On Hearing God
My friendship with the Holy Spirit began when I was a teenager. Before that, I knew Jesus as my savior, but not as my friend.
At the time I met the Holy Spirit, my life had been turned upside down, inside out. My parents divorced, my mom remarried: from Baptist to Pentecostal, from severe abuse to a new man in the house.
I quit high school my freshman year, because of health issues, yet found myself forced to return to school, spending most of the first few months of my sophomore year in the nurse’s office. In this time frame, Holy Spirit began this relationship with me.
In the beginning, He used new friends, youth pastors, moves from state to state, strong impressions, and His word to lead me. Like most people, when I would feel like I should do something He was leading me to do, I would pray prayers like, “If you really want me to do this, Lord, make all the stop lights green.” And He would honor those prayers and lead me through those childlike requests. Yes, I really did pray that prayer when I was taking my first teaching job, and yes, every light for miles was green.
It was in the middle of a very long season of inner-healing counseling though, that I really began to mature in my walking with Him, because without Him, I would have fully sunk into the murky depths of depression and anxiety. He became my life-line, my best friend. Truly, during the darkest times of my life, I heard His voice in my heart, and saw images of Him coming into the middle of my abuse that completely rocked me, transforming the way I saw Him, others and myself.
The process was such that I would never wish on any enemy, yet on this side of it, I would not trade the relationship I gained with God for anything. In the moments of our lives when it is darkest, He always comes to our rescue. I’ve learned to ask the questions when hard times hit, what do you want me to know about you, about me, about this situation?
Now, my friendship with Him is moment by moment. He’s involved in, well, everything I do, in my thoughts, in my decisions, in everything. Do I miss hearing him sometimes? Sure. Or misunderstand things? Often. Do I ever doubt what I’m hearing in my heart, like is this just me talking to myself, making this up? Absolutely. Until, He faithfully confirms it in ways I could never make up.
He is God. I am not. And trying to understand God is like trying to understand the cosmos, except more inconceivable, because He created it. So, it’s more a matter of me listening the best I can, and following His lead.
I know most people are at this point wondering, “Well, what about me?” Some even may doubt the existence of such a God who would want to actually have a relationship with the created. Many struggle with statements like “I don’t hear God,” or “He doesn’t care about me like that.” But I’m here to tell you affirmatively He most certainly does desire a deep friendship with each of His children, and you can hear from Him. The Bible is clear about that.
John 10:3-5 “My sheep hear my voice. I call them by name, and lead them out… The sheep follow me, for they know my voice.”
First of all, I need to believe that God has given me the ability to hear Him.
Sometimes, that may look like a quiet whisper in my mind. Sometimes, I may pick up my Bible, and the pages fall to the verse that is perfect for my day. Maybe it’s strolling through the woods on a fall afternoon, and He speaks through the environment. He can speak through people, animals, nature, artistic expression, music, books, etc.. He is a very creative God, and knows exactly how to talk to you best, if you are listening.
Pay attention. Slow down. Expect Him to speak to you. He will.
How do I know it’s Him? Well, for one thing, it lines up with His character. For example, the Holy Spirit will never tell you to lie or cheat or go against the law of love, because He is love. Love is patient, kind, gentle, etc…
It won’t go against His Word. He won’t tell someone to have an affair, because that violates His word and His character.
It will lead you closer to Him. It won’t push you away from God. Hearing Him draws you near. You become more in love with God than ever.
Having God involved in my everyday life is an adventure. I don’t know how He will capture my attention today, speaking His love to me, but He will. For certain, the God of the universe longs to have a friendship with you. He is speaking. Will you listen?
This is a fun thought: “Having God involved in my everyday life is an adventure. I don’t know how He will capture my attention today, speaking His love to me, but He will.” Thanks for sharing this and for the reminder to listen for God, in His whispers, through nature, through others, while reading His word, and whatever way He chooses to reveal himself to us. Thanks for the post.
You said, “It’s a matter of me listening the best I can.” Oh, that is me, too. I’m trying to listen the best I can, but sometimes I can’t hear. Thanks for the encouragement!
It’s so important to validate that it’s God voice your listening to and not our own, or the Angel of Light who can so easily entrap us with his deceit. What an important reminder to always seek His truth. He’s always validated His word when asked. When I don’t receive validation, I don’t act upon it. Waiting on the Lord is such an important part of our walk. Lots to chew on in your post ma’am. Great job!
I think “what do you want me to know about you, about me, about this situation?” is one of the most important questions we can ask God. We so often ask Him to act on our perspective of a situation rather than stopping to seek His perspective. Our view is always tainted by our own desires and past brokeness, but allowing God to reveal truth about himself and our circumstances is the best way to pray in His will. Thanks for that great reminder.
Listening to God’s voice is our responsibility because yes, He is speaking. He does speak in many different ways and we have no excuse for not hearing Him. Thanks for the post.
I’m going to work harder to walk with God “moment by moment” as you do. I agree He knows how to best reach each of us individually. That’s why he doesn’t give up on me the first time when I fail to listen.
The post is a great expression of your faith!
Thank you for all this wonderful feedback! I love walking with Abba. It’s always an amazing journey, sometimes hard, but always good.