Hearing from God is something we all want to experience more and more. How do I hear God and ...and how can I hear Him better? You are not alone! It is the heart cry of the human spirit....and a very healthy sign of spiritual life within you. So.....be encouraged! Here are some reflections which I hope will be helpful.
We must start by going back to the beginning of time and creation.When God created Adam and Eve He created them in perfection. That means that their sense of knowing and recognising Him was perfect also. The
relationship they had together and with the Father was a reflection ofthe 'Oneness' that He had within the Godhead (God family) of Father, Son (known only as the Christ before He became a man and was ever then to
be known as Jesus Christ) and the precious Holy Spirit. The relationshipbetween them was perfect.......no disharmony, no arguments or disagreements, no tension or competition, every person of the Trinity desperately loving each other and ..."in honour preferring one another". Romans 12 tells us this in that He never asks us to do what He doesn't do Himself. The relationship they had with Adam and Eve was perfect too. The relationship between God and man was perfect. Adam heard God clearly, without any misunderstanding or ambiguity because there was nothing between them to mar that communication. They WERE 'one' just as
the ! Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit were 'One'. This was what Jesus longs for us to know again today. Jn 17 v 21 and 23 tells us that His heart cry is ..."that we may be one just as He is 'One', He in us and we
in Him and we, in relationship as His children, with each other.....complete and utter unity... in the power and spirit of His love.

Then sin came into the world through Adam's disobedience and that relationship was polluted. Adam lost that intuitive 'knowing' of God, of hearing His voice and knowing His ways. The great news is....that Jesus by His death and resurrection has regained that relationship for us by making us 'sons and daughters' again. He has 'adopted' us back into His family. We are no longer 'orphans' but true sons and as 'sons and daughters' can learn to hear Him and know Him like Adam again. THERE IS JUST ONE PROBLEM! We still live in an unredeemed creation and a society filled with negative and 'loud' voices that distract and pollute the spiritual airwaves and which does make hearing Him more 'challenging!' (Some would say 'difficult') AND of course there are the ' spiritual authorities in heavenly places' (fallen angles, demon spirits) that we also are battling against.
REMEMBER THOUGH... WE DO HAVE THE VICTORY.... however challenging. I prefer to say challenging because with God ..."all things are possible" and He has done all on the cross to restore it all for us. It just takes a little determination and a heart that truly seeks the Lord The bible tells us..."Seek Me and you will truly find Me". We are also actually told that we can 'see' Him for He says that the "pure in heart shall see God". But there is a dilemma here because the bible says that it is impossible to see God and live. That is true because no flesh can see God and live. BUT if the 'flesh' in a spiritual sense has been "crucified with Christ" Gal 2 v 20 then there is no flesh alive to die. The secret is here! We must lay our all on the altar, no longer living from and for the flesh and seek Him with all our heart. The answer is in our heart response not in our actions or works. Right in the beginning He said we were to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength". That alone qualifies us. King David despite His adultery and sin was called "a man after God's own heart" Wow!
So.......What does that mean for us today? We can be assured that:
1) It is God's desire that we know Him and speak to Him and hear Him talking to us...ideally just like Adam
2) We do live in a hostile environment so there are challenges to this learning process
3) We need to always be seeking Him with all our heart and walking in righteousness, turning from the world and all its persuasive attractions
4) Recognise that God speaks through many different media. Here are some...a) in the quietness of our spirits, our 'heart' the spiritual centre of our being. Learning to meditate and quieten our spirits is so important b) in a spoken voice at rare times heard either outside our being or clearly in our head c) through His Word interpreted to us by His Spirit. The more we learn His Word the more He can remind us of what He has already said etc d) through Christian books we read or songs we hear e) through sermons in church e) through observation of
nature/creation...it talks of His power, love, creativity and care f) through conversations with other people, christian and non believers alike.
ITS ALL ABOUT SENSITIVITY and sensitivity is relative to our intimacy with Him.
So, finally...I would encourage you to seek Him from the yearning of your heart, passionately, and IT WILL HAPPEN and your sensitivity will increase. Jesus said "I am the Good Shepherd and I know My sheep and My
sheep know My voice". It will become increasingly more easy as you pursue Him! It is the product of intimacy with Him.
Lastly....let me finish by relating a conversation I had with the Lord some time ago.
I was starting to get up very early in the morning in obedience to seek His face. I felt that He was asking me to believe that as I sat at the table before Him I would hear Him speak to me. So I got a empty writing
book and pen and sat there waiting. I was going to write down everything! So many thoughts were going through my mind. Could I actually expect Him to speak to me? Would it be in my mind....Yes... most probably, but how would I know it was Him? How would I discern between what I presumed to
be my thoughts and His thoughts? I needed to know!
"Lord" I said " How can I tell?" Then in my mind I heard Him ask ME a question.
" Do you have the mind of Christ?"
Wow I thought. Yes the bible tells me that that is so if I am His child.
"Have you done what My Word says and made all thought captive to Christ?"
"Yes Lord" I replied
"Well then" He said, "You have no alternative but to believe that 1) the first thought is MY thought so I'm speaking to you 2) the second thought is your own insecurity speaking as you question it and 3) the
third thought is the devil trying to unsettle, confuse and deceive you" IT WAS SIMPLE. Trust your first thought!
So my friend....Trust your own spiritual intuition. He wants it to be simple! You have His Spirit within You. You are His Child but be patient with yourself as you are learning to listen and begin to trust yourself
and what you think He is saying. When making a decision for any action trust the first thought, the gut reaction etc! One rider....If you are still worried about what you think you hear, then check out with His Word (He never contradicts His Word), ask for an opinion from another bible centred Christian, or just wait in case He
has more to say over the weeks ahead before you act. He says " Let the spirit of peace be your judge" So if you have no peace just wait!
Remember however ...What you heard may most probably NOT BE WRONG! It just needed clarifying, enlarging or the timing was just not right.
God bless
Howard Barnes
Co Director of Time Out Mission Int (TOM)


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