Tips for Hearing the Holy Spirit
1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
God wants you to hear Him. He calls you to seek His counsel, wisdom and guidance, thus you have to hear it … how do you hear unless you take time to listen?
God speaks in many ways and can use anything. There are two key mediums God uses to speak to us. One is through the Bible because in the truth is where we learn to hear the Voice of truth. He speaks when verses stand out to you, verses speak to your situation, and you learn truths of a passage that He confirms in other areas of the Bible and in your life.
The second significant medium God uses to speaks to you is through writing or journaling. In this dynamic, you receive powerful instruction, counsel and wisdom as you write with a listening ear. The two mediums complement each other, work together and feed upon one another.
God gives abundant wisdom and understanding, yet how can you receive those priceless life-altering gifts unless you are listening? How do you hear God who is spirit? How do you tune into that still small voice?
1. Create a quiet outward environment to be with God alone. If your area is full of distractions it will be very hard to hear. Turn off the phone, shut the door, shut down the computer, and give Him your full attention. Give Him nothing less than the best and your total focus. In that quiet space as you read and pray, focus on listening to God as you would a close friend.
2. Seek to know God as He is beyond ALL the images. Your motive during this time should be to know God in truth and spirit … beyond what you’ve been taught by others … beyond the images. When we filter our communion with God through false images of Him (from families, religion, false teachings, worldly teachings), it hinders our communication because it affects our understanding of Him. But if we seek to know God as He is realizing we have those false images, He rewards that desire with the truth. Hebrews 11:6 Little by little the lies and false images are discarded and replaced with the truth. The more truth you know of God, the more you experience Him.
3. Focus on having a conversation with God. This time is about fellowshipping with God; a back and forth interaction. Whether, you are reading or praying, remember you are having a conversation with God. This focus helps to move you into hearing His voice because you are tuning in. Therefore, it isn’t a task or “study”, but a relationship you are cultivating. Many are good at speaking, but not so much listening, especially in the spirit; yet hearing Him is invaluable for He is your teacher, counselor, and guide.
4. Write in a journal as you read and pray. Have a pen in hand during your entire time with God. Writing helps to focus your thoughts. Through that focus God can help you tune in to Him. As you write, He will use that writing to counsel you.
Write whatever comes to mind; thoughts about what you’ve read; impressions that come to mind; issues/concerns and thoughts about those issues; ask questions. Remember it’s a conversation with God so keep that in mind while you write. At first you’ll wonder if it’s your voice or God’s voice but continue the practice and in time you will learn to discern. God speaks spirit to spirit. His voice comes as thoughts, impressions … a voice in your head. But it speaks on a very deep level, directly to the spirit. His voice is gentle, confident, loving, patient, and authoritative. It always harmonizes with the Bible. If what you write or hear is from fear, angst, worry, guilt … it isn’t God’s voice.
5. Practice quieting your mind. To hear God, you need not only a quiet external environment but more importantly a quiet inner one. Most people need practice in quieting their mind. Here is a suggestion, at the end of your time with God, for 5-10 minutes focus on quieting your mind. When “to-dos” come to mind, write them on a piece of paper and refocus on God. Set a timer because for some 5 minutes will seem like forever at first. Focus on characteristics of God or verses that have stood out to you during your time with Him. Be still internally. Have a pen in hand and simply write whatever comes to mind. Don’t write to put perfect thoughts together, just let it flow, no inner critic. Then at the end read over what you wrote. Ask God to confirm things to you in His Word.
6. Above all ask God to show you how to listen and hear Him. Your time with God is about a relationship, and developing a trust and ability to directly learn from and commune with God. He wants to show you. It’s easier than you think, but different than what most are use to. Be patient and give Him the space and time to teach and show you. Persist; never give up. In time, you’ll be amazed at what you hear.
Through my pen flows words of life
Setting my soul free from strife
So sweetly You speak to me
Feeding me from the Living Tree
A jot focuses my distracted mind
Bringing it to submission and I find
Counsel and wisdom filling my awareness
Breathing in life; manifesting Your fullness
Your voice I’ve learned through communion
Spending time forming our union
Your Word taught me to recognize
A still small voice once disguised
Ears masked by abundant lies
You opened to hear Your voice on high
Daily I write to hear from You
The Voice of Truth; all others subdued
Gently in righteous love You renew
Setting my thoughts on what is true
What a joy to hear
The voice I hold most dear
For it creates true life in my soul
A power long ago foretold.
~ Rachel DiPaolo
March 4, 2012