Have you ever been confused by what you feel God is speaking to you? Are you sure you are hearing God and yet it just seems like you cannot seem to make sense of what you are hearing? After speaking with thousands of people around the world about this topic it seems that the biggest struggle with many is not in hearing God’s voice, but in understanding what He is saying!
What is often missed by many is that there is a difference between hearing God’s voice and understanding the message. What you are hearing may be one thing. What it means is another!
For instance, at my house, my kids come home from school and do the typical kid thing right after an 8 hour day in class. They are tired and ready to relax. So what do they do but walk in and leave a trail of shoes, backpacks, jackets and other personal items all over the floor on the way to their bedroom. When I find this little treasure trail of belongings I use my dad voice, “Kids, your jacket is in here on the kitchen floor!” Now, my voice is saying the location of their jacket, but my message is telling them to get in here and clean up the mess!
God speaks in a similar way. The Voice of God is not as direct as we would like it to be! When we listen and hear the voice, it may take us on a journey of discovery beyond what we are hearing and into what He is actually saying. I want to share with you 3 keys that I use to decipher the message and better understand what the Spirit is speaking to me.
Write The Words.
The simple act of writing the words down takes it from a place of hearing to a place of seeing. This practice gives you the ability to perceive it from more angles than one. Hearing it is using only one way to perceive, but when you put it on paper or write it in your notes app you are utilizing the other half of your perception. Writing it down gives you the ability to take a good look at it. It also helps to keep an accurate record of what is being said. This way down the road you don’t forget and find yourself trying to remember if you heard the word “caramelized” or “circumcised.” OUCH!!
This is not cheating! By searching it out you are discovering more about what you are hearing or seeing and increasing your ability to grasp what God is speaking. Utilize research about what you are perceiving. I like to use different resources to give me a better understanding of both historical and modern relevance. By expanding your knowledge of the words you gain a more accurate sense of the words.
Talk About It
This is a major key, especially for verbal processors! Talking it out lets our brain think out loud and gives us a chance to work through the meaning. In fact, I find it is one of the 5 ways God speaks to us. I write about this in my book, Hearing God’s Voice. Among the five ways of hearing, talkers get noticed very little. When you are a talker you find yourself surprised at what comes out of your mouth; hopefully in a good way! As a talker, pay attention to your own words in those moments. That is actually a moment of inspiration from the Holy Spirit and God is putting words in your mouth you didn’t even think to say. (Mark 13:11) Find good people to process with who have great listening skills and enjoy processing with you what you are hearing.
We are all learning, discovering and growing in our capacity to receive from God. These 3 keys are great practices to help you on your journey of discovery and will help you make better sense of hearing God’s voice. If you want to know more, pick up your copy of, Hearing God’s Voice!
Love to hear your thoughts!