I get asked a lot as a pastor and even ask myself at times, “How do you hear from God?” It is a great question. If God really cares and is involved in the lives of people and speaks to us, we ought to listen. In my life when it feels the heavens are silent or I am confused about what is God’s will vs. what is my will and “what in the world should I do?”, I follow the principles I learned over thirty years ago on hearing His voice. These three key ways have not failed me, and I believe they may help those who are struggling with direction or concerns that can’t seem to be figured out.

First, if we want help from God, it starts by being His child. My son and his friends toward the end of his senior year of high school were sitting around talking about how they were going to afford college tuition. My son kept looking over at me, but what was interesting was that none of the other boys looked in my direction. It never crossed their mind to ask someone else’s dad for help.

This basic and most important step requires turning your life over to Him. Not for the moment to win God’s favor, but for your life. A real, conscious, honest decision to give yourself completely to Him, to be His child. The Bible is clear when it says, “My sheep hear my voice.” (John 10:27). It all starts with being His. If you have not already, give your life to Him. Unsure how? Talk to your community group leader or drop me a note. An essential part of this is that even though you may have given your life to Him in the past, if you are a wandering sheep and have not listened to Him for a while, then the answer is the same, come back to Him and stay close. It’s tough to expect anything from someone else’s dad.

Secondly, you have to pay attention to His Word. I don’t know if your kids do this, but when mine would do their homework, they would inevitably come to me for help or answers. If it were a common answer, I would tell them, “Go look it up!” Their response — “No, just tell me!”. Loving parents will not give in to the whining, but help stretch their children’s skills by training them to search and discover for themselves the answers. God is similar, once you have given yourself completely to Jesus, then pay attention to His Word.

I have encouraged everyone for a while now to take the first 7 minutes of your day and change your destiny. Start your day with Him. Open your Bible, read a bit and listen to the message God is speaking to you. The great King David said, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105). Many times in my life I have received the answer I needed; not from an audible voice from heaven, but through the light of the Bible. I have come to appreciate the daily study of God’s message to mankind.

Lastly, shut out the noise. Back in my day, we had these things called “Boomboxes,” a battery-operated tape cassette and radio player with huge speakers. Guys would hold them on their shoulders and play them as loud as possible. You certainly couldn’t hear anything else except the music. Today I see people with Beats by Dre, AirPods or some other type headphone on their heads. Not as large as a boombox, but the effects are still the same. Try to talk to them, and all they hear is the noise. You may not have headphones or a boombox, but I know you have noise, blaring as loud as can be. To hear God’s voice, we have to shut off the noise and get alone in a quiet place. The Bible says He tends to speak to us in a “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12). If you seriously want to hear from God turn off the noise take some time for solitude. He will speak.

I love you and hope to see you this weekend at Church on the Ridge. I will be sharing on this very topic.

In Him,