How to Hear from GOD – How To Listen when God is Speaking
Hearing from God is not the problem, LISTENING to God is what we need to do.
Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
The only way to hear from God is to LISTEN when He is speaking and Listening to God requires that you are of Him – you are born again, born of His Spirit.
He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.
The way God speaks to everyone may be different, what is necessary is that everyone must LISTEN in order to hear, because it is certain and real, God speaks.
It is important that I also emphasize this point now. In very few cases do God speak to you in a spectacular way, more often than not He does not come in the spectacular, but as a Spirit, because He is a Spirit – that is the nature of God (John 4:24).
1 KINGS 19:11-13
The above scripture says that there was a spectacular appearance (wind, earthquake and fire), but God was not in it, what Elijah heard was the voice of God, which announces the presence of God.
The reason why I said we should not expect God to speak to us in a spectacular way is because the devil can fake a spectacular happening for you, in order to deceive you – he lives in this world and can manipulate things and events. I have heard of people who sought to see visions and the devil took advantage of them and destroyed them. They were hearing voices and seeing visions and thought it was from God, until later they realized that it was the devil manipulating them. Anything that is from God will be in agreement with the scriptures (the Bible) – the written word of God.
If God chooses to speak to any man in a spectacular way – because He can, God is sovereign, He will make you know it is Him speaking and whatever He says or ask you to do will be Holy and will be in agreement with His written word.
I have seen the handwriting of God in a trance (open vision) before, I saw the writings but I did not see the hand. I was praying in the spirit (praying in tongues) and suddenly I found myself in a trance, the place was full of bright lights and then I saw someone writing something in the air, immediately after the writing ended, I found myself back in my physical state. It was a wonderful experience, and it was for my edification, the message came to give me comfort and assurance when I was in the wilderness period of my life and the message was pure, peaceful and in agreement with the Bible. But note this, I was not expecting that experience, I did not seek it, it came by the will of God. I am not saying we should not desire or expect God to speak to us, what I am saying is do not seek after the spectacular.
Most of the time when God is trying to lead us by His Spirit, as he promised in His word (Job 32:8), we do not LISTEN; rather we seek something spectacular, or a vision or an angel to appear to us. We cannot determine how God will speak to us; He chooses how He wants to speak to us.
When I was young in the Christian faith, I desired so much to hear from God, but God was by all means asking me to LISTEN. I will seek visions or expect to see an angel, because I have read about angelic visitations in the Bible, but none of these happened. I did not understand why, and no one taught me that I am not to choose how and in what way God should speak to me – God Himself chooses which way he desires to speak.
The Bible is God speaking to you
Many years later, as I grew in my Christian walk, God made me realise that all I am required to do is to LISTEN when He speaks, because He speaks all the time.
The first people Jesus tried to speak to after His resurrection were His disciples, and He spoke to them by the “SPIRIT” and by the “WRITTEN WORD”.
Luke 24:32, AMP
And they said to one another, were not our hearts (SPIRIT) greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and as He opened and explained to us [the sense of] the Scriptures (WRITTEN WORD)?
After many years of always seeking a vision, dreams or expecting an angel to bring me answers to my questions, God finally taught me that a very simple way to LISTEN to Him is to pick up His word (the Bible) and read the scriptures. Reading and meditating on it, especially from the Psalms, or the Book of Proverbs and the New Testament, reading slowly and then meditating on it – reading all the books of the Bible is equally important. In a short while, you will begin to hear God speaking to you right from the pages of that Bible – because that is His word to you.
The Bible confirms this in the book of Proverbs, talking about the word of God speaking to you.
When you roam, they will lead you;
when you sleep, they will keep you;
and when you awake, they will SPEAK with you.
God taught me so much about listening to Him, and He asked me to teach His church all I have learnt from Him, which is why this book was written. He commanded me to write and the message is all encompassed in this statement “The word of God was first a person before it became the scriptures – a written book”. Anytime you are reading the Bible, you are actually listening to God speaking to you. The written book (the bible) also confirms this statement in the book of John 1:1.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The word of God is the voice of God speaking to you.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words (which is also written down in the bible) that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Remember, He said His words are spirit and only a man born of the Spirit (born again) can hear words that are spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). You need to be a Christian to experience hearing God from the pages of the Bible.
There is no step-by-step guide to reading the Bible, just open it and start reading (then study also), or you may choose a particular book or chapter you like. Ensure you read the Bible regularly and systematically (day and night), God Himself will be there with you, guiding you to where to read. I have often experienced that when I am determined to study the Bible, once I open it to read, I frequently open to where He wants me to read, and this is the same testimony with many Christians who have written about their experiences. The reason is because; God is just beside you while you are reading His word, wherever His word is read, He is there present. God and His word are one and the same – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1).
Most messengers (Prophets and Teachers) of God and mentors have advised that new Christians should start their reading and studying of the Bible from the New Testament – I obeyed their advice, and I strongly agree, because the New Testament contains words directly from the mouth of Jesus – in most Bible versions, His direct words are written in red.
Reading and understanding the New Request personal prophetic word Testament as a primary step is paramount for a new believer because it helps to first and foremost understand the new life Jesus has given, so that we can live in the power of this new life. The Old Testament should also be read for better understanding and proper correlation.
As you continually do this, you will begin to hear God speak to you from the pages of the bible – the book that contains His word.
There are Christians who have never studied the Bible, and yet they still claim to be Christians. Jesus said “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you (John 15:7).”
You can see that the two underlined actions in the above quotation go together; the first one is dependent on the other. If you claim to be a Christian (If you abide in Him), then, also His word must abide in you.
You cannot really hear God in your spirit; if you don not already have God’s word in your spirit. It is the deep that calls unto the deep (Psalm 42:7).
God said we should let His word dwell in us in abundance (Colossians 3:16). There is a reason why he said so, let us obey Him.
Colossians 3:16, NIV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Until the word of God is resident in your spirit, hearing God when He speaks will be undistinguishable, because you would not be able to recognise His voice. God is the same as His word (John 1:1). When you are full of God’s word in a rich proportion, your spirit man is renewed, by doing so, you sharpen your ability to hear God clearly, which is a process of LISTENING. You will understand this wisdom when you read through chapter 12 of this book. Let us read through Hebrews 5:11-14 for some scriptural wisdom
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Spiritual Immaturity – Author’s addition
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe (Spiritual Immaturity).
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by REASON OF USE have their senses EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.
The emphasis I want to bring out is on the word “REASON OF USE”. This is a process of training your spirit man by continuous use (study) or engagement with the word of God (the Bible) and after some time, you will notice that your spirit is EXERCISED, and easily you will recognise God’s voice when He speaks.
From LOGOS to RHEMA
The Logos is the written word of God as contained in the Bible – written to everybody, but a Rhema word from God, is a word from the Logos (the Bible) – a personal revelation of God’s written word to you, such that attends to you personally. The Logos (the written word) pave the way for the Rhema (a revelation of the written word). Someone else may read the same verse or chapter of the Bible you read, but will not get the same revelation you got – I mean revelation (a personal encounter with God’s wisdom), even though the same verse or chapter was read.
This is because the word of God (the Bible) is not merely ink on a paper (a printed book), the word of God is Spirit and life – when you read it.
You will always experience the Spirit of God emanating from the Bible. This happens in a process of reflection and meditation, when studying the Bible with a focused attention.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Let us also remember that the Bible says that ” For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14)”. If you meditate on that scripture very well, you will realise that to be led by the spirit of God could also mean the same as to be led by the word of God. The word of God is also manifested as the Spirit of God (John1:1). The revelation of the word of God that you received from the Bible into your spirit is the Rhema word of God for you – that is God’s Spirit leading you through.
A RHEMA word from God is simply an illumination, inspiration (Job 32:8), a revelation of the written word (LOGOS) – as contained in the Bible, but as a personal revelation to you. A Rhema word is personal; it speaks to you alone – for your specific need. Also, a Rhema word from God for you, will also witness to your spirit.
One day while in prayer, I asked God why I have not received answers to a request I made to him several days ago, and due to the urgency of the request, time was running out. After making the prayer, I rose up to sit on my bed to read the Bible, but suddenly grabbed a book containing the scriptures to read, and as I opened it, the first verse my eyes caught reads as follows;
“Now hope does not disappoint,
Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.”
Immediately, I jumped out of my bed. Whao! I said, what were the chances of my eyes alighting on this scripture at this point in time? Why did my hands open to this page and this was the first verse on that page? It dealt exactly with what I had questioned God about in my prayer a few minutes before. I knew it was a word from God answering my question to Him when I prayed earlier on. That verse of the scripture was God speaking back to me that I should wait (hope) on Him, and that He will not disappoint, though the request was urgent and time was running out.
Now, how did I hear from God? – I LISTENED!
And how did I LISTEN? – By reading and studying His word (the Bible)
Someone else may have read the exact verse, but may not have heard what I heard by inspiration, because we did not make the same prayer and our challenges are different – remember the Rhema word is personal.
During that period, I needed a response to my request from God by the end of that month, and truly, God did not disappoint, what I requested for manifested before that month ended.
My teacher, Charles Achonwa, said “A revelation is anything that God shows to you; and information is what man shows to you”
Often times, we complicate things, we make matters hard by seeking to hear voices by ourselves when God has made it simple for us to hear Him by His written word, which we have access to anytime, yet we neglect it.
When Christians say that they do not hear from God, most often they do not read and study the Bible (the word of God).
If God want you to hear His audible voice, which you might, as you grow up spiritually, He will make sure you hear Him, because He is the Potter and you are just like clay in His hands (Jeremiah 18:6). Therefore it is in God’s sovereignty and power to enable you hear Him, when He speaks. And if you are too busy, such that you did not hear Him, when He spoke, He will use another channel such that you will hear when you are calm – like Dreams, Circumstances, when a man is preaching or through a Vision.