having had cried to God about how lost I was feeling, my fears of feeling abandoned….(it was a very powerful time over those 3 weeks with Chip and LOTE for me. When he sent us off on our own, I honestly felt afraid and worried about becoming lost, even though that program led me directly to here) yesterday, especially….then this morning after whining to God, returning to my notes, reviewing the thoughts on meditation vs. worry….and then returning to Psalm 119…there it was in verse 10: “I seek You with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands.” I knew in that instant that God had not abandoned me, but I strayed from His commands….but God did not allow me to stray too far or for too long, because He knows the desires of my heart. I now have a verse for those days I’m feeling weak. Thank you, Lord. God is good. All the time and all the time, God is good!

  6. I tend to worry. After going through several hard trials since 2006, I struggle with anxiety. I loved learning that I am an expert in meditation. I just need to shift my focus from potential harm or hardship to the truth in God’s Word. Instead of feeling anxious, I will have peace. I want to have peace. Thank you this shift in focus!

  7. To meditate on the Word, is what I believe it will allow me to absorbe the real meaning of the verse. Who it was intended for? For what situations in life? With what purpose? These answers will mark it in my mind and spirit, like in some sort of data base, until I need it again.

  8. My memory is my biggest obstacle to meditating on what I’ve read in the morning. As hard as I try to keep it in front of me all day long, this continues to be a struggle. I have decided to make a holder of some sort (I’ll ask my daughter to help me) where I can place a key verse from my morning devotions and maybe a key thought. With it in view, I will keep thinking about that verse & thought until I replace it the following day with a new one. I might make another holder for a weekly promise. 🙂
    And whenever I am tempted to worry, I want to think about what’s at the core of that worry and find a truth from God’s Word that combats it. In that way, I can meditate on His truth, leading to peace.

  9. I see where I have rocky ground and thorny ground in my heart and mind. I quickly turn away from God when trials and tribulations come my way. After, being honest with myself and going through the 5 step process I see why I am like that. My image of God is off and I was/am afraid to meditate/spend time with Him because that would require closeness. I have read Psalm 103:8 and I am painting a new image.

  10. I use an app called Remember Me to help with my Scripture memorization. It’s been a great tool, but I realize that I need to be more consistent, more devoted, more intentional if I want God’s leading and direction. A friend recently prayed over me that I would hear God’s voice above all others, but I must become intimate with God to recognize His voice when He speaks. Thanks for the encouragement! We serve a wonderfully kind God.

  11. It has made me realize that studying, memorizing and meditating on a piece of scripture are more important than trying to read chapters at a time. Slowing down and just taking time to meditate on it.

  12. I’ve realized that I have never really positioned myself to hear God when I read scripture. I am going to really try to put aside time each day to pray, read and meditate. I will also attempt to memorize some scriptures but this is something I have a very difficult time with. I will still try.

  13. “If I know how to worry, I know how to meditate! Worry = think of hardships, anything leading to anxiety vs Meditate = thinka about the Truth from God’s Word, it brings peace..
    Today, I choose to meditate! 🙂

  14. Biblical meditation is a scary concept for me because I have always told myself that I have test anxiety.. mostly because my mind goes blank under pressure. It is helpful to know that the worrying behaviors are similar to meditation behaviors with just a change in the mental script. I look forward to seeing how meditation goes this week with Psalm 119:13-14 and what I learn from it.

  15. I don’t spend nearly as much time in the Word as I would like because of busy schedules and time constraints but I do try to make it a point to get into the Word at least once a week on my own.
    I have tried to memorize scripture but have approached it with a defeatist attitude because I have tried a couple of times and can’t seem to keep grasp of it. But then God knows my heart, and a few days later I was talking with someone about struggles they were having as a new Christian and suddenly verses came to mind. They like flooded my heart and mind! And in that moment, I knew God had been storing His Word in my heart! All I have to do is commit and be willing, and to be open and trusting.

  16. All the sessions have been very good, this one in particular hit home with me, I struggle with worry and I will focus my thinking on meditating on God’s truth instead of worry. I am looking forward to experiencing His peace.

  17. It taught me that if God’s Word is not going into my ears, eyes, and heart, I am not positioned to hear it. Also, it taught me that I should read the Bible systematically. This made a great personal impact on me because it is one of the reasons I was looking for an online course. All my life, I have been taught the Bible by topic, I still do not know and understand the Bible because I have not been able to connect the missing dots. Now, I will only study systematically.

  18. When we do stop, read, listen, memorize the word, It is astounding in the every day walk. Something will happen and the Lord will pull out His Word to be relevant to a situation or encourage us from what have learnt through the studies.

    However, there needs to be consistently. I really need consistently.

  19. I really appreciate how Chip breaks down each study session to easily understand. I realize I haven’t been consistent in systematically reading God’s word to be positioned to hear God’s voice. And I also need to work on memorizing more verses so my mind is saturated and armed with God’s word.

  20. I learned that I was on what you called, “junk food”. I started reading the bible, but found it difficult to understand, so many names and so many facts, it was overwhelming. After these sessions, I feel more confident in starting over and I will be asking for God’s help in understanding what I am reading. I also enjoyed the portion on memorizing. I feel that would be very helpful in my life. Thanks Chip for these sessions.

  21. The biggest thing I learned was Memorizing has the benefit of helping one with Hearing, Reading, Studying & Meditating on His word when we don’t have the Bible with us. Also the study encouraged me to consider getting into the Word on my own more often through reading and studying. That I make it my delight so that I don’t neglect the direct reading and studying of scripture.

  22. There are some things I need to change. Most of the time I am reading and studying the Word. Need to take the time to memorize and to meditate on it. It is easy to talk about memorizing and meditating but it is the hardest thing to do. I have good intentions but I never follow through.

  23. I am so grateful that Chip is offering this course to help us develop a personal relationship with God by teaching us how to hear God. I must work on Memorizing as well and am starting with Psalm 119:9-16 to memorize and meditate. I love the hand illustration as well; glad Chip met Dave–one of God’s interventions. I did the 21 day fast and prayer and that was awesome–it emphasized even more how important it is to start your day with the Bible. I looked back and could see the days that I did not start with the Bible, were not good days–something was always going wrong and needed my attention; thus anxiety. Again, thank you so very much for reaching out to us to learn How to Hear God’s Voice.

  24. This convicted me that I have been like the person Chip mentions who was on ‘junk food.`. Reading a bit here and there, listenening to various podcasts, but not spending the time to go deeper and hear the Holy Spirit speak to me.

  25. I always said, “I can’t meditate because my mind is all over the place”. You showed me a different angle on it by comparing worrying. Now, every time my thoughts lead to anxiety (which I am full of), I will stop and read a scripture to ponder on instead. Who doesn’t want God’s peace?!

  26. There is a lot of great truth in these verses , everything is pretty black and white. We need to study the word to defend ourselves from the world, as we all know we can be easily mislead by not knowing what his word teaches us

  27. I always think of it this way: there are 2 sides to me and it comes down to which side we are going to feed the most. As Paul states I know what I should do but, sin is in my members. I only think we come under control when we ask God to help us make the decision that we are going to put everything on hold until we get into His word everyday. I have to make that decision everyday until it becomes a habit and I am convicted to be in His word everyday. I have to ask Him to help me is what it comes down to.

  28. I need to be better positioned to grasp Gods word. My heart ,eyes,and ears need to be focused to hear his voice. I do want to experience his peace in my life.

  29. Through this lesson of His word I realize that meditation is essential to growth. I hear, read, study, and memorize, but discovered I am lacking in meditation which really cinches it all together. I am so happy this study is offered. Thank you!

  30. I am so grateful to pastor Ingram for his teaching on this subject it has blessed me tremendously thus far and I am excited about the rest of the lessons.

  31. The fact that I hear Him at all is a miracle. It’s not about quantity but quality. It’s not something to be done, but to be enjoyed. Reading the Bible doesn’t gain me acceptance, it shows me I already am in Jesus. God is transforming my mind.

  32. I need to memorize and meditate more – but memorizing isn’t as easy as it used to be. I might recall parts of a verse, but I have a terrible time remembering where it is located.

  33. It made me realize that I am not doing enough in order to hear God when He speaks to me—each time. I am committed to do better!

  34. I avoid psalm 119 because it is long, but i see how it would be beneficial to read a portion daily to help me focus on God’s word and remind me of the importance of going further than hearing and reading.

  35. Where to start? that is always my question. How do people systematically study the bible on their own? I need to get a bible study workbook. I want God’s Word in my mind. It sounds so peaceful.

  36. I guess I thought I’d learn God’s word by osmosis. Now I understand I have to apply myself and proactively seek to inundate myself in his word.

  37. It impacted me because I now realize I have to do so much more than just read for a few minutes. I must commit this to memorization. I want to hear God but I haven’t been doing enough! Do more!!!

  38. The deeper understanding of what meditation consists of and what one does according to
    Psalms 119:9-16 was really good. These discussion questions are good but I wish we had a mentor that could give us some feedback.

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