Are ways we can increase our likelihood of hearing God speak? In Nine Ways God Always Speaks, I [Mark] offer the following:
What’s the difference between those who hear him and those who don’t?
It’s as simple as how they listen.
We know what you’re thinking. “I listen, but I never hear him.”
Okay, we hear you.
But frankly, how hard, how intentionally do you listen?
When you read the Bible, do you assume what you’re reading applies to you and try to figure out what God is saying to you personally?
When you have a stray thought, do you explore it to see if God somehow put it there for a reason?
When you wake up after a particularly vivid dream, do you pray asking God what he was trying to tell you?
When a friend says something more direct and personal than usual, do you wonder if God could be behind her words?
When an unlikely series of events happens, do you assume God arranged them for a reason and try to discover his purpose?
Do you examine your history, your environment, and your emotions to see what you can learn from them?
That is listening.
Listening is an active awareness of what is happening around you and an intentional pursuit of God’s voice. Many of us wrongly assume we haven’t heard God unless we’ve heard a James Earl Jones type voice amplified through the clouds. If you think that’s the only way you will hear him, it is the only way you will hear him. But here’s a hint—it’s not one of the ways he always speaks, likely it’s one of the ways he rarely speaks.
To hear God, we have to believe he wants to communicate with us. That doesn’t take a huge amount of faith, but it takes at least a drop. The people who hear from God all have a drop of that faith.