Does anyone else struggle with listening to God? What are His plans for me? How do I know if I am walking the correct path? Over the years, I have personally struggled with listening to God. How do I hear Him? Should I be hearing a voice thundering from the clouds telling me the path I ought to take? You are probably thinking, as I did once…Boy! That would be nice! But, alas, the Almighty God is not Mufasa. We are not likely to get heavenly guidance from the clouds any time soon. So, how do we hear God?
In II Corinthians 5:7, Paul tell us, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” I would like to suggest that neither do we walk by hearing. God speaks to our hearts, not our ears. God reveals things to our hearts, not our eyes. The Lord works in mysterious ways indeed. He does not need to operate within the five human senses that we know. He speaks to us in a much more powerful way, He gives us His Holy Spirit to communicate directly with our souls. So, how come we have such a hard time hearing Him? Our physical bodies have become so conditioned to the physical world that it distracts our souls. Vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell have had a lifetime of perfecting their use. Oftentimes, we have forgotten how to listen to our own soul and what the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate with us. Our physical being is bombarded daily with visual stimulation. Most of that modern visual stimulation comes in the form of screen time. How many of us can waste endless amounts of time perusing Instagram and Pinterest? I know, I am guilty. We are also inundated with oratory distractions, as well. Do you ever just have the TV on because it feels too quiet without it? How about touch, taste and smell? If you are like me, food is one of your favorite past times. I love it all, the delightful aromas of cooking, the texture combinations of crunchy and creamy, the way a cold smoothie feels as it travels to my belly on a hot day, or a comforting bowl warm of soup after a long day, as well as, the experiences of my pallet as my brain registers the sweet, salty, tangy and savory flavors. Our five physical senses are working constantly and quite frankly, we enjoy them. They make being human enjoyable. God created us with these amazing senses, not only for survival, but for enjoyment. However, sometimes we need to turn them off in order to hear God speaking to our soul.
Before Jesus could begin in His earthly ministry, He fasted in the desert for forty days. “Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” (Matthew 4: 1-2) If you remember, just before this in Matthew chapter 3, Jesus receives the Holy Spirit upon rising out of the water after John the Baptist, baptizes Him. Now, in chapter 4, we see Jesus must listen to what Holy Spirit is going to tell His soul. Jesus wanders the desert alone, with no water food or water for 40 days. During which time He is tempted by the devil three times. (And, of course resists the devil because, He is sinless Jesus.) Even Jesus Christ had to take time to turn off the physical and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Am I suggesting, we wander the desert alone without food or water? No. But, I am suggesting that we need to spend time with the Lord in solitude! That is when God really speaks to our hearts and it is when we are the strongest to resist the temptations of the devil. I used to think…if God would just light a bush on fire and speak to me, or send an angel to me with His Holy message, I will do it…I just wanted to be told blatantly, do this, so I do not doubt myself or waste time on things that would fail. But, as I have grown in my personal walk and faith in Jesus Christ, I see that I was wrong. The journey is how we grow, messing up, facing hurdles, having to start over, that is how we become stronger in our walk with God. And that, is how we learn to listen to God. Trust God. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Put your faith in the Lord, spend time with the Lord. He will reveal His plans for you.
What to pray for…
Pray for wisdom, to make the correct choices.
Pray for obedience, to God’s word and will.
Pray for discernment and courage, to persevere during uncertain and challenging times.
Pray with worship! Know that God is control and that He is always guiding you.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)