Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hearing From God

Recently, I've been counseling a friend who is convinced that she's hearing from God regarding a certain situation in her life. She has admitted that she hasn't spent any time praying about the situation --she just says she's getting "a feeling" or "a sign" and "she KNOWS" that God is revealing things to her about a close relationship in her life.

Knowing that she hasn't spent time seeking God in this matter, I'm not convinced that she's hearing from God. There is no shortcut to spiritual understanding. You have to learn to walk with God and to know His voice; otherwise, you will mistake your own voice for His. You even may be fooled by the voice of Satan, or you may hear the clamoring voice of the world. It is so easy to get these voices mixed up. Usually, God speaks to us in a still, small, quiet voice. See I Kings 19:11-13:

“And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice. When Elijah heard the voice, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, What are you doing here, Elijah?" - Amplified Bible

It takes time, prayer, and waiting on God to hear His voice.
How do we succeed in hearing God's voice? By spending time with God. The ultimate is not merely to get direction from God; the ultimate is to know God. God can make it difficult for us to get into His presence because He wants to see if we truly will expend the spiritual energy and exercise necessary to do so. Will we stop certain sins? Will we get rid of things that hinder us? Will we truly seek Him with all of our hearts?

Some people only want a quick fix -- "God, tell me how to make money on this business deal, please. See You next time!" And then that is the end of it. But God wants to be treated with the reverence and deference that His nature warrants. He wants to change us, not merely give us quick answers to difficult problems. We will never be changed unless we come into His presence, spend time with Him, and allow Him to purify us from our sinful nature.

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