Listening For God's Voice
We are God's children, and because of that, we all can hear and discern his voice. Unfortunately, most of us have never learned the importance of slowing down to quiet ourselves to best listen to God's voice speaking to us.
There are many ways that God communicates with His children. It could come as a thought, a memory, or a bible verse that keeps popping into our minds repeatedly. Or God could use powerful praise and worship music.
In referring to God speaking to us, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can actually hear his voice (although I believe some of the saints did). This is more like a way of saying He is trying to show you something, and in turn, you receive what He is communicating to you.
One of the most prevalent ways God speaks to us is through a still, small voice, almost like a whisper. This is mostly referred to as our conscience. Our conscience is that little inner voice that tries to warn us when we are about to make a questionable decision.
We believe that is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us. Remember how Jesus promised to send us an advocate after ascending to the Father? "The Advocate - the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you." John 14:26
Another way God speaks to us is through ideas that are reaffirmed over and over. You may be at a bible study learning about a certain concept such as forgiveness, then leave the Bible study and, without your prompting, have a friend or family member bring up the same idea (forgiveness). That same day when listening to music, you hear again about forgiveness. The affirmations usually come in threes. That's because God is not afraid to repeat Himself if it results in you paying attention.
When discerning how you most receive from the Lord, you can ask yourself a few questions: In what way do you most easily connect with the Lord? Is it during Bible reading, in worship at Mass, quiet prayer time in the still of the morning, or out in nature?
It is essential to remember your uniqueness as God's beloved child when you begin to discern the ways the Lord speaks to you. He has made us all different from each other, and therefore the way we each connect with Him will also be unique.
Are you someone who sees words or pictures when communicating with someone? Have you ever had a thought enter your mind and wondered if it was from the Lord? You may wonder how you are supposed to know if you have heard from the Lord. It should always be confirmed with His Word (scripture) or be aligned with God's nature (He is holy, just, pure, etc.). His voice always brings hope, life, love, peace, joy, kindness, etc. If it produces fear, discouragement, anxiety, or confusion, you can be sure it's not from the Lord. If what you are hearing is indeed from the Lord, the fruit will always be good fruit that comes from the Spirit.
When you learn how to receive from the Lord, it is always a good idea to seek Godly Christian leaders' wisdom in your life. We encourage you to write down what you hear from the Lord and ask Him to confirm whether or not these things are from Him. You will love the peace that comes from reading back over your unique list.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they know me." John 10: 27