What happens if I miss it? What if I make a mistake? Is God gonna speak to me? Does He care? How do I even hear? Is it me or God?
Making a big life decision is something that we all will face at one time or another. And these types of questions may come up. There’s not a formula to hearing God’s voice but here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are seeking direction.
Let’s first start here: God delights in sharing His wisdom with us. He wants us to walk in His will, so you can be sure that He is speaking to you. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5). It’s not if God will speak to us, He does speak to us. It’s that simple.
It’s not if God will speak to us, He does speak to us.
Come with expectation because God has already promised, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.“ (Jeremiah 33:3). If you’re leaning in to hear His thoughts but feel a little unsure, remember that God is such a great Dad and will help you. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t hear Him or He doesn’t want to speak to you. Jesus tells us in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
I want to share some key ways God speaks to us from an article by Craig von Buseck that has been helpful in my journey and may be to yours as well. If you want to check out the rest of the article you can read the full length here!
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Godly Counsel
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
- The Prophetic (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy)
“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:19-21).
- The peace of God
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
- The Holy Spirit speaking to our heart
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘know the Lord,’ for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” (Hebrews 8:10-11).
“After these things he (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers”
“Many times the Lord will confirm His direction to us through three, four or more of these keys — especially when we are in the process of making an important, life-changing decision.” — Craig von Buseck
I’m someone who does not enjoy making decisions (My family will confirm this) and when I was seeking God if I should join staff with YWAM Louisville He spoke through almost everyone of those keys above. And here I am!
God’s thoughts are something valuable to me and have been a part of my testimony. There has been seasons though where it was difficult and coming out of those I learned three things that help the heart to hear and focus in on what God is saying.
1. Check Your Heart
In Jeremiah 7:13, God speaks, “While you have been sinning, I have been trying to talk to you, but you refuse to listen” (CEV). If we are living in sin we are essentially holding our hands over our ears saying, “I don’t want to listen to you God”.
“Sinning is any feeling or thought or speech or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure God over all other things.” —John Piper
Start with, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalms 139:23). God will show you if there are areas where your heart is not aligned with His. Ask yourself, “is my desire to put my relationship with God first? Is this decision honoring my relationship with Him?” God may also do this through His gift of community. Be real and honest with godly counseling in your life about where you are at. They aren’t wrapped up in the emotions of your situation and can see things you may not. Let’s be real, when big things come up, our emotions can be quite eager to lead us. Another great tool for checking our hearts is fasting because we are saying no to our flesh and centering our attention onto God. These things will help you to identify your heart posture!
2. What has God already said?
One time I was at a park in my car confused as ever because I was trying to press into “what God was speaking,” when in reality God had already given me an answer. I didn’t grab ahold of the first thing I felt Him speak because I was full of doubt. While I was praying, this dude walked up and knocked on my window. I rolled it down he said to me, “When your confused about what God’s speaking, you need to just trust the first thing He spoke to you.”
The moral of this story is simple, look at what God has already told you. Trust Him in the first thing you felt Him share but also test what you feel He has shown you through godly counsel and confirmation. “But test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). This may sound simple but I’ve seen it happen to many different people where the enemy tries to bring in confusion by speaking other things after the Lord has already clearly spoken.
Trust always involves risk. It means you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position. That’s why anytime you are seeking to hear God’s voice take sometime to immerse yourself deeper in His character. Trust was a huge thing for me in my journey in seeking God’s voice and it will be in yours as well.
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for/a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13).
This is powerful truth that shows you God’s character. He will speak to you because it’s His desire to do so and He is good. Take time to just let that sink into the deep places of your heart. Numbers 23:19 states, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” If you are filled with doubt and questions, identify your questions and then meditate on His goodness in that area through scriptures, testimonies, and times where God showed you personally His goodness.
Also, God is going to speak to you in ways you’ll understand. He knows how you operate and how to get your attention -I’m a missionary and I know first hand how far God goes to get ones attention but the cross is the perfect example for that.
God is going to speak to you in ways you’ll understand.
My challenge for you is to seek God with all your heart in this process and to invite others to come along side of you, people who care about your well being and want God’s will for your life. I’m so excited for you because the fact you are reading this blogpost shows you have a desire to know His thoughts! God has so many great things in store for you! It’s gonna be awesome.