Written by Tim Wood
My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-2)
If you’re having trouble hearing God’s voice, I want to encourage you to practice these four principles.
ONE - Believe that God wants to speak to you. In the verse above God is encouraging his children to listen to Him, to treasure his commands and to tune our ears toward his wisdom. All of these things depend on our belief. Do we really believe that God wants to speak to us? If we don’t believe that God wants to speak to us it’s likely we will not hear from him.
TWO – Pray for your ears to be sensitive to God’s voice. Position your heart to receive what God wants you to hear. David prayed, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). Did you notice that he prayed and then he waited expectantly? David was expecting God to speak, expecting God to act. Pray with expectations that God will answer.
THREE – Learn the fine art of listening. Many people talk to God but they don't stop to listen—or they don't develop listening skills. Listening truly is a skill that you can learn, whether in your natural relationships or your spiritual relationship with God. You need to "have an ear" to hear the Holy Spirit and that may mean training your spiritual ears to recognize the ways He is speaking. Jesus said, "He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing" (Matt. 13:9 AMP). Solomon prayed that God would give him a hearing heart (1 Kings 3:9). Many translations say "understanding heart" in that verse but the Hebrew word translated "understanding" is shama, which translates to hear, understand, listen or obey. Stop talking long enough to listen. And when you hear – obey.
FOUR – Stay in the Word of God. This is fundamental. If you want to hear from God more clearly, spend more time with Him and His Word. Paul told his spiritual son Timothy, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Knowing the Word guards us from deception—and from falling into the trap of listening to other voices or even following vain imaginations.
If you seek God, you will hear His voice. You don't have to be in a quiet room to hear from God. Your soul just needs to be quiet and focused on Him. Let your spirit dominate. Listen with spiritual ears. You can hear Him because He desires to speak to you!