Recently my precious little Curly has been learning about hearing God's voice. There are many verses that talk about following Him and His sheep knowing His voice and such. Since we started reading the actual Bible instead of just the children's Bible, she has been asking more deep questions and learning a lot more.
She has asked me, "How do I talk to God Mom? I can't hear Him." We've talked about how God speaks to each person in a different way and how it's usually not like you would hear a Mommy's voice or Gumby's voice, though some people might hear God that way. Mommy just doesn't know anyone personally who does. I told her that Jesus promised that if we want to know answers to things and we ask Him, that He WILL give us those answers. Sometimes it just happens slower than we want it to. Keep on asking Him until He teaches you how to hear His voice. Does God ever break His promises? She quickly replied, "Nope!"
Then tonight when I was reading in John, something grabbed her mind and she said in a very frustrated voice, "I just CAN'T FOLLOW Jesus Mom! I don't know how to hear Him. I tried, and asked Him, but I just don't know how."
If only she really knew how many people are fully grown Christians and have this same feeling. I would imagine that there are many people that really do want to hear Him, but just don't know how. It's only in the last couple of years, and mostly this particular last year that I have learned to hear His voice on a regular basis myself. I can't speak for everyone else, but it's not something that I ever felt like I could get information on and I didn't even know where to start. Now, I have had times when I was seeking specific answers and asked the Lord and fervently sought answers, but I felt like that wasn't all that God had meant for His children to have. I felt like when reading Biblical examples of people, those that were living for God after the Holy Spirit was part of the picture were led in specific ways. It was something more than just living by what was given as direction in scripture. (Which is also very important!)
I started seeking the answers daily. I began having daily time with the Lord and reading His word. He taught me how to listen in the "small" things, as well as the big. He is still teaching me. And just to make sure that I am not misleading anyone, since we got home with our new daughter, I haven't been so good at that daily time. I've allowed busy and tired to get in the way. I'm obviously not sharing that to be proud, but to make sure that I am not misleading. Because of this, I haven't been focused on the things I want to be focused on quite as much. (By the way, the first thing I told my daughter about hearing God's voice was that we need to read His words regularly. That one of the things He does often is bring scripture to mind that we read quite awhile ago, and this can answer questions we might have or tell us if something we are doing isn't what He would like. Then John 14:26, in our reading, helped me out a bit. "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.")
I could very easily have given some four year old answers to my freshly four year old daughter, but my desire is never to water down the gospel for my children. I believe that a child has the right to the same information as an adult. The Holy Spirit does the same work in a child as He does in an adult, and it's not my right to decide that she is too young for a concept. Now, I might have to use slightly less complex words with her, but I'm not really the intellectual type. My kids can understand most of what I am going to say because my mind works on a pretty simple level.
So, I told her that I would share with her how God often talks to me. It might be totally different from the way He talks to her, but it was all I had to give her. And I asked the Lord, right there in my quiet mind, "What do you want me to say to her?" He told me what to share with her and then said to trust Him to fulfill His promise that whoever seeks will find. Even a child. So, I did.
My clearest times with Him are through creation. SO many words are spoken from the Lord when I just sit and watch the natural surroundings of outside. He especially speaks to me through wind and clouds. So, I sat with her at her window and said, "Lets just sit quiet and listen to see if God has anything to say to us." We sat for a little while and she asked me if I heard anything.
I said, "Yes. Do you see that bird eating from the ground over there?"
"Uh- huh." she replied.
"Well, that bird is eating worms from the ground and it brought to my mind something that it says in God's word. Jesus was telling his followers not to worry about anything, that God always provides for His children. He asked them if the birds worry about their food. Do they worry about their food?"
"That's right. They just find it. They know that God will provide it. And the flowers...do they think about how they are going to get their food?"
"No. What do flowers eat Mom?"
(I DO have a four year old here. Lots of questions that side track.) "God makes sure they grow and gives them food too. And then Jesus said that He loves us WAY more than flowers or birds because we are His kids. Just like I love you WAY more than flowers and birds!"
Then we sat some more. She told Gumby to be quiet so that she could hear God =). She listened for quite some time and I was just about ready to tell her that we could try again later. That it might not be today that God was ready to open her ears. But then she smiled at me.
Quietly she said to me, "He said something to me Mom." She smiled at me with a shy little grin that told me she was very pleased.
"What did He say?" I asked, actually quite curious to hear what she had to say.
In a very matter of fact way, she smiled and said, "He said that He loves me very, very much."
Now, that very much sounds to me like one of the first things God would say to His child as He is training the ears of their spirit to hear Him. That moment made my eyes water and my heart feel blessed to know that He allowed me to be there for that special moment when she heard His voice for the first time.
This leads into something I've been wondering a lot lately. Where are others with this? I really want to know, is this an area lots of us struggle with? Or is it just something kept more private? And if so, why? Because it seems like it's so much harder to live the life we are called to live when we don't know how to hear His voice. It's like we are all a bunch of waxy eared, hard of hearing sheep wandering around and we don't know how to clean our ears out. And I might be in a smaller group than I think here, but when learning something as important and faith-requiring as hearing the voice of God clearly, I'd have felt more confident having the experience of others to learn from. It just seems like it gives a jumping off point instead of not knowing where to even start.
My question is, for those of you that are followers of Jesus Christ, do you know how to discern His voice? If you do, how did you go about learning that and cultivating it? Or did you do anything specific other than praying and asking for that ability to grow? How have you/would you answer your child's questions about this? How would you answer an adults questions about how to learn to hear God's voice? I really, truly want to know your opinions here. I want to hear examples of how God speaks to different people (because I KNOW we are all different and God is very creative, so there is much possible variety in this area). I want to know what has helped you learn in this area. And I would love for those that are still feeling like they need some learning in how to hear His voice to have some point of reference. Please, please give input here. If you are more private and don't want to share with everyone, you can post an anonymous comment. Or if you don't feel comfortable with that, but would be okay with e-mail, you can e-mail at puremommyextract at gmail dot com. I really hope to get some input here. If you feel comfortable posting on your own blog about this topic, I think that would be even more awesome. Just link us to the post in the comments so that we can come read. Like I said, perhaps lots of people DO feel confident in this area and I just haven't heard about it much. But, it could be that my curiosity is right and many of us have not known where to start or how the Lord even sounds. It might also be that some believe that God doesn't speak to us other than scripture these days. We all have different opinions too.
I want to hear from you!
I will also do a different post soon about what my quiet times looked like in the beginning/look like now more specifically, and what my personal ways of practicing and learning to listen and hear God's voice were. I think it's very important to understand that it's not the same for every one of us, so the more examples the better...which is just my opinion of course.
2 months ago