How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture
Session 1: Am I READY to Hear God’s Voice?
How do you know when it’s really God ______________?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5, NASB)
We need to have a ______________ for the Word of God.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NASB)
Come to Me, all who are weary and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. (Matthew 11:28-29, NASB)
Personal Reflection Exercise
Pause a moment to pray and reflect on what you’ve just learned. Then spend some time alone (we suggest at least 15 minutes) to work through the following questions at your own pace.
Read Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV).
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30, NIV)
(a) In this verse, what qualities of Jesus can you find?
(b) In ancient times, a yoke was a piece of wood that kept two domesticated animals in step with one another. Naturally, two oxen could pull more than a single ox. A yoke kept them going in the same direction at the same pace. In your opinion, how is Jesus’ yoke easy and light? Doesn’t wearing a yoke—by definition—sound like a lot of work?
(c) If we choose to learn from Jesus, what are we promised?
(d) Which of the following phrases describes your life? Why?
- Learning from Jesus
- Rested soul
- Under a light burden
- Yoked with Jesus
(e) If your answer is “none,” why do you think this is?
Eli was the high priest for the nation of Israel during a dark period of history when the spiritual leadership was disobedient to God. Even Eli’s own sons were wicked. By way of contrast, Samuel was faithful to God.
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NIV).
1 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
(a) In this passage, what stands out to you as significant and why?
(b) Samuel lacked the spiritual maturity to know that God was calling him, yet he had Eli as a mentor who could help him. Do you have people like Eli in your life? In what ways do they help you to better listen to God’s voice?
(c) Take a personal “inventory” of your life right now. If God were speaking to you, do you think you would be ready to listen? Why or why not? What, if anything, needs to change so you can say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening?”
Read Psalm 37:7 (NIV).
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7, NIV)
(a) In this psalm, what situation threatens a person’s ability to “be still before” God?
(b) In your personal life, what situations or people make it difficult for you to wait patiently for God?
Read Psalm 121:1-2; 7-8 (NIV).
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
(a) For you personally, what do you find comforting in this psalm?