Practical Ways To Understanding The Importance Of Listening To God

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Published by Kenneth Garcia

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Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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The Bible is a series of interconnected conversations between God and His creation. In a discourse like that, listening is just as important as speaking. We are aware that we need to try to hear God’s voice in our eternal lives.

Since we are confident in God’s absolute goodness and justice, learning His will for our lives will be of immeasurable benefit. In every area of our spiritual lives, God is at work. Growing in faith, experience, and recognition is the process of learning to identify His voice. But it all starts with a daily decision to listen to God and what He has to say.

What Does The Bible Say About Listening To God?

What does the Bible teach about listening? Many people think that listening is just giving someone your ear. The opening word of this ancient prayer in Deuteronomy 6:4–9 establishes the tone for the passage’s succeeding verses and provides insight into what it means to listen to God:

“Israel, pay attention! Our only and true God is the Lord. Additionally, you are obligated to love the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, soul, and strength. Further, you must fully commit to following the instructions I am giving you today.

It would help if you kept saying these to your kids. Discuss them both at home and while traveling, before going to bed, and upon waking up. As a reminder, fasten them to your hands and place one on your forehead. Inscribe these on your home’s doorposts and your gates.”

By beginning his speech with “Shema,” the Hebrew word for “listen,” Moses catches the attention of the disobedient Israelites. As seen in the text above, this term also connects to the word “obey” and implies listening. Engaging the heart and the brain is necessary to hear from God. It’s to pay attention to the point of submission.

The Book of James encourages us to ask God for our required wisdom. “If any of you lack understanding, you should seek God for it since He is a generous giver who does not hold anybody accountable for their actions” (James 1:5). God will graciously grant us His wisdom if we humbly ask for it.

How Do We Listen To God?

1. Our time and schedule must match our heart’s goal to be intentional in our focus. This entails scheduling a consistent time each day to spend alone with God. You can do this wherever suits you best—at home, on a walk, in your car, in the morning, or in the evening. The best advice is to find means of removing distractions.

2. Listening must be done with an open mind and spirit. This entails being ready to obey God’s commands and being honest and sensitive to his guidance. You will be encouraged to observe how God provides favor when you bring an attitude of submission rather than selfishness. God is looking for ways to talk to you.

3. Thirdly, we must believe in God’s message for our provision, safety, and purpose. This entails putting your faith in God during both happy and challenging times. We must understand that God loves us, is the only one who can keep us alive, and will meet our needs.

lady's ear with piercing and listening to god

Why Is It Important To Listen To God?

While Samuel and Moses may have heard God’s voice clearly, we can be sure that when we fervently seek Him out, adhere to His instructions, and pay attention to His voice; God will reveal His will, desires, and plans for us.

We must surrender our lives to the “voice” of God, whom we have never met or seen in person, and obey His instructions without hesitation. For example, just as David Gibbs did when he was in an airplane without a pilot at the controls and put his trust in the “voice” of someone he had never seen or met. And remember this: the cross is the route home, just like the “voice” instructed David to do when he was told to look for the landing lights in the shape of a cross.

In What Ways Can We Practice Listening To God?

1. Affirm that you want to hear from God, the same way as showing that you love Him. Be prepared to learn at God’s pace and to put your trust in the process. Leave your expectations at the door and express to God how eager you are to hear from Him. Keep in mind that He is your heavenly Father and that He loves you very much.

2. Talk to God as you read the Bible. The Holy Spirit begins to engage our minds as we read, bringing specific ideas to mind and allowing us to hear from God as we read. We can carry on the dialogue by reflecting on the realities God brings to our attention. It resonates with you when the spirit imprints God’s Word on your mind. The Holy Spirit speaks the Word of God when a thought or phrase strikes a chord or stands out to fulfill God’s intent.

3. Pray for the Word of God. Allow a passage’s words to direct or motivate your prayer. The spirit reminds us of events, individuals, truths, praises, or confessions as He facilitates our prayer. This is a natural approach to getting guidance from God. We reply by requesting what He suggests in worship.

4 Helpful Ways To Listen To God

1. The Holy Scripture. The Bible is God’s word to us, His revelation to us, and human authors wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is our owner’s manual, user’s manual, and route map. Knowing God’s will, ways, and what is and isn’t following His will is made possible through reading and studying the Bible.

2. Prayer. Request that God speaks to you through His written word. Before reading the Bible, pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for direction to understand and apply the word of God to your life. So that you can hear His voice, ask Him to help you open your eyes and your heart (Psalm 119:18).

Hearing God’s voice[1] becomes simpler the more intimately we become with Him through prayer and reading His Word. Communicating with Him through worship allows Him to reveal His intentions and wishes for us.

3. God occasionally communicates with us through other people. Affirmation, confirmation, encouragement, reproof, or even a warning could convey it. And even if we don’t like them, the Lord may use anyone to spread His Word.

4. Write a journal about God’s plan. The physical act of writing and comprehension are linked both spiritually and neurologically. Journaling is an intuitive practice that can be a way to listen as we express and explore. God frequently employs writing to help us hear as the spirit works through our ideas, discoveries, and insights.

What Are The Consequences Of Not Listening To God?

God won’t listen to us if we don’t listen to Him. Jeremiah accuses God’s people of not listening and then records God’s warning to them: “Therefore, the Lord speaks, behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Despite their cries, I will not listen to them” (Jeremiah 11:11).

Even more specifically, God spoke to Jeremiah, “Do not lift a cry or a plea on behalf of this people, for I will not hear when they call to me in their hour of crisis” (Jeremiah 11:14). Peter also cautions that husbands’ prayers will be hampered if they do not obey God’s voice by loving their spouses (1 Peter 3:7).

woman lifting hands and listening to god

Conclusion

Love God and listen beyond God’s guidance. Through His own voice, we can hear God listening and speaking to us. Therefore, we must carve out time to deepen our understanding and connection with God through solitary prayer, Bible study, being a good shepherd, and listening to other Christians.

It’s crucial to have attitudes like boldness and humility. We must sincerely admit that we do not possess all the solutions. In addition, we must prepare our emotions so that, despite our anxieties or self-serving desires, we will always have the fortitude to act morally.

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