How to Hear from God
by Mary J. Bryant
Question| Have you ever wondered if God can or will speak to us?

Introduction: In our teaching today, we will be talking on the subject “How to Hear from God”. We will touch on:
        Some of the ways God speaks or communicates with us
        How to hear God’s voice or communication
        The Importance of Hearing God’s voice or communication
        Our Role In Hearing from God
        Conclusion (Questions / Comments/Concerns)

Proverbs 8:34-35 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives
favor from the Lord.”

I believe listening to God, hearing God’s voice and communicating with God are subjects that people are interested in. I also believe that God is leading
people into desiring spiritual communication, because He wants to speak to His children. Being able to hear the voice of God is what we have been created
to do. We have been designed for it. God created us in His image and we are spiritual beings living in natural bodies. The Spiritual and physical were to
operate in harmony with each other, not in opposition to each other.

When God created humanity, man and woman, He made them with spiritual and natural senses. They had a relationship with God because they were
children of God, able to operate in both realities. In the natural realm they were able to work in the Garden of Eden (ref. scrip. Gen. 2:15). At the same time
their spiritual senses gave them access to the spiritual realm we are able to commune with God the Father. Adam and Eve were able to communicate
personally with God. They were able to see, hear, and listen to Him. In other words, nothing separated them from God the Father.         In essence, nothing
hindered the interaction between the creation and the creator, God the Father. It was pure and uninterrupted. However, the moment the sin of disobedience
entered the world, Adam and Eve became separated from God thus causing the human race to be separated as well. Humanity declined and their
relationship with the Father declined with it. They lost their innocence, their provision, their eternal life, their health, their unity with each other and their
relationship with God.

It all started with one act of disobedience. “Knowing what is right to do and failing to do it, or knowing what is wrong and doing it anyway.

We were created to live in and function by an intimate loving relationship with the Father. Without this relationship our lives are doomed to a life of emptiness
and frustration. No relationship with God results in any authority to spiritually change the world or Spiritual power to change it either.
But because of God’s plan of salvation we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus. Jesus provided the Way back, back to a relationship with the
Creator, our Father (ref scrip. John 14:6). He broke the curse of inherited rebellion; therefore, we no longer have to live as children of Adam we can live as
children of God. Jesus is the turning point of humanity. Even though through Him we can be born again, all must choose it. It is reconciliation; we become re-
established as children of God.

If you are a true Christian, you have heard the voice of God. It was that prompting or stirring to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord. We can’t come to God on
our own for John 6:44-45 states “No one can come to Me (Jesus) unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written
in the prophets, and they shall all be taught by God: Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” It is God’s voice that draws
us to Him. He speaks to our heart, our inner most being, and it is up to us to say “yes”.

Once Jesus Christ and His sacrifice has been accepted and received, He puts His Spirit in us, the Spirit of Love, and the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit we
could not be united with God. The Holy Spirit is our connector to the mind and ways of God and the voice of God. This is the same Spirit that unites the Father
and the Son. “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). Having the Spirit makes us “heirs of God and joints-heirs with Christ (look
up scrip). ; we are blood relatives of Christ. “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have
the Spirit of Christ, he is not His (Romans 8:9).Of course, having the Holy Spirit is just part of it. The other part is being led by the Holy Spirit. “For as many as
are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14). Therefore, once you have been born again as a child of God; then you have to have an
ongoing relationship by daily and continually being led by the Holy Spirit. And Jesus has made this available to us (John 14:15-18) so it is up to us to take full
advantage of it if we expect to hear from God.

It is such an AWESOME! Privilege and honor to have God’s Spirit in us and with us. Because of God the Holy Spirit we have and can have a continual and
constant communion and communication with God. “Come near to God and He will come near to you…” (James 4:8a). Communication with God is a co-
operative (willing to work with us) exercise. As we draw close to God, He will draw close to us. We have to realize that it is such an honor and privilege to hear
the voice of the Lord. It is just amazing! We should never take it for granted or lessen the value in hearing from God. Before Jesus, it was reserved for a select
few. But now it is available to all who commit themselves to walking in a relationship with God.

It is by God’s Spirit that we know the things that have been freely given to us by God (ref. scrip. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12). But our relationship with God is never
one-sided or a one way street. The more we grow and mature spiritually the more we become more Holy Spirit conscious and less self-conscious. Romans
8:5-6 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For
to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

According to John 14:16-17 there are 7 things that we receive from the Holy Spirit:
        Eternal companionship and unity with God
        God’s wisdom
        God’s understanding
        God’s counsel, which is His communication and words (rhema  (spoken); logos (written))
        God’s power, which is faith that we receive through hearing God’s words (Romans 10:17)
        The intimate knowledge of God
        The fear of God which perfects holiness in us

2 Corinthian 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear
of God.”

We have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to bring about our destiny of being conformed and transformed into the image of Christ. (Romans 8:27-29) He,
the Holy Spirit, is the total administrator of the total wealth of the Father, and the Son makes it available to us by His Holy Spirit.
It will take effort and commitment on our part to develop our spiritual senses by spending time honing in on them. It is a choice we must exert (put into action)
and live by. Unlike our natural senses, our spiritual senses only develop as we develop them. If we do not actively make an honest effort to do this, then we
will remain blind and deaf. You may be asking how you do this developing. Well, just like muscles, in order to get them toned and firm you must exercise
them. We hone our spiritual senses by exercising them. Of course we do this by the Father leading us as only He can. Each of us responds differently to
different methods. God is the ultimate communicator and teacher because He knows everything about us. He knows what we need to know, when we need
to know it and which is the best way to teach it to us. He is the only One who can get us to understand that which would be impossible to understand any
other way.

Again it takes time and effort; a clear commitment to the will of God, God’s way. It is no good spending time listening to God if you aren’t willing to accept His
directions. In other words, we have to be willing to lay down our own preconceptions, our prejudices, our predisposition and the like. When we do this, God
replaces our falsehoods with His truth, our weakness with His strength, our hopelessness with His hope. He takes our foolishness and turns it into wisdom,
as we live a life of spiritual relationship with the Father, our Creator, and yield ourselves to Him.

A.        In what ways does God speaks to us:

God speaks to us in many ways. There are no limitations in how God can speak to us. We must remember that God is Sovereign and we shouldn’t try to limit
Him to our limited human-mind set; preconceived notions or our fear or lack of knowledge.
One of the main ways is through His written Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I read something that said “the Bible will keep you from sin and sin will keep
your from the Bible.” Scripture is God-breathed and through the Holy Spirit we can know when and how to apply which scripture to which situation.  There will
never be any contradiction between what is written in the scripture and what the Holy Spirit reveals. God’s Holy Scripture gives us details about how you can
expect God to react, what kinds of expectations and standards He has for us, and most specifically, how He expects us to treat others.
Some other ways God speaks to people are through dreams, visions, and even an audible voice.
Dreams – Joseph (Genesis 37)
Visions – Daniel (Daniel 2:19; chapters 7, 8, 10)
Audible – Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4)
Elijah (1 Kings 19:12)
John (Matthew 3:17)
He even speaks through people that may or may not Christians.
King of Persia
King of Babylon
Pharaoh, King of Egypt

He may speak through circumstances, opening and closing doors of opportunity. At any rate, our goal is not to be led by people or by circumstance but only by
the Holy Spirit.

**The key is to recognize God’s voice when you hear it in whatever way He chooses to speak to us.**

B.        How to Hear God’s Voice:

Relax and focus. Don’t think God is far away because He is within us which happens when we are born again. God can and will speak to each of us at all
times of the day and or night in whatever way He chooses. He knows everything about everything. So as we seek God, we must be still and silent and listen
as one being taught. Isaiah 50:4 “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” And Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know
that I am God”

Don't give God instructions
Just report for duty!

1.     We must get to know His Attributes: we have to know some things about God’s character. We have to develop an understanding of who God is and the
way He does things.

--the better we get to know Him the more clearly we will recognize His voice.
--God’s voice is His Holy Spirit

2.    Fear the Lord: Reverence Him by showing the respect and honor that only He deserves. (Isaiah 33:6 NIV), (Proverbs 2:1-5) N
3.    We must walk in humility and not pride (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV)
-- Pride is sin and all sin causes the heart to harden toward God and we are less sensitive to the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 25:9 NIV)
                                                                                                                                                    
4.    We must give God our undivided attention

-- Proverbs 4:20
-- Proverbs 5:1
-- Proverbs 22:17

5.     Time & Quietness/Stillness

-- We must discipline ourselves to be still before God (Psalm 46:10)
-- We must come to Him in solitude – being focused and having our hearts  centered on God
-- Purposely set aside time to spend in God’s presence (Psalm 61:1) (James 4:8a)

6.     Expect to hear from God (Psalm 62:5), (Jeremiah 33:3)

7.    We must prepare our hearts

--continually praise God and thank Him (Heb. 13:15; Ps 69:30; Ps 100:4-5)
--Be a true worshipper: God is looking for true worshippers who will worship     Him in   spirit and truth. In spirit is to be led by the Spirit of God and in truth is
according to the word of the Lord. (Ps 95:6-8)
-- listen to the Holy Spirits still small voice; that prompting for it is life unto you (John 6:63)

8.    Be Patient (Proverbs 8:34-35) You may not hear immediately (then again,  sometimes you will). Sometimes you may wait on the Lord in your prayer time,
read the Word, and then leave the house for the day. You might not have heard anything by then, but because you've faithfully sought the Lord that morning,
you've developed your sensitivity in your spirit to hear God's voice. And in the midst of your circumstance, be it in class, cleaning the house, shopping, or in the
office, the Lord may speak to you or show you things highly pertinent to your situation!

9.    Repent of all un-confessed sin, and ask God to heal you of all iniquity, all bents for sin. Ask the Lord to show you what attitudes and what behavioral
patterns are unrepentant in your life that you need to change, especially if these are causing you not to hear His voice.

10.   Obedience: Be ever so willing to not only seek after His face and to hear His voice, but to be obedient. Even in the little things obey Him so He can trust
you with bigger things. You must be faithful over the little things. The more you obey God’s voice the more you become proficient in hearing from God.

11.   Be willing to receive God's instruction in any way, shape or form in which the Lord wants to present it. You may not necessarily like the message -
especially if you don't like the messenger! Change your attitude if you are only willing to hear from God if He is to speak only a certain way, or answer with
such an answer! It is no good spending time listening to God if you aren’t willing to accept His directions. Along with that you must be prepared to seem
foolish in the eyes of other people. In 1st Corinthians 1:25 (NKJV) Paul states, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is
stronger than men.” Note: Remember Noah and the ark; Naaman who was told to go dip himself 7 times in the Jordan River (leper) or the blind man Jesus
told to go wash in the pool of Siloam with clay on his eyes.

12.  When in prayer, be in an attitude of waiting on God, not just calling out each item of your To-Do list to Him! Remember, He is our Shield and Buckler, not
our Chef and Butler!

13. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Rest in Him. Trust in His grace. Submit to Him. It is His good pleasure for us to trust Him
completely.


C.         The Importance of Hearing God’s voice
1.        It is a vital need in our lives
2.        It is the great basis of our relationship with the Lord Jesus; we will be His people and He will be our God
3.        It will change a whole lot of things we are doing or not doing in your life
4.        It will change our standards to His standards
5.        It will change our values to what He values
6.        It will change the way we live.
D.         Benefits of Hearing God’s Voice
1.        It is personal
2.        Intangible (can’t be touched) can’t apprehended by sight or feelings.
3.        Always Present (in the sense of time) a voice is now “I Am” Eternal present
4.        It produces faith (Romans 10:17) Logos and Rhema

Logos (Greek) the mind, counsel, reason of the mind of God; total counsel- purpose of God (John 1:1-2)
Rhema (Greek) the spoken word only from God / personal word from God (Matthew 4:4)

Faith doesn’t come by reading the bible; it comes by hearing the spoken word of God. To which our response is “hearing” and out of “hearing” faith comes.
God’s rhema comes through the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:14
“Being led” mature
“Born of the Holy Spirit” babes/children

5.        Hearing and obeying is the key to all God’s blessing as stated by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy 28 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently
obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high
above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”  (other ref.
John 10:27)

E.        Our Role

1.         Ask God to open ours hears and sanctify them so you can be sensitive to His voice.
2.        Ask God to circumcise ours ears sot that we are not distracted by fleshly desires
3.        Ask for help in developing a tender conscience that is tuned to the sound of God’s voice.
4.        Obedience: I will say like Mary, mother of Jesus, gave to the servants at the wedding: “Whatever He says to you, Do It.” (John2:4)
5.        We have to take heed in what we hear and how we hear: Mark 4:23-25. In others words we must learn what to accept and what to reject. Like the
tongue tastes food; with our ears we need to test words (Job 12:11). I know you have heard the saying concerning eating fish: “Swallow the meat and spit out
the bone.”

In conclusion:
When we allow ourselves to get tuned into the Spirit and ourselves to become sensitive to the Lord’s prompting and leading we will surely hear His voice. As
you become more and more in tune with that “still small voice”, you will begin to have revelation knowledge and understanding of the will of God the Father. I
believe God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. And the only way to discover what they are is to know how to hear and recognize and obey God’s
voice.

All of God’s blessings is hearing and obeying His voice. If you desire to get close to the Lord, this along with prayer and submission to His will is the way.
Practice listening to Him. Force your attention and allow Him to be the center of your thoughts and focus and allow yourself to be fully aware that the Lord God
Jehovah is speaking to you. God has always been seeking an opportunity to meet with His people. He looks for a prepared people who will prepare a place
for His presence.

MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU AND GUIDE YOU INTO ALL THINGS

“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths
for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:2

References:
Derek Prince, CD: How to Hear God’s Voice
Evangelist Diana Gray, “Hearing From God” How do we hear from God?
Bill Hybels, How to Hear from God
Joseph Ho, My Sheep Hear my voice, (Yes God Can Speak to You)
Joyce Meyer, How to Hear from God
Derek Prince, Receiving God’s Best
http://www.seekgod.org/message/hearinggod.html