I was blessed to have some awesome, Jesus loving ladies share their stories on hearing God. As God lead me to putting this series together and to each of them, they were gracious enough to give some glimpses in to their adventures on learning to hear God, and that yes, it is possible. So here they are, combined in one place for easy reading. Praying this blesses you as much as it has for me to compile it.
julie steck ashley blanchard jen jeffery
courtney cole lani fast weins
sue friesen tiffany stroud jeana saeedi
stephanie adele sharon wooten
Matthew 6:4 says, "But you, when you pray go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly". NKJ
I prayed asking God to bless me with the ability to hear His voice, as I wanted to take my relationship to another level of closeness, and deeper understanding of Him and His Word. Soon after, I started being awakened around 3 am in the morning for many months (I still get awakened, but not as often). I hear my name being called. I literally hear an audible and very distinct voice. I receive messages and specific words and told to write them down. I am very prayerful, asking the Lord their meaning.
I look forward to spending time with God in my secret place. I sing, read my Bible, and pray. I then lay quietly and listen as my Father speaks to me through the Holy Spirit, writing down all He has to say to me. My relationship has gone to another level with God. I hear from Him each time I seek Him and listen for His response. I have learned that God speaks to me in many ways through the Holy Spirit, family, friends, Pastors and songs.
Sue is a wife and mother of seven children (all adults) and has always had a heart to seek and follow God. She enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her family, especially her precious Grandchildren!
Hearing and Recognizing the VOICE of God in My Life.
In James 3:14-18 we read:
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Just in the simple matter of being asked to guest post here was a case of hearing the voice of God.
Tiffany sent me an email on December 1st asking for me to guest post about this subject. I remember reading it and then flagging it in my email thinking I would get back to it later.
I forgot about it.
I sat cleaning out my inbox and ran across it again.
On February 9th.
I quickly emailed Tiffany and asked if it was too late to submit a post and she replied graciously with an extended invite.
That reply was on February 10th.
I had no idea what I was going to write.
However, that evening as I sat in our Wednesday night Bible Study, though what was being taught was completely on a different subject, the Holy Spirit quietly whispered, "that thing I showed you in James a few days ago, THAT is what you are to share in that post on Tiffany's blog."
On February 2nd, I had one of those times in my morning devotions that I knew it was all God and I was just writing what was coming to mind. Wisdom that was not coming from within me. The Holy Spirit revealing the meaning behind the words as I read them, an understanding and application of the passage, so much clarity and I couldn't write them down fast enough.
Ever have a time like that?
It's like an "ah-ha" moment that you KNOW didn't come from your own brain.
I remember writing it all down and then sitting back and going, "Wow, God. What is this for? What am I to do with this?" Though much of it was gently correcting me spiritually (I had a bad attitude about something) but it is also a good lesson to pass on.
Certainly we all deal with this, it isn't just me.
So, back to James chapter 3.
Here is what God gave me.
Let's start with verses 14-16.
When my thoughts are critical and judgmental and hypocritical, they are not from the Lord, they are not Holy Spirit led. They have not "descended from above." They also tend to be loud and consuming thoughts.
Then in verses 17-18, God describes that which has "descended from above" as "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." When I am listening and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit is truly speaking, then those thoughts are pure and peaceable, gentle and "easy to be entreated," full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Not sure what "easy to be entreated" means? According to Noah Webster's 1828, my second favorite book ever, "entreated" means:
Prevailed on by urgent solicitation; consenting to grant what is desired.
It is easy to consent to. It is not asking the impossible. God does not ask the impossible of us and he gives us the ability to do what He asks of us.
They are thoughts that in the end will lead to peace, they are merciful thoughts and thoughts that will produce "good fruits" and "righteous fruits," if they are applied.
They also do not contain the sins of partiality and hypocrisy. Also these thoughts are usually corrective thoughts, correcting my own behavior or attitude.
The Bible refers to the voice of God as "a still small voice" in 1 Kings 19:12. It is a quiet whisper. He whispers it and then leaves you with it to ponder.
It is NOT a loud and condemning thought that puts itself on repeat in your head, that wears you down, and piles on the guilt, making you miserable.
What a blessing that God, through the Holy Spirit living within us as Christians, is so loving and gentle with us. He teaches us in gentle ways much like I imagine how Jesus took little children on his knee and spoke lovingly to them. I don't think he grabbed them forcefully, got in their face, and yelled at them.
Is God whispering something to you today?
Be still and quiet and listen because he will not yell at you above the noise in your life.
That is simply not his way.
Sharon writes about her hike through life at her blog Hiking Toward Home. She enjoys sharing what her Trail Guide teaches her along the trail toward her home in Heaven while capturing the view in pixels, paint and pencils. As wife to the love of her life, whom she met in a college photography darkroom and home educating mom to four fabulous kids, her trek often feels more like a marathon sprint up a mountain than a leisurely hike. Her writing has been featured at (in)courage and in Holly Gerth's book You Were Made For A God-Sized Dream. Hike along with her through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
It is hard for me to stand still, sit still, or just be still. I am one of those people that tend to have two speeds: energizer bunny or asleep. It’s as if I have a battery and I just keep going until my battery dies. Not only do I physically have trouble being still, but my mind has the same problem.
When I ask someone what they are thinking and they say “nothing” I have a hard time believing that…because my mind is never off. I am constantly thinking…whether I mean to or not. You should hear some of the story lines that run through my mind. I am sure there is a blockbuster hit somewhere in there.
But, seriously, I think and think and think. Sometimes it is worry, but most often it is just wondering. Especially when I am waiting on the Lord.
What will things look like in the future?
Am I prepared?
Will I be content?
Am I following God’s call?
And then I read 1 Samuel 12:16, and I am reminded to be still. That the Lord is doing a great thing. That this great thing will happen before my eyes. I am reminded that I need to quiet my mind and my heart and just listen to the Lord. I have to block out everything else going on outside of me and inside of me, and focus on the one who made me and has the perfect plan for my life. Even when I want to move ahead of Him, I know that this would be outside of His will. And the best and safest place to be is at the center of His will…so why should I stray? Why should I move ahead of Him? Why shouldn’t I stand still and see the great thing the Lord is doing right before my eyes?
It’s so tough, but I strive to make this time of listening a priority. Instead of turning immediately to my phone first thing in the morning, my goal is to turn to God’s word. Instead of flipping on the t.v. before bed, my goal is to turn to God in prayer. Throughout the day when I am wondering and worrying, instead of texting a friend, my goal is to seek the Savior. It’s taking these small moments throughout my day when I wake up, before a meal, as I lay down for bed, and many times in-between, to turn to the great counselor for guidance. These are the times to stand still.
Listen, the words of 1 Samuel 12:16 was not written to me or about me, but I believe it applies to me. And I believe it applies to all of us at varying times in our lives. As I am waiting on the Lord to move in different areas of my life, I want to just be still and trust Him, knowing that He has a great thing waiting for me, and it will happen before my very eyes. I need only stand still.
“Jesus, I’m sorry it’s been so long…”
Jeana is a dreamer, an artist, and a writer. (She makes a living doing two of those things.) Jesus has healed her fragile heart, and He's the reason she’s able to live a life full of joy and wonder. When she isn’t painting, baking, or glued to her laptop, she is outside soaking up the sun and traveling to new places with her wonderful husband. You can find her blog at tolivedelightfully.com.
I was around age fourteen when I can first remember knowing God was speaking to me. I attended a small church with a very close-knit youth group. Several of the kids were struggling with knowing their salvation was real, and it caused me to have doubts. I finally sat down with my Bible and so, "OK God, I need your help with this. I know what I believe, and I don’t want to struggle with this anymore."
I opened my Bible and read Mark 9:29. A man has brought his son to Jesus to be healed. The man asks Jesus to have compassion and help the boy if he is able. In verse 23, Jesus responds, "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." And then, in verse 24, the man responds, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
"I believe; help my unbelief!"
I felt just like this father. I knew I believed, but the doubts of others had caused me to question myself. That day, I gained such a strong assurance and knew I never needed to question the sincerity of my faith again.
For me, hearing the voice of God has always come through my involvement with Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
I have absolutely found this to be true. God has provided His timeless Word to speak to us. The Holy Spirit identifies how it needs to affect our lives. At times, I personally identify with characters in the Bible. Their struggles reflect mine, and I gain a better understanding through their experiences. Other times, a verse may strike me in completely unexpected ways, leading me to examine how I behave or think and fostering within me a desire to change in ways that I know are inspired by God.
I have always struggled with making Bible-reading a daily habit, but as I have committed more of my time to it, I am amazed at how it has affected my life and how the words have truly come alive. The Bible provides endless conversation with God, because even when I read the same passage twice, I can feel led to identify different personal applications. While the Truth never changes, my understanding can certainly grow.
I am so grateful that God did not leave us to figure out the path of faith all by ourselves. His Word guides us and the Holy Spirit directs our understanding so that we can have a close relationship with God.
Stephanie is a wife and stepmama of two. The goal of her blog is to
encourage women as they seek to grow in their faith while balancing the struggles of home, life, family, work, and the myriad of demands of our time and attention. She and her family live in North Carolina and enjoy all the state has to offer from the mountains to the beach.You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
“Only after all the noise has spent itself do we begin to hear in the silence of our hearts, the voice of God.” A.W. Tozer
The concept that God speaks, that He is capable of being heard, has always been part of my comprehension of His character. I come from a rich heritage of faith, where the saving and redeeming blood of Christ has always been taught and mostly accepted. I grew up believing that God spoke to His children. I just never planned on hearing His voice. I somehow felt excluded from the group of God Hearers, as if one needed to be a Biblical scholar or theologian to be deemed worthy of hearing the voice of God.
So when He spoke to me, clearly and quietly, I listened. I thought I was insane. No louder than a whisper, but as powerful as a bellowing declaration, His voice resonated within me. In that moment, there was no doubt that God was the one speaking. I had heard my own thoughts before and they were never delivered with such authority, such peace.
I was excited and terrified. I had always talked to God, but hearing His voice was a sweet reminder that I was in a relationship with Him. I wasn’t just talking to the ceiling or spewing words into the air around me. God was listening and He cared enough to respond. He still responds.
I assure you that I don’t follow a magic formula to bargain for the sound of His voice. I simply spend time with Him. Because I want to know His heart, I make it a priority to read His Word and pray. I take breaks from social media and other distractions and I set aside time to just be with God.
But most importantly, I give God the opportunity to speak. I no longer limit Him and His ability to work in my life by the way that I view myself, thinking that I am too young or too insignificant. I’m not excluded from the group of God Hearers. And neither are you, friends. I pray that you would give God the opportunity to speak in your lives. I’m sure that He has some amazing things to say.
An ambassador for Christ disguised as a singer/writer, Courtney is a young woman with a heart for encouragement. When she’s not traveling and singing, you can find her with her nose stuck in a good book or her fingers tangled in a crochet project. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, you rebel) and visit her at www.eyesofmuna.blogspot.com or connect on Twitter: @blessedxlashea
Hearing Him through His Word
Last fall, I found myself facing debilitating anxiety for the first time in my life. Sleepless nights, racing heart, impending sense of doom…these were all symptoms I carried with me for weeks. True to my nature, I didn’t share what was going on with anyone (not even my husband, although he could tell something was not right). I hid away from the world, only going out for work and church- until I began creating excuses to miss both.
There were certainly many factors leading to the state in which I found myself- a husband in his final year of law school, mounting debt due to said law school, a job I dreaded going to every day, and some delicate concerns with close family members. Every moment was filled with constant obsession of each issue. Short of requesting medication, I was lost for help.
I’ve never been the type who believed in God “speaking” to me. Sure, I trusted He would lead me when I sought Him; I knew I would grow in my faith by the means of grace provided (prayer, faithful preaching of scripture, partaking of communion). However, I didn’t trust I could open the word, listen to a sermon, or read a devotion which would directly speak to me. In fact, I rejected any such experience, for fear of taking a piece of scripture out of context, molding it to fit what I wanted to hear.
And then, twice in one day, the Lord gave me a verse I had never heard:
“…fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
I did not seek out this verse- it found me in two very different ways, on the same day. And this produced an understanding of how the Lord speaks to me - to all of us…through His word. When we are in doubt, when we are in fear, we need to flee to the comfort of the very voice of our God. We need to trust when we listen to a faithfully preached sermon with open ears, we will hear our God whisper directly to our own hearts.
I know it seems simple- look to scripture. And how silly I am only now grasping this, after being a believer for a great number of years!
Since the day of Isaiah 41, I have made a conscious effort before sermons and my own quiet time, to pray the Lord would keep my ears and heart open to what He would have me hear…keeping my mind clear of what I want to hear, and being open to what He has to say to me.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Daughter to a glorious King, wife to a remarkable man, and mama to a high-spirited puggle. She loves all things feminine and sparkly, and has a desire to master the fine art of being an elegant lady. Literature and music are the background décor of her life- and Phillipians Four is her refrain. She hopes to express the grace, beauty and faith she cherishes in her own world through her words. You can find her on facebook, instagram and bloglovin.
- Welcome the Holy Spirit to be present, perhaps worship through music for a bit
- Repent for any known sins and leave your own agenda behind
- Invite the Holy Spirit to speak into a question or just wait in silence (God what do you need us to know about _____________?)
- Write down anything that crosses your consciousness – a word, a color, scripture, song lyrics, etc.
- Share these things all together with the group.
- Again, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to know and start discerning how each piece of that puzzle fits with the question asked.
- Thank the Holy Spirit for the direction or light given, see if there is more.
- Write down whatever conclusions or directions you came to and then be obedient to what was shown.
- Don’t worry if you don’t ‘get’ anything.
- to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
- consider what is or has been said a thing comes to one's ears,
- to find out, learn, to give ear to a teaching or a teacher
- to comprehend, to understand
- to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
- to become known
- to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
- to understand; know
- Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman to become acquainted with, to know