Several years ago, I attended a conference on how to hear the voice of the Lord. There I learned two life-changing skills—how to have a conversation with God and how to soak in His presence.
Both of these are part of learning to be. At the conference, I learned four simple steps to dialoging with God, based on Habakkuk 2:1–2.
1. Become still and quiet in my thoughts and emotions.
2. Fix my eyes on Jesus. Use vision like King David did by picturing Jesus (see Ps. 16:8; Acts 2:25).
3. Recognize His voice as spontaneous flowing thoughts.
4. Write down the flow of spontaneous thoughts which come to me while my eyes are fixed on Jesus.
Using this simple pattern, we can connect to God’s heart and learn to hear His voice in response to our thoughts and questions. At first, it may feel difficult to know whether we are hearing God’s voice or not. That is normal, because we are just beginning to train our spiritual senses to hear from God. The most common way for God to speak is through a still small voice, which is the voice we hear in our hearts. It wells up from within us.
Of course, it is important to always test what we hear against the Word of God. God will never contradict the Bible. And He also always speaks for the purpose of encouraging, strengthening, and comforting. His voice is never accusing, destructive, or condemning.
Even if He is convicting us of sin, He does it in a loving and hopeful manner. He tells us who He made us to be in Him, and that never involves condemnation or fear. God has many wonderful things to say to us. He is always speaking to us. We just need to develop our spiritual senses in order to discern His voice.
The second skill I learned, which has since become one of my favorite activities, is soaking prayer. In a nutshell, this is practicing Psalm 46:10, which says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” To be still means to “cease from something, to cease striving, to relax, to become quiet.”
Of course, stillness is not the goal; it is the vehicle for the goal—which is knowing God. We become still in our minds and bodies so that we can know and sense Immanuel with us. The word know in Psalm 46:10 means “to learn to know, to perceive, to be made known.” It means knowing someone relationally and experientially. This is the goal in our intimate human relationships, and it should also be the goal in our relationship with God. We do not seek to simply know about Him but to know Him with our hearts.
That is His invitation to us. As our Father, He does not just want to know about us (which He does), but He wants to have personal relationship with us. Thus, He invites us, saying, “Stop what you’re doing, relax, and come into My presence so you can know Me personally, relationally, and experientially.”
By becoming quiet (not talking, praying, or doing anything) and totally focusing on Him, we are able to listen, enjoy, and be with Him. As we commune with Him, He gives us fresh revelations of His love and power in our lives.
This is an excerpt from my new book Loved Like Jesus.
I wrote it because I want you to experience the deep love that your heavenly Father has for you. Living from this reality as a much loved son or daughter, you can rest in a confident connection with Him and experience abundant living and lasting freedom.
Order my book today for yourself and an extra copy for a friend, your pastor and/or your small group.