Many christians struggle with the issue of hearing the voice of God. Some have been wrongly taught that God doesn’t speak to us. Others believe that He does speak to us but still seem unable to hear.Whole books have been written on the topic whether it is framed in terms of “Hearing God” or “Guidance” (The latter term is often used by christians who don’t believe that God speaks to His people but still want to know how to discern the will of God.)
In the 1980’s I came across this little book and it revolutionised my spiritual walk. Mark Virkler simplifies the whole business of hearing God’s voice to a few easy steps and an important concept.
The concept is this: God speaks to us in the flow of our thoughts more often than through an audible voice.
The steps to hearing God are simple
Still your mind. When our brains are racing away with our own thoughts it is very hard to hear what God might want to say to us. Some people like to use the “Jesus Prayer” to help this process.Settle your breathing into a regular rhythm. As you breathe in say slowly “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” and as you breathe out say “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Ask God a question. “What do you want to say to me?””What should I do about …?”
Listen to the thoughts that go through your mind in response to the question. Write them down in a notebook or journal- this process of writing your thoughts is vital, because often we start to analyse what is being revealed, but that breaks the flow.
When you finish, look back over what you have written and check if it agrees with Scripture, with the things happening in your life, with other things the Lord has shown you, and so on.
This is a wonderful method to help us hear God’s voice. Like many things in life, it may seem difficult at first but with practice the process of discerning God’s voice becomes more fluent.