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One of the things that always impressed me during my pastoral years is how well people could hear God. I was never ahead of them. If something went right, they all knew. If something went wrong, I didn’t have to explain it or fix it… they all knew that, too.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; John 10:27-28 NASU
We all go through similar stages of maturity in learning to hear God’s voice:
- Others hear for me – When we start out, we have no expectation that God can or wants to speak to us. We just try to have good character and treat others well.
- The Bible is the word – At some point the Bible becomes alive and verses are quickened to our hearts and made alive. This can happen hearing anointed preaching or in our own devotions.
- Prophetic – At this stage we listen when the Holy Spirit speaks. If we don’t respond or write it down, we feel a sense of loss. The things we share from this prophetic flow often get a response, “How did you know?” It’s often easier to hear God for others than for ourselves.
- Dialogue – At this stage of maturity, instead of waiting for the waters to stir and God to speak or move in a meeting, we just open a dialogue with Jesus or the Father and hear what God has to say. We’re not afraid to ask questions and we have the wisdom and discernment to distinguish God’s voice from the many voices swirling about in our own heads.
Yes, but how? – How is really very simple. Get in touch with your own heart. Our Father loves us and is interested in the things that touch our hearts. When something surfaces in our hearts, it is either God speaking to us or it is a negative event that deserves a conversation. Our religious heritage is to hide from the emotions or feelings in our hearts because we don’t want God to find out about them.
One of the great realities of being a Jesus-follower is, “He writes His desires in our hearts.” (Heb 8:10, 10:16) God wired us from the beginning to want to fulfill the calling that He wrote in our book. We’re predisposed to fulfill a role in the Kingdom, both by talent and personality. The Kingdom of God is built on people who are willing to have conversations and to pursue the desires of their hearts. It’s that simple and that exciting. When we understand that our Father designed us and called us to play a role in the Kingdom, it opens the door to hear His thoughts… and it happens when we ask and listen.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Ps 139:13-17 NIV
But what if I make a mistake? – Trust me, you will… we all make mistakes. God will not fall off His throne if you make one more. If we don’t trust ourselves to try, it’s a guarantee that we will not hear and never see the dreams in our heart come true. We never outgrow making mistakes, and we always need His mercies renewed every morning. Forgiveness is way of life for Jesus followers.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Ps 103:11-14 NIV
Ramifications – When we coach or counsel others, the first goal isn’t really to fix them or to hear God for them. The top priority of discipleship is always helping others to hear God for themselves. The top priority of our own spiritual health is hearing God; His voice breathes life into our hearts. I was at a coaching conference last spring that emphasized hearing God. It took a couple of days of confusion until the leader finally clearly said, “We’re not trying to solve people’s problems in coaching sessions. We are helping them learn to hear from God so they can solve their own problems.”
None of us really want, or need, a spiritual guru… we are all healed and motivated and included in the Kingdom when we hear His voice for ourselves. Real leadership is always “catch and release” with enough “equipping to hear” to make it happen.
Next step – In your next time of devotions, just ask Jesus what He has to say about whatever is on your heart… and write down the answer. Biggest fear – “What if I don’t hear anything?” Answer – “What if you do?” If you need clarification, ask another question. Ask lots of questions and do lots of listening and writing. Trust what you get and avoid judging it right away. Just ask and write and allow the conversation to flow. You’ll be blessed. Jesus is real.
Podcast #5 with Tyler McCart
Education Tools – David Nycz Interview http://releasingkings.com/david-nycz/
Heart Plan in Europe – HeartPlan.eu
The Dutch 7 Mountain Web site – http://mymountainmovement.com/
Releasing Kings is available in French
“Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”
Releasing Kings is available in Dutch