So some of you might not be aware, I have been a pastor for over 20 years now, and I love God a whole lot! Me and Jesus, we are tight and I love people of God and I love to serve people. And there’s been a lot that I’ve learned in my life as a pastor and serving people in times of need; this question can form those places when people feel very alone and even sometimes forgotten. If you’re a faith person (I know not everyone reading this is) it’s easy to get to a place like God doesn’t care. God’s forgotten me. Why did God do that? Even become angry at God. And there’s the other side, that’s a pretty big, extreme, easy to get there too is, Oh man, I don’t deserve God’s love. Or I’m not worthy of connecting with God. I’m not worthy to hear His voice. Why would God love me? I don’t deserve love. And so the question that I want to talk to you about is connected to all that: how do I hear God’s voice? How do I hear God’s voice?
The answer to this question, I have spent over 30 years of my life learning and the last 20 some years serving others and helping them discover how to do exactly this, how to connect with God. I’m well positioned to be able to serve you and add some value to you right now. So I want to give you four ways that you can hear God’s voice or ways that you can position yourself to hear God’s voice more. And number one is not what you’re going to expect.
- You have to Know That YOU Are Loved
If you feel unworthy, unloved, you will not hear from Him. The beginning step to hear God’s voice is to know that you are loved.
You are loved. Two of the most powerful words in the English language, I am. Cause whatever you follow “I am” with, you have the power to create and manifest into your life because there’s creative force on the inside of you because God put it there. So I am loved, but too many of you could have said, I’m not worthy. I’m not loved. I’m forgotten. I have messed up too many times. The beginning step to hear God’s voice is to know that He loves you so much, that He wants to speak into your life. To know that He is a loving Heavenly Father.
I understand some of you have had bad situations with dads in your life. And so you’ve got some daddy issues and that’s that’s real. And I understand that, but our Heavenly Father, God himself, our Father is a good father. He is a loving father. He is a gracious and merciful father. Grace means He’s going to give you what you don’t deserve. And mercy means that He won’t give you what you do deserve. It might need some grace and mercy in your life just like me. We all do.
And so just if you want to hear God’s voice first, realize that you are so loved that your Father wants to speak to you, that He wants to spend time with you. I think of those moments when my son crawls up on the couch and sits in my lap and he has my attention and there’s nothing I want to do more than connect with him right there.
God is not a mean guy up in heaven with a big stick waiting for you to get it wrong and judge you. And He’s not speaking to you in judgment, condemnation, and shame and telling you messed up and you should have done better. That’s not what God’s speaking. He is a loving father who is speaking love to you, His child. He’s not hiding from you. He’s not running from you. Some of us think God doesn’t want to speak to us because He’s hiding what His will is… Think about it this way, if my kids need help, who’s going to be the first one to want to help them? It’s going to me, their father, their dad. And I’m going to speak into their lives because they’re my kids. YOU ARE LOVED.
- Create Space to Listen
You want to hear the voice of God, create time to listen. Now that’s easy to say. I’m not necessarily just talking about going to church on Sunday morning, although that’s a good thing. What I’m talking about is giving God in whatever space you find, giving God your undivided attention, because when you create that space and you give God your divided attention, that’s when we’re able to listen better.
Some of you’ve been talking so much that it looks something like this: God, you need to do this. God, you need to do this. And God, why didn’t you do that? If you created some space and got quiet and said, All right, God, I’m listening. Yes, Lord, I’m ready to receive.
Creating space and listening to God’s voice reminds me of Moses when he was tending the sheep out in the desert and he looked and he saw a burning bush. And he said, well, this is peculiar. I’m going to go and see what’s happening over here. And he turned aside (that is what the Bible said) and he approached the bush. And only when he turned aside, when he gave God his undivided attention, then out of the bush, God spoke. And He said, Hey, Moses, you’re on Holy ground. Take your shoes off. Moses took his sandals off. And then they had a little conversation, a little face to face with God himself. That never would have happened if Moses didn’t first turn aside.
Let me ask you, are you turning aside? Are you creating some space for God to speak into your life? And again, that could be in church on a Sunday morning, but it could be in your car driving home or sitting in the morning on your couch. It could be anywhere, but you’ve got to set the intention and give God your undivided attention.
- Practice it Daily
This is a BIG ONE! And I use that language very intentionally; practice it daily. Do you know what they call doctors and lawyers? What did they say they do? They say they are practicing law. They are practicing medicine. They got their degree. They got the letters after their name, but they have never arrived. They are always constantly practicing to do what they do. The practice never stops.
And there are some people saying, man, I need to hear God, but you haven’t practiced it. You haven’t created a daily practice that gives God that space in which to show up. Moses had that burning bush moment, if Moses tried to live on that burning bush moment, he would have become distant from God. He wouldn’t have heard God’s voice the way that he did. But then later in Exodus, 30:33, it says that Moses made it his practice to go to the tent of meeting, made it a practice of hearing God’s voice. He practiced showing up. He practiced undivided attention. He practiced giving God the space to speak.
And it says that when he made it a practice, then it said, and God would speak to Moses face to face like one friend to another. It didn’t start there, it started with the burning bush. But then Moses said, I’m going to take this experience and turn it into a practice.
See some of you have had amazing, real deal, spiritual experiences; but if you don’t take an experience and turn it into a practice, you’re not going to hear God’s voice consistently the way you desire to hear His voice, you’ve got to have a practice. That could be a prayer practice. That could be a worship practice.
That could be a journaling practice. For me, journaling has radically changed my life. The one habit that has impacted my spiritual life, my marriage, my business, and everything more than anything is the practice of journaling. Because for me, when I pick up this journal and I sit down and I grab my pen and I’ve created space, I do it every single morning (I’m not perfect, just about every single morning). When I sit down with this, you know what I expect? I expect God to speak because I’ve created a space for Him to do that on a daily basis. Sometimes He says stuff I want to hear. Sometimes He says stuff I don’t want to hear. I’m just ranting in my journal because if I ranted to my wife, I ended up sleeping on the couch. God, I got to speak to me, teach me what am I missing here? Usually, it ends up that she was right and I was wrong and I had to repent and pray about it. But this is my daily practice. Yours could be a lot of different things. You could be a nature person. You could be getting out in the woods and like creating that space there.
You’ve got to have a practice of listening to God. How do you create that space for God to show up? All right.
- Do not, over-complicate it
Please do not over-complicate hearing the voice of God. Let me tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt every single day, God speaking all the time and we’re not listening. That’s all, He’s always speaking. And sometimes it is things you don’t want to hear; so we shut that out No, God. Sometimes we shut it out, but He’s always speaking.
And so what I mean by not overcomplicated, you what God could speak to you this morning, driving in with my kids, taking them to school. I look up and there is a beautiful sun. Sky had all kinds of different shades and the clouds were doing cool things. I said to my kids, isn’t that beautiful. You know what? God was speaking at that moment. The Bible says that the heavens declare the glory of God. And so God was speaking at that moment. You could be a walk in the woods and God might speak to you. You could have gotten that text from a friend and just the right moment. Guess what? That could have been God speaking right there. You could open up your Bible and read a verse and Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what I needed to hear. God is always speaking. Don’t over-complicate it.
Don’t say, well, God’s not speaking unless I see a burning bush, unless God talks to me like audibly, like let’s hear a voice from heaven. That doesn’t happen that often, not saying it couldn’t happen to you, but don’t be waiting for that. Learn to hear God in the everyday things of life. You need to learn to hear God in the ordinary things that can bring supernatural messages; messages of hope, messages of comfort, messages of love, messages of wisdom. Learn to hear God in the everyday things.
1. Know you are loved
2. Create Space to Listen
3. Practice it Daily
4. Do Not Overcomplicate Hearing the Voice of God Number one, know that your love, your love, your love.
He loves you. He wants to speak to you and begin to practice that. That’s what God does. His love is unconditional. You can’t mess it up. I can’t mess it up. And again, even if you’re not a faith person, if you listen to this far, you are a faith person. Your faith just might be a little bit different than me. Grab hold of this and connect with God, because He will show up in your life. Go out there and give the world your greatness because somebody needs what’s on the inside of you. Don’t hold it back. Do not underestimate it. Go out there and give your greatness away.