How often do you initiate a chat with someone = especially to discuss a misunderstanding in the hope of clearing things out – only to realise you are simply hitting your head on a brick wall as they just don’t want to hear your reasons or perspectives? Often this happens when the person who you want to hear your side / thoughts has a superior (or inferior) complex believing they couldn’t possibly be wrong in any which way. Communication is a difficult thing as it’s not only about words. Some don’t want to hear the whole thing you have to say as they are busy trying to think what they should say or to shoot you down etc. Listening is a skill we lack a lot… We often listen to decide what we want to say instead of trying to understand what the other person is trying to say. Or we hear a few key words that strike a thought and are busy formulating our thoughts that the words of the other just goes over our heads – way above our ears. I admit it, there are many times I have failed this way too.
If we can’t practise hearing out what others have to say how can we hear what God is saying? We should go to God with a purpose…
We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves,
but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself – Oswald Chambers
Getting things has often become the thread of prayer – whether it’s healing or breakthrough or whatever – it’s about what we want! If we find that’s how we approach prayer, we need to ask where our heart is!
“True love begins when nothing is looked for in return”- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Prayer is about two way communication. It’s about getting to know God and surrendering our human wisdom to hear His heartbeat and voice and hear His will according to His wisdom. When God called Abraham, he heard and responded, “Here I am!”. Likewise with Moses and Jacob!
We read of the boy Samuel who heard that he was called. He responded “Here I am” running to Eli. This happened three times. Mind you, the scriptures tell us, “In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions” – 1 Samuel 3:1. Eli realised this was God speaking. The next time the LORD called, Samuel was able to say ‘Here I am” to the LORD himself.
In those days God spoke directly to a select few people. In today’s day and age, we are the temple of God if we believe and if we are surrendered to live by faith. If HE is living in us, surely He speaks to each one of us directly. Prophesies kick in to encourage, edify or rebuke… God speaks to us and then confirms through other means.. but He first speaks to us. The rebuke comes at times when we are not listening to His voice and instead filling the lust of our flesh. If our hearts are surrendered to His will then surely God will direct our paths.
We have many voices clouding the voice of God. Often our fleshly desires (how the world, our family, our community and our own viewpoints have shaped us) come in the way. We often think in our comfort zones and consider our name and fame and look in terms of our assets. Sometimes our lips tell God that “we want to hear Your voice, speak to me” yet we haven’t truly in our heart surrendered our will. There are often times we do truly want to hear but we have given the evil spirit a foothold and haven’t exercised our authority in Jesus. There are measures we need to take in order to hear clearly.
Then we have voices of loved ones trying to protect us from harm and danger and struggles… who want to keep us in our comfort zones. The enemy often uses those who are close to our heart to do this just like he did with Peter, “Oh no this cannot happen to you Lord!”. In this case, Jesus didn’t hold a grudge against Peter but discerned the cause and rebuked Peter,
You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns – Mark 8:33
There are times our human wisdom is sufficient, where God uses that to help us discern His voice. However, often letting our human wisdom kick in to evaluate God’s perfect will is judging with what we see and we can miss out blocking His perfect plan for our own lives and be a stumbling block in another. In every situation we need to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal to us whether we have in mind MERELY human concerns or the concerns of God. He works in mysterious ways, ways that are much higher than our ways. Peter tried to protect Jesus with love of course.. yet Jesus knew what God had spoken to HIM and stood steadfast rebuking Peter.. and Satan through him.
Jesus clearly says, “My sheep know my voice”. It’s not rocket science, it’s not magic. When we sincerely love Him with ALL our heart, ALL our soul, ALL our mind, ALL our strength – that means when we increasingly surrender our decisions, our wills, our mere human wisdom, our fears, our fleshly desires etc… then our hearts are free to hear.
Jesus is the GOOD Shepherd. He calls each one of us by name… and He leads us.. We follow Him because we know His name. He knows us and we know Him.. We then know His voice too! (John 10).
The more we spend time in prayer and meditating on His Word, systematically studying His Word in context to get to know the Father, the more we discern His voice from the voice of the enemy. We know His voice..
- If we are struggling to discern we need to check our lives as to how much of time we are spending with the Father and how we are doing so?
- Are our prayers focused on getting things for ourselves or are prayers focused on delighting in HIM and to know His heartbeat for us and allowing HIM to place His desires of His perfect will in our hearts?
No matter how tough it is what He leads us to do we respond knowing He has a purpose and when He promises He will do it, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus went through much for you and me. God never left HIM but raised Him to His rightful place. Are you going to place your trust in God for the same?
Faith is not evaluating things based on what we see or analysing with our mind, but it is hearing God clearly and acting upon that. God’s ways are foolish to the world…
When we love HIM and want HIS perfect will for our lives and to fulfil the purpose He has for us, then our faith automatically grows as we know HIS voice.. and we know, we simply know, God will never let us go astray that He nudges us onto the right path. It’s the hearts He is looking at – hearts and motives that others can’t see but HE SEES!
Are you asking God to speak to you today?