HOW do we hear God when He speaks? How can we be those sheep Jesus referenced in John 10:27 who listen to His voice and follow Him?
WE have to learn to discern the voice of God because it is one of His primary methods of speaking to us.
A delivery system is very important to the success of a business. It can have a great product, terrific workers and a state of the art facility, but if it can't get its product to the consumer it's of no use. God is awesome, heaven is, well, heavenly and God has the best ideas. But if He can't get His message to us then what good is it? God knows that the answers to every human problem and condition lies within His heart. But we can't hear His heart without His voice. His words help us relate. We all know the frustration of being in a place where we can't speak the language or understand anyone there. Now imagine how God feels. He has so much He wants to say to us but we can't hear from this world. To hear God's voice we have to "leave" this realm (the physical one) and enter the spiritual realm. God is Spirit and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. This happens through prayer.
THE next method God uses to speaks to us is His written word. David wrote in Psalm 138:2, "...You have exalted above all things your name and your word." We worship and pray in His name and read and study His word. This is how we hear God. This is how we know Him.
THE only way to know God's word is to read it. If we read it He will reveal it. Trusting and knowing God's word is crucial to our survival as believers. But it's our choice. I love what Jeremiah 15:16 says, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name..." Finding joy in reading God's word is the way to grow in your relationship with Him.
I'VE heard many "reasons" (excuses) why people can't (won't) read the Bible. Some people don't read because they don't trust the translation or the interpretation. Some people are too "busy" to read God's word. Others can't understand it and so don't read it. Some people just don't like to read. Then there are those who think only the clergy should read and interpret it so it's done right. But God wants you to read it so He
can have a one on one relationship with just you. God is available to chat with you any time you desire.
OF all the excuses we use for not reading the Bible, it all comes down to desire. We tend to do just what we want to do. When a person wants something bad enough they will find a way
GOD also likes to speak to us through Godly people. As I said earlier, He prefers a one on one relationship with just you, you and your Father. But He will speak through one of your brothers or sisters.
THERE are some people who refuse to seek out or listen to good, Godly counsel. Solomon called them mockers in Proverbs 15:12, "A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise."
Interestingly the word "Mocker" in the Hebrew is the word "loots". It's like Solomon is telling us that a mocker robs himself of a valuable resource of God.
SOLOMON also said in Proverbs 15:22 that, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." His many advisors are the Godly people He has placed in your life to help you.
SO God speaks to us through His spoken word, which will be confirmed through His written word. He will also speak to us through His servants, which again will be confirmed through His written word. These three ways of speaking to us lead us to the last primary way God speaks to us... His peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
MANY people war within themselves. They battle with their conscience, decisions, people, work, you name it. But it's good that you battle; it means you care. However, when we are battling something it's because we do not have the peace of God, which should cause us to pause and ask why. Jesus wants to give us his unexplainable, unshakeable peace which rises above human understanding, but we must seek Him for His peace and note the things in life which are causing us fear and confusion because that will never be God speaking.