“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you… Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:18-19, 21).
If ever we needed to listen to God and hear what He is saying, it is now. He longs to be gracious to us and show us the way in which we should walk. In this chapter we will especially look at what He is saying about us – our personal identity and how we are to live. We need to listen to the heartbeat of God and not to what others are saying or the TV or media. What is God saying about us? How are we to pray? How do we know what He is saying about the times we are living in? This is critical for us. We must know how to hear God. Listening clearly is of utmost importance. It could save us our life! It saved one man from an awful, deadly crash.
An elderly man named Robert was in a terrible emergency situation.
He was 8l years old and forced to land a plane with no flying experience! Can you imagine a worse situation to find yourself in? On June 17, 1998 Robert Kupfreschmid and his 52-year-old pilot friend were flying from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana. While they were flying the pilot slumped over and died at the controls, and the single-engine plane began to quickly nose-dive. Robert grabbed the controls and got on the radio, pleading for help.
Two pilots heard the call and immediately gave instructions to Robert. Mount Comfort was the closest airport. Robert closely listened to every word as they gave a steady stream of instructions on how to climb, steer, and even land the plane. The pilots circled the runway three times before inexperienced and frantic Robert was ready to land the plane.
Emergency vehicles were called and ready for the approaching disaster. Witnesses saw the plane’s nose nudge the centerline and bounce a few times before the tail hit the ground. The plane landed in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. In an amazing way, this 81-year-old man was not injured. (Perfect Illustrations, 195-6, Greg Donnelly, Maple Plain, MN).
Robert had listened so carefully and followed those instructions with such intense precision because his very life depended on it. Think about how our lives would be transformed if we listened and knew how to hear God’s voice with such carefulness as Robert did in landing that plane.
God is always speaking to us, but many of us don’t take the time to carefully listen to what He says.
The truth is that most of us are just too busy for God. We’re so often making our plans of what we think He wants, but we’re not really taking the time to listen. We quickly proceed with a hurried prayer for His stamp of approval on what we want to do. But let’s stop for a moment and evaluate our hearing ability. We don’t want to be like the man who bragged that his hearing aid was the finest one available. When his friend asked, “What kind is it?” He answered, “About 2:30.” He didn’t hear exactly right, did he? We so often fall into the disease of busyness. But how did Jesus live His life? He spent unhurried time in the Father’s presence listening, praying, worshipping, and carefully taking instructions every day for God’s perfect plan. He was in constant communion with the Father.
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. We must do the same. Many things will look good, but what does the Father want us to do? What is He saying? Listening to God and hearing what He is saying is a daily experience. It’s not something we have to go on a retreat to hear. Those times are good and beneficial, but if we can’t take the time to really listen to God on a daily basis, we have missed the boat. He may be in one place and we have steered out of the center of His will for even a moment and may not even know it. The challenge is going to get greater and the demands will only increase, as the days get harder. We have got to learn this lesson today. We have got to stop and learn to listen now.
I write books on prayer and the other day I was saying to the Lord, “People are too busy to read my books on prayer – They are racing around doing things all the time.” I felt the Lord say to me, “Don’t feel bad Debbie. They are too busy for me too.” We need to listen to God every day. The Holy Spirit wants to guide us into all truth on a daily basis. We need wisdom for the journey every day if we want to see breakthrough in prayer.
How can we put the breaks on and really learn to listen? There are certain basic things we must cultivate in our life that will help us to hear God’s voice. Here are a few:
Hearing God’s Voice in Prayer
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:22).
- We must know God’s Word – God’s will is made know in His Word. It’s our final judge in our decisions. Learn to read, meditate, and pray God’s Word.
- We must look at our circumstances – God’s guidance is often confirmed through circumstances. Bring your circumstances before the Lord in prayer.
- We must look at our heart – What is it saying? The Holy Spirit is living in you. Examine your heart before the Lord and ask Him for revelation in your heart (John 16:13. 1 Corinthians 6:19).
- We must meet God’s conditions in our life – God will guide us if we do what he says. Meeting the conditions will unlock His promises to us. Ask the Lord if you have any sin in your life that needs to be confessed.
- We must have God’s peace – Is there peace in your heart? Even if there is a storm or if there is warfare, you can have God’s peace (James 3:17).
- We must daily humbly seek God’s guidance – God is often guiding us when we don’t realize it. Humbly lay your daily and weekly schedule before the Lord. Stay humble and walk day by day with God (Psalm 25:9).
- We don’t have to know all the details – Many times we will only see what is right in front of us. Ask God to help you walk by faith, and do the thing that is in front of you.
- We may not always feel good about God’s guidance – It does not always feel good. We have to bear our cross. God breaks us and does not want us to be static. We have to choose his ways. Commit yourself to His ways even when it is hard (Isaiah 55:8-9).
- When we hear God, we must take action – We must commit what we hear to doing all that God may want us to do. The Bible says that we should not merely listen to the word and deceive ourselves. We must do what it says (Daniel 11:32b, James 1:22).
We need to develop this skill of listening. We don’t want to miss even a small nudging from the Lord in any circumstance of life. We need to very carefully listen to God’s promptings just as this man looking for a job listened carefully to instructions.
A young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator. He answered the ad in the newspaper and went to the address listed. He entered a large, noisy office with a telegraph clacking in the background. A sign at the counter instructed all job applicants to fill out the form and wait until they were called to enter the inner office. The young man completed his form and sat down where seven other applicants were waiting. After a few minutes, he got up, went to the door to the inner office, and walked right in. The other applicants were wondering what was happening. Why could he boldly walk into the office? Mumbling among one another, they thought the young man would definitely be scolded and disqualified for the job.
A few minutes later the young man came out from the inner office escorted by the interviewer. The interviewer said, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has been filled by this young man.” Grumbling, they spoke up, “Wait a minute – I don’t understand something. He was the last one to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair.”
The employer responded, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. So the job is his.” Perfect Illustrations, pg. 128-9, Gary Preston, Character Forged from Conflict, Bethany House, 1999).
We need to learn to listen like this young man did. He got the job because he was carefully listening. We need to learn to listen to God’s voice carefully. He has a big job for those who know how to hear His voice and obey His Word. Hearing God takes a lifetime. It’s a skill that grows as we develop our relationship with God. A Geiger counter is an instrument for detecting the presence and intensity of radiation that results in a pulse that is amplified in a devise giving visible or audible indications. The closer you get to the radiation, the louder and faster the clicking noise becomes. In the same way, when you cultivate these points in hearing God’s voice in your life the pieces begin to come together, you have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, and His divine guidance system helps you. He shows you when you are getting closer to His will. Like the Geiger counter clicker, you sense the power of His guidance as you begin to touch His perfect will for your life. JAMES GOLL
“As you study your Bible, you may sense that God has something to say directly to you through the verses you are reading. Take a moment to consider the awesome reality that the God who spoke and created the universe is now speaking to you. If Jesus could speak and raise the dead, calm a storm, cast out demons, and cure the incurable, then what effect might a word from Him have upon your life?” Henry and Richard Blackaby
- Training Introduction
- Breakthrough Faith At The Gates
- The Dark Night Of The Soul
- Dependence – God’s Unlimited Opportunity To Bless
- Destroying Personal Strongholds
- Fasting The Right Way With The Right Heart
- Forgiveness Is A Choice
- The Hiddenness of God
- History Belongs To The Intercessors
- A Humble Heart
- Jesus’ Passionate Prayer Life
- A Lifestyle of Worship
- Prayer Discovers God’s Agenda
- Prayer For The Lost
- Prayer Is The Strategy of Heaven
- Presenting Your Petitions In The Courtroom Of Heaven
- The Providential Care of God
- A Royal Priesthood – Authority In Intercession
- Victory In Spiritual Warfare
- The Worship Warrior
- Hearing God’s Voice
- Enthroning God Through Prayer Mapping
- Making Prayer Visible
- Pursuing God’s Presence
- A Steadfast Spirit in Warfare
- The Providential Care of God
- A Royal Priesthood