In theological terms, there is a “specific” and a “general” will of God. Everyone wants to hear the specific voice of God. Anytime we need a specific answer to a hard decision, we want a “specific” answer from God. Sometimes though, we are trying to hear the specific words from God without hearing the general words from God every day.
If a person only spends time listening to God only when they have a big decision to make, they won’t be familiar with how He speaks. They haven’t made it a habit of meeting with Him the rest of the time. It’s so much more difficult to hear those specific words from God in hard times when we haven’t made it a practice to meet with Him every day.
Value His Voice
If we value something, then we will allow time for that. Do you value God’s voice? Yes, but many don’t take the time to actually spend time listening to Him. There are certain things we can do:
1) Set An Appointment
If you want to hear God, set an appointed time to do so.
Exodus 19:10 – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. (Verse 11) “And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. (God was setting an appointment to meet with the people.)
(Verse 19) And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered by voice.
The people had to prepare to hear the word of the Lord. God comes to a prepared atmosphere! When we look through the Bible at the times people had encounters with God, there was a preparation before that encounter in many of those instances.
Do you realize that a lot of preparation has to go into a church service? There are many churches today that don’t prepare at all and say, “We’ll just let the Holy Spirit lead us today.” And then they blame not having been prepared on the Holy Spirit. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever been to a service like that? I was one time and left before it was over. What a mess! It was the most unorganized mess I’d ever gone to. They sang a couple songs and then some woman walked around with a microphone and let people just say whatever was on their minds.
The Holy Spirit is not disorganized, nor is He the author of confusion! The Holy Spirit can speak on Tuesday what He wants to do on Sunday. But there has to be some preparation. We all set appointments for other things, so why not prepare and set an appointment with God? He is the most important person in our lives! We need to set a time and a place. If a person is at their best in the morning, set a morning time. Some it might be on their lunch hour at work and yet others it might be at night when the house is quiet.
2) Be Still And Worship
Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God;
Exodus 14:13 – And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
In this next passage, there are three armies that have surrounded Judah and Jerusalem:
2 Chronicles 20:17 – “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!” (Verse 21) And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: (These singers went in front of the army.) “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever.”
(Verse 22) Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (Verse 23) For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (Verse 24) So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
Every one of us fight battles, stand still and worship! Before we can know that He is God, we need to “be still!”
Acts 13:2 – As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3) Pray and Read
Mark 1:35 – Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Psalm 119:147 – I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.
We pray about whatever is on our hearts that day. It might be a person or it might be about your job, but just pray and then read Scripture. Before long a person will get very familiar with their Bible. and know exactly where to go in Scripture to help them.
I have found though, over the years there are a lot of lazy Christians that want others to do the praying and reading for them. If I ask them, “How much time do you spend in God’s word?” they just have this guilty look on their faces. How can a person ever expect to know God and hear His voice if they won’t spend time with Him?
4) Listen and Write
Listening seems to be the hardest thing for us to do. When a person talks over another, no one hears what is being said.
Psalm 45:1 – My heart is overflowing with good theme; I recite my composition concerning the king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalm 45:1 (MSG) My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words. He’s talking about what it feels like when he meets with God. His heart overflows and the best thing he can do is write it in a poem to the King – Lord.
This is David talking about building the temple: 1 Chronicles 28:19 – “All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” When David would meet with the Lord, He would speak and David would write things about the temple.
Habakkuk 2:2 – Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”
The best way I know to hear the voice of God is to write when you’re meeting with HIm. I’ve done that for years in a journal. You can literally write your prayers. Then write what you think God’s answer would be to your prayers. You can write what you think God is saying through the Scripture you read that day.
1 Samuel 3:1 – Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. That word “rare” in Hebrew means “limited supply.” But that’s the secondary meaning. The primary meaning is “valuable’ and “precious.” The word of the Lord was valuable and precious! People valued hearing the word of the Lord. Do you?
It’s not hard to hear what God is saying to us when we are still!