Hear God's Voice
The voice of God came to Jesus at all the great moments of his life. It came at his baptism, when he began the work that God gave him to do (Mark 1:11). It came on the Mount of Transfiguration, as he again affirmed taking the way that led to Jerusalem and the cross (Mark 9:7); and it came when he faced the ordeal of the cross (John 12:27-34). I believe that what God did for Jesus, he wants to do for us. God wants you to hear his voice. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27 NIV).
No Quick Fix
Choosing God's Best by Don Raunikar warns us not to go for the quick fix. “There's not a method to follow. Your relationship with God is the key to hearing when God speaks to you. The object of prayer is intimacy with God, not quick answers. Over time you will know his voice.” The sheep know the shepherd's voice because they spend time with him. They cultivate intimacy with the Master. That takes time.
Accept the Answers
Moreover, don't ask unless you're willing to accept God's answers. Don't ask for guidance unless you are prepared to act on it and have a desire to know, and do all the will of God. He is always willing to make his purpose known, but he will not show you his will if you are merely contemplating obedience, weighing the pros and cons. Jesus himself came down from heaven not to do his own will “but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38 NIV). He did not simply consider God’s will, he actively, purposefully, and joyfully obeyed. So must we.
Don't expect God to shout either. Quiet is essential to effective listening. You can't jam your mind with social media and television twelve hours a day, and expect God to reveal his plans to you during a commercial. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). I find that hard to do because I am a Type-A, always-moving, kind of guy. But it’s fundamental to hearing God’s voice. “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 NIV). Set your heart and mind on Jesus and listen.
Watch Out for a Plug
If we are passively or openly rebelling against God in some area of our life, we put a plug in the pipeline God uses to deliver his word to us. Unconfessed sin is a major plug. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 NIV).
Become God’s Fool
We also need to be willing to be God's fool. God gave us common sense and he expects us to use it. Most of the time, his will makes sense to our reason and intelligence, but not always. Sometimes his direction cuts across all human reason, all human sensibilities, and even contradicts it. When the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to speak to you clearly, and give you marching orders, obedience may be counted as madness in the eyes of the world. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV).
Friends, we need to hear God’s voice in the Scriptures in these last days, follow his leading, and obey him wholeheartedly. The charge is critical for all, but especially leaders in the church. “Keep watch over yourselves…” (Acts 20:28-31 NIV). Listen carefully to God’s Word and obey him for His glory and your good!