Each week leading up to the 2015 d4 Discipleship Conference, I’ve been sharing some reflections and snippets from last year’s gathering that have both challenged and broadened me personally. We’re just one day away from the first of 2 regional conferences this year and I’m excited about what God’s doing! Here is the final part of my d4 2014 re-cap blog series. Check out my previous post in this series on What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?
The life of a successful Christian is one that not only follows through obedience, but one that continues to ‘hear’ from God first so that he can be obedient; so that his steps can be directed. We were made by design to commune and communicate with the Father (our source).
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. — John 10:4,5,27
Our biggest hindrance to hearing from God is sin. Sin always causes us to drift away from Him. We’ve even been conditioned to believe that it’s very difficult to hear from God, almost to imply that He’s reluctant to speak to us. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is relational, longs to converse and fellowship with us, just a parent longs to speak into and guide their children.
Here are 7 ways that God speaks to us every day:
.: 1 Scripture. His Word paints a constant picture of His Character and Ways. Reading requires more than consumption—we have to reflect on His Word (digest it), allowing it to penetrate our heart, and setting the table for Him to speak. We can’t reproduce nor can God call forth what’s not yet in us.
.: 2 Waiting on God. “Waiting” doesn’t necessarily mean to withhold from all activity, but it does mean to create opportunities every day for prayer (conversation), worship (our expression of reverence) and fasting (abstain from something in order to draw closer). You can’t hear if you’re always busy.
.: 3 Leading of the Holy Spirit. God ever prompts us with that inner voice, directing our steps. I personally often confuse this with my own voice and desires, but am learning what’s really God and what’s not. God will never contradict Himself or His Word.
.: 4 Peace. When we follow that inner voice, the leading by His Spirit, we receive a peace in the midst of our circumstance that is unmatched—even in a moment of challenge. “If the peace of God is not there, don’t do it.” — Dave Buehring
.: 5 Circumstances. While our circumstances are not always a confirming indicator of right or wrong, there is always something that God is trying to show us through them. Regardless of whether it’s our fault or not, God uses our every day circumstances to teach and direct us. What might your circumstance(s) be saying to you beyond the problem or opportunity that you can only see at this moment? How and for what might he use that?
.: 6 People. What God reveals to us through the lives and voice of others is invaluable. Not every interaction is a “hey, this is from God” moment, but the secret is to remain open and available to how God might be using someone to speak to you; a stranger, a conflict and of course, a friend.
.: 7 Supernatural means. We know that God specializes in the impossible. But He also uses the unordinary—especially in an era of convenience and technological advancement where the miraculous is taken for granted. God will use whatever means He desires to communicate with us. Be open to the unfamiliar.
When we honestly think about it, God is speaking/revealing to us all of the time through various ways. Every subtle touch, word or reveal may not an ‘opening of the clouds in the sky’ moment, but He’s speaking. Although these are a few ways that we experience hearing from God, He is not limited to these methods nor is He limited to their typical presentation. Jesus wants you to be simply dependent on Him, not on a method. I’ve grown to appreciate that He’ll change the way you hear from Him, so that you’re constantly seeking Him as He’s directing your steps.