A question I get from a lot of people is a sometimes skeptical, “How do you hear God?” “You seem to hear from Him all of the time! How do you do that?”
I do hear Him. Definitely. I do know His voice. And I believe it has been born from a deep and strong, persistent desire to know and hear Him.
My story is surely different from yours, as each of us was made for a different mission, but the beginning of this conversational relationship I have with my Heavenly Father was in my teen years.
It started when I was fifteen years old and questioning God very intensely.
(For those of you asking, “Is it okay to question God?” The answer is a definite ‘yes’! But that’s another post coming soon!)
At that time, I began to search the Bible to find my answers. I would read and read, looking for magic answers. I would leaf through pages, try to read a parable, try to find some meaning (sigh) keep looking. Something would surely jump off of the page and my answer would be there.
But it didn’t happen that way. Looking back, it is easy to see how it is a necessary process.
I now understand the word that says, Ask, Seek, Knock! means pursuit, to seek after Him with a committed desire. But like the child I was, I felt impatient, I was demanding to know, now!
God desires that we care enough to know Him that we would spend time and energy pursuing Him!
At that stage of life, I was still a newborn and did not realize any of this. My focus was still very egocentric. It is our very human nature to focus inward. Until we begin to follow and spend time knowing God, we cannot understand the beauty of focusing on Him. We cannot fathom the love that will be reflected back on us once we see who He really is!
But what I kept finding while I questioned and searched was exactly this. These words caught my eye every time. Ask. Seek. Knock.
Then I landed on this precious promise. “My sheep will know my voice.”
I was bound and determined to hold God to His word. In the raw honesty of my strong-willed, daring teenage boldness, I challenged God. “Okay then! If it is true that your sheep will know your voice, and if I am your sheep, make me to know your voice!” “And don’t just count on me to figure something out! You know me! YOU made me! YOU know how hardheaded I am, God! Make me to know your voice! I want to hear you! I want to know your voice! Speak to me!
I prayed this prayer, not realizing how tenderly He looked on me, not understanding how perfectly beautiful God is in His consideration of us. The Word does say, ‘He considers our frame’ (Psalm 103:14) and I always remember this when I am made aware of the depths of my humanness. He is faithful to answer when we call on Him.
As a teen, I did not know any of that. And the beautiful thing about it is, I didn’t need to know it! All I knew was that I wanted to know God! And all God wanted from me was to desire Him. (It really is that simple.) Our desires were the same. Even in my lack of understanding, my heart was aligned with His.
If God was real, if He was who He said He was, then He was going to have to show me by speaking to me!
Little by little, I began to hear from God. Sometimes, it would be a scripture that indeed would seem to jump off the page. Other times, I would hear a word or phrase on the radio, later from a stranger standing in line at the movies, still another day the same word or phrase would appear in some other text; all confirming a particular idea that had been weighing on my mind. And I would just know, in my “knower”, as my friend Margaret says. There would be a deep unwavering certainty within me that caused me to know what I heard.
Over time my ‘spirit’ ears have become attuned to hearing God speak on a regular basis. I will share some specific instances where God has clearly spoken to me in upcoming posts!
Until then, Ask, Seek and Knock to pursue God’s voice in your life!