So many Christians lack confidence that they can hear God voice, but the Bible clearly tells us that He wants us to hear Him. In John 10:27 (AMP), Jesus says, "The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me." And Psalm 40:6b says, "...You have opened my ears and given me the capacity to hear [and obey Your word]..."
If we have sincerely repented of our sin and accepted Christ as our Savior, and we're actively pursuing a personal relationship with Him, then we have the capacity to hear and obey God's Word. But we need to believe we can hear God's voice; otherwise, we lack the faith and confidence that we can hear Him.
Tune in to God's Voice
There is a lot of noise in the world around us, and one reason we sometimes have difficulty discerning God's voice in our heart is we're taking in too many different messages. We need to learn to focus on God's Word and make a determined decision to believe it more than we believe what we think or feel or what our circumstances look like. This happens as we spend time with Him in prayer, studying His Word, and then obeying what He shows us.
Dr. Yonggi Cho is the pastor of the largest Christian church in South Korea. When he was asked how he builds his church, his response was, "I pray and I obey."
Obedience to God is the key to hearing His voice—not just occasionally, but as a lifestyle. There's a big difference between a person who only prays for God to show them what to do when they are in trouble, and someone who wholeheartedly follows God in the way they live.
Proverbs 1:23-30 tells us that if we don't pay attention to God's wisdom, then we won't hear Him in our daily lives, in every situation and decision we make. Verses 28 and 29 say: "Then they will call upon me (Wisdom), but I will not answer; they will seek me eagerly but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord [that is, obeying Him with reverence and awe-filled respect]."
The good news is as we pay attention to God and His Word, He promises to make His voice clear to us and guide us in all our ways.
Trust God's Love, Grace and Mercy in the Process
God understands we are not perfect, and we need a lot of help to live a lifestyle of obedience to Him. Jeremiah 10:23 (AMP) says, "O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself; it is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life]."
No one has the ability to run their life well on their own. We need to receive God's love, grace and mercy to equip us to walk in obedience to His will and His ways.
First, we must believe God is love—it's not something He turns off and on depending on our behavior. The truth is God loves you unconditionally, all the time. When you believe that, you can trust His mercy ... that He forgives you of your mistakes when you sincerely repent of them and ask Him to help you do what's right. Then you can step out in faith, trusting Him to pour out His grace on you and enable you to do what He shows you to do.
Understanding God's love, forgiveness and grace is what helps us move forward without being oppressed by guilt for our sin, and condemnation that tells us we can't rise above it. Guilt and condemnation weaken our faith and steal our confidence that God loves us, accepts us where we are, and wants to give us the ability to do what is right, according to His Word.
Obedience Happens One Step at a Time
Keep it simple and take steps of faith by doing things you see in the Bible that clearly reveal God's will. For example, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP) says, "In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
Notice this says to thank God in everything, not for everything. So when times are hard, resist the temptation to grumble and complain, which only makes things worse, and thank God that He's in the midst of the mess with you.
I want to encourage you to seek God with a sincere heart, humble yourself before Him and tell Him you know you can't live in obedience without His help. When you do, He will meet you where you are and pour out His grace on you, so you can do whatever you need to do through Christ (Phil. 4:13).
I can tell you from personal experience that as you do your best to live a lifestyle of obedience to God, you'll have confidence that you hear His voice and have His peace every day of your life. There's no other way to live!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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