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Online Course

Session 4: Am I ABLE to Hear God’s Voice?

How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture

Everyone can understand the Bible, you don’t have to be a scholar, pastor, or a “super Christian” to hear God’s voice. In this session, Chip outlines a simple method for Bible study that helps you learn and apply God’s Word.

Welcome to session four of How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. As I’ve talked with you in our time together, I asked myself some questions. One of the questions I asked myself, “Am I able to hear God’s voice?” Sometimes people are ready, sometimes they’re really willing, and sometimes they’re even positioned. You’re taking in God’s word. But here’s what I hear from people. “You know, Chip, I’m glad you can do that but when I read it, I just don’t get anything out of it. You know, I’ve got one of those reading plans and I read my three chapters and my two chapters, my four chapters, and it’s like I check the box and I read the chapters, but honestly I don’t think God is saying anything deep to me at all.”

What happens is people begin to think, “Well, this must be for special people like pastors or missionaries or you’re just super spiritual.” I have to tell you, that was my experience. I came up around a group that it was very important to hear God’s word and read God’s word and be in Bible study, and I was doing all that. But I gotta tell you, I would read in the morning at times and get nothing out of it. I played basketball shortly after college and we played all the countries in South America. It was really fun. We got to play Olympic teams and then at halftime, we shared Christ, and we’d meet missionaries.

I can’t even tell you now which country it was, but there was this really cool missionary and he was a Hispanic guy and he was really bravado. He goes, “Man, (speaking Spanish). God’s word is so important.” He goes, “Let me teach you a technique.” I have to tell you, he taught me a way to get into the Bible that really gave me the ability to hear from God. He called it the 2PROAPT method. That sounds weird because it is weird. It all stands for a letter, and I’m gonna give it to you. If you’ll just stay with me and do a little bit of this, it will open up God’s word. Each one of the two pro means two P’s, PPROAPT.

Let me give you an overview and then I’m gonna show you how it works. The first P is for pray. In other words, the first thing you do is ask God to open your mind and your heart. Even David prayed. He said, “Lord, open my eyes that I might see wonderful things from your word. The second letter is P, and it stands for preview. Whenever I’m reading devotionally, I just read it really fast. I just wanna get a concept of it. The third letter is R. That’s for read it. Now I’m gonna go back through. I’m gonna read it, but I’m gonna read it very slowly. This is a little thing, but it really helps. Read it out loud. I pray, I do a quick read, I read it out loud.

The fourth letter is O for observations. Now I’m really going through slowly. What’s different? What’s alike? Is there a word repeated? Is there a big contrast? The next letter is A for application. “God, what are you saying to me? What do you want me to do? What specifically out of this could I do?” Maybe I’m just inspired or maybe I should text someone, or maybe it’s talking about encouraging someone, or maybe it’s speaking to me about an issue in my life. Then the next letter is P, is pray. “Lord, there’s no way I can do this on my own. I need your help. God, help me. I’ve listened, I’ve read, I’ve previewed, I’ve made some observations. This is what I think I need to do now. Please help me.”

Then the T is for tell. “I’m gonna tell someone.” Often at my house, “Teresa, what did you read today?” Or we’re in the car or maybe it’s at dinnertime, or as I work with other people, “Where’s God speaking to you? Where’s He’s speaking to me?” We tell one another and there’s something about doing that. The process is 2PROAPT. Pray, preview, read, observe, apply, pray, and tell. Okay, that’s a lot of info. Are you ready? Let’s just try this. Let me just read a passage and give you an idea of what this looks like. I’m in Proverbs 2. You can go ahead and turn there.

I would pray, “God, open my eyes.” Then I’m going to just read it quickly. “My son, if you’ll receive my sayings and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding, for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding. If you seek for her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasure, then you’ll discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.” What I would do, I would read that very quickly and then the next time, I would read it very slowly out loud.

The next time, I’m gonna make some observations. “My son,” talks about receiving God’s word. Then “incline your hear.” I wanna listen to what God is saying. Then “discernment,” I need to cry out. It’s not just intake, Bible in, but it’s, “Help me, God,” crying out. Then notice the priority, intensity. “If you seek her as for silver, search for her as for hidden treasure, then you’ll discern the fear of the Lord, then you’ll discover the knowledge of God.” The reason I wanted to read this little passage is I wanted you to see there’s a lot of hard work involved.

I mean, God doesn’t allow the gems to stay on top of the ground, He expects you and He expects me to dig in, to cry out for help, to search, to say, “I want to know what you think. I want to master your word. I wanna hear your voice. I’m ready. I’m willing. I’m taking it in. Now I have the skill to do that.” At first it feels very pedantic, so don’t get uptight, but write those letters. We’re gonna give you a little exercise and help you get started, and then in our next time together, it’s a little awkward, but I’m gonna have my quiet time. I’m just gonna use this process and I’m gonna try and pretend that you’re not around, and I’ll just show you how I meet with God.

I’m not saying this is how you ought to do it, but what always helps me is just to have a model. This is how I connect with the Lord. This is how I hear His voice. I pray that’ll be helpful for you. Are you ready? Let’s keep pressing ahead.



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33 comments on “Session 4: Am I ABLE to Hear God’s Voice?

  1. Perseverance! How easy it would have been for these men to see that they couldn’t get to Jesus, but they knew by faith that Jesus had the power to heal this young man. As it mentioned at the end of verse 17 And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. They had faith that all they needed to do was to get this man to Jesus and he would be healed. I think this passage is showing me that I need to persevere in my faith and seek Jesus no matter the obstacles that are in front of me.

  2. Honestly, I was having some trouble figuring out how this passage applied to my current situation today. I believe my faith is strong, so I didn’t feel that I was necessarily learning anything *new* from the examples of the paralyzed man or from the Pharisees/law makers. In fact, I was asked to read this passage aloud at an online church service last night, too, so I felt sure that God *was* trying to speak to me and tell me something, but I was having such difficulty figuring out WHAT.

    Then I read through these comments, and I saw a post made by Laura on December 3, 2019, in which she says “…sometimes, when our faith is weak we can rely on the stronger faith of dear friends to carry us through until we are able to walk again with praise on our lips. Notice that Jesus told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven after he saw their (plural) faith.”

    Suddenly it hit me that that’s where God was speaking to me – at being one of those friends that helps to lower the paralyzed man down! If those friends weren’t there in that paralyzed man’s time of need – if their faith wasn’t so strong – how much more difficult it would have been for him!

    And in realizing that I NEED to be one of those strong friends for the people in my life, it also has been made clear that, today, in my attempts to hear God, I was indeed that paralyzed man, and Laura (THANK YOU, Laura!) was one of those faithful friends lowering me down from the roof!

  3. It’s a reminder that our sins can make us physically sick, not just spiritually sick. Jesus has the authority to physically heal and spiritually heal (forgive sins).

  4. I love systems! This is such a thorough but not overwhelming method. I am awed by what is revealed when I take the time to answer the questions.

  5. Wow. Using this method made me realize that sometimes, when our faith is weak we can rely on the stronger faith of dear friends to carry us through until we are able to walk again with praise on our lips. Notice that Jesus told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven after he saw their (plural) faith. God desires us to help each physically and spiritually! Just as the paralyzed man relied on his friends both physically (and I believe spiritually) to get him to the feet of Jesus. Then he walked on his own praising God. Their are times I look to good Christian friends for encouragement, prayer, advice, and more to get me through difficult times. Though I have faith I sometimes need others’ stinger faith to carry me through until I can again walk in my own with God. I hope I am able to give the gift of strong faith to others when their faith grows weak. Also, notice the sacrifice and dedication of the men to their paralyzed friend. They literally carried him then they developed a plan when it wasn’t easy to get him in front of Jesus. Furthermore they followed through until he met Jesus. Only after he was healed did the man walk on his own. Thank you Chip!!!!!

  6. I need to talk to God, say anything and not sugar coat it because He knows our hearts and to try this approach from this session so I can began to hear his voice clearly.

  7. I learnt that getting to Know God intimately requires determination! But the good news is bold actions in Christ /by faith lead to bold miracles!!! Thank you Jesus… anything is possible from today onwards.

  8. This session challenged me to dig deeper during my quiet time with the Lord. To pause, pray, and reflect on His Word. So often it can be easy to just go through the motions when reading the Bible. But I am learning that in order to continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord, I have to be willing to push pass the superficial and seek Him with my whole heart and an open mind.

  9. This session is a scholars dream. I love frameworks. I am excited for the opportunity to apply this framework to my biblical learning. Aside from the framework this session also affirmed to me the intense amount of hard work that involved in being able to hear God’s voice. If I really want to do His will I need to do the work no excuses. This is what a wise (wo)man does.

  10. This is good stuff.I am just learning now how to study Gods word .still not there yet,but please pray for me,because I like it!!!! Thanks chip

  11. I’m loving this study thank u so much this lesson really show me how we can really miss Jesus just like the teacher of the law was blind and the common people got it

  12. This was so amazing! I can’t wait to study like this tomorrow!
    Jesus you are so good to me💕

    Thank you Chip for sharing with us what your were taught !

  13. I have a question….was listening to RC Sproul and he said there is only one right interpretation of scripture. How does this apply to me studying the word personally? Im hesitant to study without a commentary, feeling like I could miss the point without historical context, in-depth cues from language, etc.

  14. Enjoyed the Luke observation passage, the living applications that spoke to my heart…(such as tenacious friendship, Jesus 360 awareness and ministering ability, the groundedness of basics and priorities, first things first – is your sin washed clean?…
    The centered approach of focused time and prayer reaps such benefits…

  15. It taught me that if I want a more intimate relationship with Jesus or contact with Him, I must be persistent and may have to be creative like the men carrying the paralyzed man. I will also use the 2 P.R.O.A.P.T method when reading and studying God’s Word.

  16. Spiritual healing is the key and trusting Jesus to the point of action is core. Jesus was God Himself who has authority to forgive sins. He was not a mere man!

  17. I have heard other Bible teachers tell how to study the Word by using different markings or colors. I have tried doing it that way but I get confused and sometimes frustrated. As I doing by daily Bible reading I listen to it being read and I have been able to pick up on things in the scriptures better than when I have read it to myself. Some of the things Chip was talking about I realized I am doing some of it. I need to spend more time in prayer so that I can hear what God wants me to glean from that passage or reading .

  18. I only see a small portion of any situation. Jesus knows the whole picture for everyone concerned. I come to Him in faith, trusting Him that He is working out the details for my (and all involved) good and His glory.

  19. To have faith/trust in God’s ability and wiliness to… (do that which is in his will). Be determined and persistence when you face obstacles to reaching or seeking God. The benefit of having friends that believe and help you seek/reach God.

  20. Jesus wants to forgive me of my sins above everything else. He may use miracles for non believers to witness and for believers to praise in order to prove his authority.

  21. Trust is what I get. The friends had to trust as well as the lame man. It took his friends to get him to Jesus. May we be the friends that get people to Jesus so He may save them.

  22. The paralyzed man was able to walk away after Jesus healed him. I think the mat represents my sins. I need to go to Jesus and repent, and then I need to lay them aside and walk away from them for good.


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