Hearing God and discerning His will for your daily living is one of the most important aspects of life! Personal relationships are built on good two-way communication. If you cannot hear God personally you will be unsure of God Himself. You will have neither confidence nor the ability to stand firm in faith when difficulties arise. You will feel like a person trying to walk in the dark. But when you do hear Him you are changed forever!
Listed below are twelve guidelines that will help you hear God and discover His will. Each one is important but they are best used together. Don’t rely on just one or two.
- Expect to hear Him. You will only try to listen to God if you believe He wants to speak to you and can be heard by you. Hebrews 11:6
- Determine ahead of time to do whatever He says. Your predetermined obedience allows you to have an open mind. John 7:16-17
- Ask Him. He wants you to hear Him and know His will. Ask and expect a response. Matthew 7:7-8
- Understand your own will and motives. If you do not identify your own desires you are likely to try to hear only what you want to hear. Galatians 5:16-17
- Become familiar with the Bible. God wrote it and has protected it so that He could speak to you clearly. The more you read and understand, the more you will hear from Him. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Focus on Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not just another messenger. He is the message itself! John 1:1-18, John 5:39-40, Hebrews 1:1-3
- Consider the created world.God made it. An artist’s work reveals much about the artist. There are aspects of creation that speak volumes about God and His will. Psalm 19:1-4
- Confer with God’s people. Others have gone before you and have heard God and gained insight. Also, God wants to knit us together by making it so that we need each other. Discerning His will together is powerful and life changing. Philippians 2:2-3
- Yield to your conscience. It isn’t always right, but it is always to be followed. Romans 14:22-23
- Listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice in your thoughts. Learn to recognize His voice and separate it from all the other voices that may be in your head (e.g. parents, boss, spouse, pastor, etc.). John 16:12-15
- Evaluate your circumstances. Be careful here. Ease is not necessarily God’s will, nor is difficulty. Circumstances are a less reliable source of information, but can be helpful when used in harmony with the other elements. Matthew 16:2-3
- Become familiar with God’s character, purposes and ways.
This only comes with time and experience, just like becoming familiar with any person. The better you know someone personally, the more likely it is you will understand what he or she is saying to you. John 10:1-5