TALKING AND LISTENING TO GOD
Talking to God We talk to God in order to constantly build and strengthen our relationship with him, to get to know him better, to learn what he expects of us, what we can expect from him, and to find out how we can best accomplish the things that he wants us to do. We also talk to God in order to seek his advice and help, to show him that we recognize his existence and awesome power, and of course to show him that we have trust and confidence in him. And talking to God should be the same as if you were talking to your best friend. You should tell him your thoughts, desires, hurts, and problems, as well as giving him your thanks and praise. Talking to God not only tells God that you have knowledge of him but that you also have faith in him. Talking to God also tells him that you have a desire for his presence in your life and that you need him and are dependent on him. It also shows God and that you want to be obedient to him. He wants to hear these things from you. He already knows what they are but he wants you to tell them to him. He wants you to make the effort to talk to him and not to take him for granted. If you really want to communicate and talk to God, if you want to become close to him, if you want to begin to grow strong spiritually, and if you want to begin a glorious and meaningful relationship with him, then do two things. 1) Talk to God daily, in a normal everyday type of conversation. Remember that God can read your mind and that he is constantly observing your inner most thoughts at all times, so he knows what is going on in your heart and your mind far better than you do. So your conversations with God do not have to be vocal and you can mentally talk to God anytime you want. God gave us little taste of his ability to search the hearts of men and read their minds back in Jeremiah 17:10 when he said, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds." So you can easily talk to God in your thoughts, and these conversations can be done anytime or anyplace. They can be done in school, at work, or at any other place, even if the rules of the world are against it. 2) The second thing you need to do in order to better communicate with Jesus is to read the Word of God each and every day. The Bible was the one thing that Jesus left for each one of us to read and study so that we would be able to find out about God. Only by reading the very word of God can we hope to draw near to him. When Our Lord sees that you are taking the time to read his word every single day then what he is going to do is begin to peel away the layers of cloudiness that are covering your eyes and that hide the truth. Once he sees that you are serious about reading his word, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will begin to open your eyes and mind, and allow you to begin to understand the Word of God and the incredible meaning that it has on every aspect of your life. It won't be long before you realize that the Bible isn't difficult at all to read and understand, and to your amazement you will begin to also realize that you
and Jesus have been drawn closer together. Suddenly you will know that indeed he is communicating with you. It is really a joyous occasion to see a believer who has devoted the time to talk to God and to read his word daily, suddenly realize just how much God is speaking to them. The true believer takes great comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ is constantly talking to them, directing them, guiding them, and teaching them throughout each and every day. Also keep in mind that the way you talk to God is extremely important. Do you talk to him only when you are in trouble and need help? If so then it shows God that you are simply taking him for granted. However if he sees that you are setting aside certain periods of time during each day just to talk to him, then what you are doing is opening up the channels of communication between you and God. We are living in a world that rarely thinks about Jesus and seldom talks to him, and if Jesus sees one person out of a million who is actually taking the time each and every day just to talk to him, then you are going to put great joy in his heart. Just think of it. The creator of the entire universe will be personally listening to you each and every time you talk to him. He may watch for a while to see if what you are doing is only temporary and whether or not you will stop it after a few days. But if you continue, then God is going to be extremely pleased and I believe he won't be able to wait to begin to communicate with your heart, your conscience, your soul, your spirit. In fact you will not believe how much God will be talking to you. Listening to God Listening to God is probably the most important thing that will ever happen to a person. In fact your entire eternal future is based on you hearing God speaking to you and whether or not you listen to him. And this is because your spiritual life doesn't begin until God speaks to you and you finally decide to listen. This is so beautifully described in John 10:27-28. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand". It is for this reason that you need to not only talk to God constantly about everything, but you must also listen for God to speak to you. And the best way to listen for God to speak to you is to look to your heart and your mind for his answer. Most people expect God to answer them in some divine way or somehow speak to them verbally, right out of the heavens, but that isn't the way God operates. God speaks to a persons heart. To their mind. To their sense of moral righteousness and fairness. To their sense of what is right and Godly. When Jesus Christ is dwelling within a person he is communicating constantly with that person's, heart, conscience, soul, and spirit. His answer may even be in that certain feeling that you have. That unexpected feeling that came out of no where and that shines additional light on the problem. His answer may lie in that sudden pause that you experience. That pause that gets you thinking about a different path to take.
And those methods of communication that God uses are extremely loud and clear. The true child of God can hear God speak just as clearly as if God was standing right along side of them and verbally talking to them. However for most people, especially in the beginning, they need to be quiet and really listen for God's answer because it is so very easy to block his answer out. You can get busy watching a TV program or cleaning the house and you never really hear his side of the conversation. It's amazing, but a true child of God is carrying on a constant two way conversation with God all day long. This is why talking and listening to God is so easy. It's like listening to music. That's why if your driving down the street going 30 miles over the speed limit, you know that's the voice of God telling you that you are wrong and that you must get back to the proper speed limit. That speeding is against the law, that you very possibly might hurt or kill another person, that you will be stopped by the police and given an expensive ticket, that your insurance rates will go up, or any number of other reasons. (You know it's not satan talking to you because if it was satan he would be telling you to go faster, that a little extra speed doesn't matter, that the other drivers owe you, or that it is ok for you to speed because you are in a hurry). Another example might be if you are at work and you see something that you would like to have at home, and you suddenly begin to think that your employer will never miss it, and that it really isn't that expensive. Well, that's God speaking to your entire being through your conscience. He's pleading with your heart not to steal that item. He's telling your mind that it will only bring dishonor and guilt upon you and upon God. He telling your moral righteousness that it is very wrong, and that nothing good can ever happen when you steal from another. After a while God is carrying on a conversation with you even while you are talking to other people; and you are tuned in to God just as much as you are to the other person. When was the last time you and another person were talking and that person used the name of God in vain. Did your mind not hear the Lord cut into that conversation and instantly begin to tell you that the conversation was wrong. That it is wrong to be around someone dragging his Father's name through the dirt? Or how about the time when you were talking with another person and one of you happened to mention vicious gossip about another person. Didn't your heart hear God tell you that it wasn't right to gossip? Did you feel that gentle warning letting you know that you were traveling out of God's camp and into an area that is owned and ruled by satan. That was God simply talking to you. And it will be one of the most glorious days of your life when you finally realize that you can conduct a constant two way conversation with God 24 hours a day. Also a great many people love to say that God works in mysterious ways. That they have absolutely no idea how or why God does what he does. But for the true believer, God's ways aren't mysterious. His ways aren't concealed behind smoke and mirrors. It is just the opposite. Because once you begin to understand Jesus Christ, once you begin to learn what he is all about, once you begin to understand what he is trying to do in this world and in your life, once you begin to understand the tremendous importance that he holds for all of mankind, then his actions will not be mysterious. That's when his ways will
become crystal clear. In fact many times you will actually be able to predict what he is going to do. The believer, who has surrendered his life up to Jesus Christ, will see God actively working in their daily lives. But this seeing will not be a visual image focused in our eyes. Instead, God has allowed his children to see him through his faithfulness, his blessings, his guidance, his encouragement. Our very spirits tell us that he is very near to us. Do we not see him by the feeling of peace and calm that his very presence brings? Do we not see God through the daily provisions that he brings for our many needs? We see God when he is carrying our burdens, when he is lighting our paths, and when he is nestling us in his arms. The believer that has surrendered, is able to see God all day long.
Various ways we listen to God speak
We can listen to God speak to us through his Word. As mentioned above, God uses the Bible as his foremost tool to impart his daily instructions to us. That is one reason why it is so very important to read the word of God daily because God will direct you to specific passages that will have a direct impact on the problems you are facing and the questions that you have. You will find specific answers to specific questions that you are presently facing or will face shortly. It is absolutely incredible how this works but it does and it happens almost on a daily basis. However if you don't read the word of God everyday you will miss out on this extremely important method of communication that God uses to inform and teach you, to answer your questions, and to guide you along your spiritual path. Do you realize that 10 men can read the exact same passage of scripture in the Bible and each man will come away with a little different meaning for that verse. God will reveal that passage differently to each man, depending on each man's background, his age, his life experiences, his circumstances, his environment, his present situation, and many other factors. We all have different needs, we all find ourselves passing through different trials and tribulations, we all have different fears, and we are all on different missions and goals from God. That is the incredible power that lies behind the Bible. And why shouldn't it be this way considering each word in the Bible was inspired from God directly to the Bible writers. And just as incredible is the fact that as each of these men grow spiritually, they will interpret that same passage a little differently each time they go back and reread that verse. They can take what they have recently learned and use that information as building blocks so that they are able to get a better and clearer understanding of that verse and the information and knowledge that verse contains. That is how an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about God grows and grows. It's also how God continually instructs a person, how he allows a person to grow in their spiritual daily walk, how he gets the believers character and moral fiber to improve in a Godly manner on a daily basis, how God reveals mysteries that the believer never dreamed he could possibly understand or comprehend, and most importantly how the believer is able
to love and trust and obey God more today than he did yesterday. The knowledge about God is through the pages of your Bible. We listen to God through the Holy Spirit who is with us every second of the day. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, guides us, and instructs us. It is the Holy Spirit who is our helper and our educator. It is the guidance of the Holy Spirit that is going to bring Jesus Christ into your life. The Holy Spirit is the one who opens the hearts and the minds of men. The Holy Spirit is the one who educates and instructs a person in how to lead a life which is pleasing to God The Father, and it is The Holy Spirit who tells you and the rest of the world about Jesus Christ. We listen to God speak to us when we pray. God can communicate with us when we pray because this is the time when we are really concentrating on God, and this makes our hearts and minds accessible to the voice of God. It is in prayer where you can have a oneon-one conversation with Almighty God. It is in prayer that God can impress his desires on our spirits, have impact on our minds, and have the ability to change our hearts. Our prayer gives God the authority to have incredible communication with us. We listen to God speak to us through other believers. When you are faced with a problem or have a question, who better to go to then another believer who will give you good Godly advice that is based on the Bible. Someone who is already letting Jesus Christ lead them in living their life, and who has a firm understanding of the Bible, and who will want God to advise them on just how to answer your question. We also listen to God speak to us through divine circumstances. We are all living under heavenly guidance and many times God will do certain things in our life which will absolutely astound and amaze us. Many times these happenings are absolutely incredible, but unfortunately most people will say that these things are just due to pure luck or fate. But the true believer can see the hand of God written all over these occurrences and realizes that they are just another way that God uses to communicate with us. Since God has unlimited ways to talk with you, he may do so using other forms of communication. He may lead you to other Godly people for certain answers, he may guide you to certain verses in the Holy Word of God or other literature for answers, he may arrange your future circumstances so that that specific things become very visible and you find the answer there, you may even see an answer in another person whom God has brought across your path. The possible ways in which our Loving Father can answer us is absolutely incredible. God - Was that you, was that me, or was that the devil When looking for answers from God, most people ask how in heaven's name can they tell if the possible answers and solutions that they have floating around in their heads are from God? Or are they just my own thoughts, or could they even be from satan? Or they may say that I have a number of answers or solutions to a certain problem, so how can I tell which one is from God? Which one is the one that God wants me to follow?
Well, there is a rather easy way to tell which answer or solution is from God. And this method will never ever fail. It doesn't matter if the problem is big or small or if you have 2 possible solutions or a 100. It always works. So if you follow this method then you will have God's answer. The method to determine which solution is the one from God consists of 7 very simple questions that you ask yourself regarding each possible solution or each possible answer. The seven questions 1 - Is it consistent with the word of God? Does this solution fit the principles that are in the Bible? Does it violate anything in the Bible? 2 - Is it a wise decision? In your own heart and mind is it the type of solution that Jesus Christ himself would agree with? Would Jesus implement this solution himself? 3 - Are you confident in asking God to enable you to achieve this solution? Can you look upon this solution as one that God would send into your life? 4 - Do you feel that it is a God given solution? Deep within your heart do you feel or sense that this solution is the will of God? 5 - Does this solution fit a child of God? From all that you know about God, does this solution or this answer fit a person that truly loves, believes, and trusts God? 6 - Does the solution fit God's overall plan for your life? Does this solution fit in with God's guidance and direction of your life? 7 - Does this solution honor God? Does it bring glory and praise to Almighty God? But what happens if you have a number of possible solutions and none of them satisfy all seven of these steps? Or even worse, you still don't have any solutions or answers. Then you need to remember that we are all on God's time schedule, and we have to simply be patient and wait on the Lord. He will bring you the answer or solution but only when the time is right and only God can see your entire life so only he knows when the time is right. The Bible is jammed full of examples of men and women who for one reason or another were not patient, who refused to wait on the Lord, who decided to do it their own way, and thus made the decision to bypass God and take a shortcut. And what were the results of these many examples of people taking shortcuts around God? Failure and heartbreak in every single example. In fact ask yourself this question. If you have saved for years and now have enough money to build your first brand new house, would you be happy to see the builder suddenly start to take shortcuts in building your new home? Or you are in the hospital for life and death surgery, and suddenly the surgeon tells you that he has got a number of time saving shortcuts that he is going to be using. Would that make you happy?
So this would be a very good time to remember some of the great many Biblical verses about patience and about waiting on the Lord. Verses like: 2 Thessalonians 1:4 "So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure." 2 Thessalonians 3:5 "Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ." 1 Timothy 6:11 "But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." 2 Corinthians 6:4 "But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses." Luke 21:19 "In your patience you shall possess your souls." So if you are observant and pay attention you will hear God as surely as if he was standing right in front of you speaking to you orally. God wants you to talk to him and to trust him. In return he will love you and bless you and teach you. He will show you how you can achieve a life filled with peace and happiness. God wants to be involved in every single aspect and facet of your life, because as it says at Galatians 2:20, "It is no longer I that live, but it is Christ that is living in union with me. Indeed, the life that I now live in flesh, I live by faith". So the true child of God is letting Christ live their life. Christ is in charge. Christ is running the whole show. You might say that you are along just for the ride. There is nothing that you should not involve God in. Each and every single thing you do, from opening your eyes in the morning to shutting them at night, should be done by both you and God. So in conclusion, the really sad thing about not talking and listening to God, is that you miss a golden opportunity to draw closer to God, to get to know him better, and to let him know that you realize that you want and need his help. You would have missed the Godly advice given at James 4:8, "Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you". Instead when you don't talk or listen to God you pretty much tell him that you don't need him, that you can do things on your own, that his advice and his concern are not needed, that you are very capable of going through your life under your own power and doing it your own way. If so, do you feel a little like Matthew 13:15 with your eyes starting to shut, your ears starting to close up, maybe your heart beginning to become a little harder? This is because without that communication between you and God, you will soon find yourself drifting further and further away from God. And as the distance between you and God increases, your heart will indeed become harder and the ways of the world will begin to become ever more important.
This life on earth is simply a training school that allows us to refine and perfect ourselves, to learn from our mistakes and our errors in judgment. But to be successful at this requires complete faith and trust in our Lord. So listen for that soft gentle voice filled full of love, intelligence, and caring.