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How do I Start Hearing God’s Voice?

Our Guest Post:  Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice

By Dr. Mark Virkler

President of the Christian Leadership University  (Used with Permission)

The age in which we live is so married  to rationalism and cognitive, analytical thought that we almost mock when we hear of anyone actually claiming to be able to hear the voice of God.

However, we do not scoff, for several reasons.  First, men and women throughout the Bible heard God’s voice.  Also there are some highly effective and reputable men and women of Gog alive today who demonstrate that they hear God’s voice.  Finally, there is a deep hunger within us all to commune with God and hear Him speak within our heart.

As a born-again, Bible –believing Christian, I struggle unsuccessfully for years to hear God’s Voice.  I prayer, fasted, studied my Bible and listened for a voice within – all to no avail.  There is no inner voice that I could hear!

Then God set me aside for a year to study, read and experiment in the area of learning to hear God’s voice.  During that time, God taught me four keys that opened the door to two-way prayer.  I have discovered that not only do they work for me, but they have worked for many thousands of believers who have been taught to use them, bringing tremendous intimacy to their Christian experience and transforming their very way of living.  This will happen to you also as you seek God, utilizing the following four keys.  They are all found in Habakkuk 2:1-2.  I encourage you to read this passage before going on.

Key #1 – God’s voice in our hear sounds like a flow of spontaneous thoughts.  Therefore, when I tune to God, I tune to spontaneity.

The Bible says that ‘….the Lord answer me and said …’(Hab. 2:2).  Habakkuk knew the sound of God’s voice.  Elijah described it as a still, small voice.  I have always listened for an inner audible voice and surely, God can and does speak that way at times.  However, I have found that for most of us, most of the time, God’s inner voice comes to us as spontaneous thoughts, visions or pictures, feelings or impressions.

For example, haven’t each of us had the experience of driving down the road and having a thought come to us to pray for a certain person?   We generally acknowledge this to be the voice of God, calling us to pray for that individual.  My question to you is, “What did God’s voice sound like as you drove in your car?  Was it an inner, audible voice …. Or was it a spontaneous though?”

So I thought to myself, “Maybe when I listen for God’s voice, I should be listening for a flow of spontaneous thoughts.  Maybe ‘spirit-level communication is received as spontaneous thoughts, impressions, feeling, or pictures/visions.”  Through experimentation and feedback from thousands of others, I am now convinced that this is so.

The Bible confirms this in many ways.  The definition of ‘paga’, the Hebrew word for intercession, is “… a chance encounter or an accidental intersection”.  When God lays people on our heart for intercession, He does it through ‘paga’, a chance encounter thought, accidently intersecting our thought processes.  Therefore, when I tune to God, I tune to ‘a chance encounter thoughts or spontaneous thoughts’.  When I am poised quietly before God in prayer, I have found that the flow of spontaneous thoughts that come are quite definitely from God.

Key #2:   I must learn to still my own thoughts and emotions so that I can sense God’s flow of thoughts and emotions within me.

Habakkuk said, “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart ….”(Hab. 2:1)  Habakkuk knew that in order to hear God’s quiet inner, spontaneous thoughts, he had to first go to a quiet place and still his own thoughts and emotions.  Psalm 46:10 encourages us to be still and know that He is God.   There is a deep inner knowing (spontaneous flow) in our spirit that each of us can experience when we quieten our flesh and our minds.

I have found several simple ways to quiet myself so that I can more readily pick up God’s spontaneous flow.  Loving God through a quiet worship soon is a most effective means for me.  (Note 2 Kings 3:15)  It is when I become still (thoughts, will and emotions) and am poised before God that the divine flow is realised.

Therefore, after I worship quietly and then become still, I open myself for that spontaneous flow.  If thoughts come to me of things I have forgotten to do, I write them down and then dismiss them.  If thoughts of guilt or unworthiness come to my mind, I repent thoroughly, receive the washing of the blood of the Lamb, and put on His robe of righteousness, seeing myself spotless before the presence of God.

As I fix my gaze upon Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), becoming quiet in His presence, and sharing with Him what is on my heart, I found that two-way dialogue begins to flow.  Spontaneous thoughts flow from the throne of God to me and I find that I am actually conversing with the King of Kings.

It is very important that you become still and properly focused if you are going to receive the pure word of God.   If you are not still, you will simply be receiving your own thoughts.  If you are not properly focused on Jesus, you will fix your gaze upon some desire of your heart.

Key #3 – As I pray, fix the eyes  of my heart on Jesus, seeing in the spirit the dreams and visions of Almighty God.

We have already alluded to this principle in the previous paragraphs; however, we need to develop it a bit further.  Habakkuk said, “I will keep watch to see ….”  Then God said, “Record the vision ….” (Habakkuk 3:`1-2)  It is very interesting that Habakkuk was going too actually start looking for vision as his prayer.  He was going to open the eyes of his hear and look into the spirit world to see what God wanted to show him.  This is an intriguing idea.

I had never thought of opening the eyes of my heart and looking for a  vision.  However, the more I thought of it, the more I realized this was exactly what God intends me to do.  He gave me eyes in my heart.  They are to be used to see in the spirit world the vision and movement of Almighty God.  I believe there is an active spirit world functioning all around me.

This world is full of angels, demons, the Holy Spirit, the omnipresent God, and His omnipresent Son, Jesus.  There is no reason for me not to see it, other than my rational culture, which tells me not to believe it is even there and provides no instructions on how to become ope to seeing this spirit world.

The most obvious prerequisite to seeing is that we need to look.  Daniel was seeing a vision in his mind and he said, “I was looking … I kept looking … I kept looking ….” (Daniel 7:, 9, 13)  Now as I pray, I look for Jesus present with me and I watch Him as He speaks to me, doing, and saying the things that are on His heart.  Many Christians will find that if they will only look, the well see: Jesus Emmanuel, God with us.

It is as simple as that.  You will see a spontaneous inner vision in a manner similar to receiving spontaneous inner thoughts.  You can see Christ present with you in a comfortable setting, because Christ is present with you in a comfortable setting.  Actually, you will probably discover that inner vision comes so easily you will have a tendency to reject it, thinking that it is just you.  (Doubt is Satan’s most effective weapon against the Church.)  However, if you will persist in recording these visions/pictures, you doubt will some be overcome by faith as you recognize that the content of them could only be birthed in Almighty God.

God continually revealed Himself to His covenant people using dreams and visions.  He did so from Genesis to Revelation.  Since the Holy Spirit was poured out in Acts, we should expect to receive a continuing flow of dreams and visions (Acts 2:1-4)  Jesus our perfect Example, demonstrated this ability of living out of ongoing contact with Almighty God.  He said that He did nothing on His own initiate, but only that which He saw the Father doing, and heard the Father saying(John 5:19-20, 30).  What an incredible way to live!

Is it actually possible for us to live out of the divine initiative as Jesus did?  A major purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was that the veil was torn from top to bottom, giving us access into the immediate presence of God.  We are commended to draw near (Hebrews 10:19-22)  Therefore, even though what I am describing seems a bit unusual to a rational twentieth century culture, it is time to restore the Church all that belongs to the Church.

Because of their intensely rational nature and existence in an overly rational culture, some people will need more assistance and understanding of these truths before they can move into the.  They will find this help in our book “Communion with God”written by Mark Virkler.

Key #4 – Journaling, the writing out of our prayers and God’s answers, provides a great new freedom in hearing God’ voice.

God told Habakkuk to record the vision and inscribe it on tablets.  (Habakkuk 2:2)  It had never crossed my mind to write out my prayers and God’s answers as Habakkuk did at God’s command.  If you begin to search Scripture for this idea, you will find hundreds of chapters demonstrating it, such as Psalms, many of the prophets, Revelation.  Why then hadn’t I ever thought of it?

I called the process “journaling” and I began experimenting with it.  I discovered it to be a fabulous facilitator to clearly discerning God’s inner, spontaneous flow because as I journal, I was able to write in faith for long periods of time, simply believing it was God.  I did not have to test it as I was receiving it, (which tends to jam one’s receiver) because I knew that when the flow was over, I could go back and test and examine it carefully then, making sure that it lined up with Scripture.

You will be amazed when you attempt journaling.  Doubt may hinder you at first but throw it off, reminding yourself that it is a biblical concept and that God is present, speaking to His children.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  When you do, you become tense and get in the way of the Holy Spirit’s movement.  It is when we cease our labours and enter into His rest that God is free to flow (Hebrews 4;10).

Therefore, put a smile on your face, sit back comfortable, get out your pen and paper, and turn your attention toward God in praise and worship, seeking His face.  As you write out your question to God and become still, fixing your gaze on Jesus, who is present with you, then you will suddenly have a very good thought in response to your question.  Don’t doubt it; simply write it down.  Later, as you read your journaling, you too will be amazed to discover that you are indeed dialoguing with God.

Some final notes:  No one should attempt this without having read through at least the New Testament (preferably, the entire Bible), nor should one attempt this unless they are submitted to solid, spiritual leadership.  All major directional moves that come through journaling should be submitted before being acted upon.

author of this blog - Susanne  Our Thanks to the Virklers and to Carlotta for their contribution to this blog.  You can see more of their website on www.cwgministry.org

In our coming posts, we shall discuss ways to settle your mind and methods to center on the Lord to hear Him better.  Try out these 4 keys over the next weeks and let me know how things are going. 

God’s best, Blog Author, Susanne Fengler

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

Used with permission, Copyright 2000, Dr. Mark Virkler and Carlotta Waldmann, Cross Walk Life, Inc.

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