HOW TO IMPROVE MY HEARING
Most often God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. It’s been described as God’s love letter to the human race. “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.” II Timothy 3:16-17 (LB)
If that’s what the Bible is intended to do in my life, then it’s obvious that I need to be reading it every day. But reading God’s Word and hearing His voice can be two different things. Think about it. Have you ever read a passage of the Bible and thought, “I didn’t get anything out of that?” Chances are, the problem isn’t with the Bible. God is probably speaking. We just aren’t hearing Him. So, the question isn’t, “Do I want to hear from God?” The question is, “How do I hear from God?”
Below are 5 suggestions to help us prepare our minds and hearts to hear God’s voice. He’s speaking. So let’s check out some ways we can get ready to listen.
- Be ready and eager to listen.
“Jesus said … ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:8 (NIV)
“How sweet are Your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey.” Psalm 119:103 (NLT)
- Deal with attitudes that prevent hearing God.
The parable Jesus told about a farmer sowing seed has become known as “The Parable Of The Sower.” However, Jesus focused the story on the different types of soil where the seed fell. All of the seed was good. But not all of the soil was fertile ground. You can find what is better titled “The Parable of the Soils” at Luke 8:4-15. Jesus said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” Luke 8:18 (NIV). Do you have:
- A Closed Mind (the path): Is fear, pride, bitterness, or sin preventing me from hearing God?
- A Superficial Mind (rocky soil): Am I really serious about wanting to hear God speak?
- A Preoccupied Mind (thorny soil): Am I too busy and concerned with other things to concentrate on what God has to say?
- Confess any sin in my life.
“… get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word ..." James 1:21 (NIV)
Sin creates a barrier between God and me. It can prevent me from hearing God’s voice and from receiving His blessings in my life.
- Take notes on what you hear.
“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
Each week at GNG our lesson outlines are packed with Scripture. We understand that God’s Word is an indispensable tool for spiritual growth. Many GNGers use the message notes as a guide for their personal Bible study during the week. The outlines are three-hole punched to enable you to easily keep them in a three-ring binder. Keeping a spiritual notebook can be a valuable growth tool.
- Act on what you hear!
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face n a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 (NIV)
There simply is no substitute for action. In fact, we teach our leaders at GNG this simple phrase - “ACTION TRUMPS EVERYTHING!” It’s not enough to know what God’s Word says. It’s not enough to hear God’s voice when He speaks to you. It’s of no value until you ACT ON IT.
As you take time to pray today, think about not just talking to God, but also think about listening to what He wants to say to you and then acting on what you hear. Remember, prayer is communication – and communication is a two-way street.
May God’s voice be in your heart and mind today.