December 30, 2023
1 Samuel 3:1, New International Version
“…In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
A question I am often asked is, “How do I hear from God?” Other similar questions are, “Does God speak?” “Why can’t I hear Him like the others?” “How do I know this is Jesus or the Holy Spirit and not my flesh or the enemy?” and so on…
First, we need to clearly establish this: God does speak! Our God is a God of relationship, He is also our Father, and He is a good One. He pays attention to His children with a caring attitude. He loves to spend quality time with those He loves (He loves every living being who He created) and have to have good conversation with them. This is no different than building up any other good relationship.
So, we then come to this question: Why can’t I hear Him and what can I do to hear Him better? There are many teachings, patterns, and even formulas in the world that claim to tell you how to hear the voice of God. Yet, I would like to share with you what I have learned and experienced by referring to the time period before Samuel the prophet in the Bible.
“…In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Samuel 3:1, NIV)
Why was the word of the Lord rare and why were there few visions in those days? How were those days different from other times? The answer is very straight forward, because of the hardness of hearts of the people of Israel (His people) and the corruption of the priesthood (His servants). If there were also other times of corruption and rebellion, yet the Lord’s word was still delivered by His appointed prophets? Yes, this is correct. The word of the Lord was spoken and delivered through, and only through, His appointed prophets who were serving Him faithfully.
The conclusion is this: there is no formula or pattern which can make you hear God. Because there is nothing you can do to make Him speak. God has the absolute right to speak or not to speak. It is the same with those who claim they can teach you how to function in prophecy. There is no way other than God giving you words which you can deliver faithfully as He instructs you to. In order for this to happen it requires a heart of obedience.
A person with an obedient heart will be a person who is humble before the Lord. It will not happen through a person who is denying God and does not trust Him. Instead, it will be a person who knows who God is and recognizes who they are before Him. This is a relationship, a right relationship with God. So, the answer to the question of “How do I know this is Jesus or the Holy Spirit and not my flesh or the enemy?” is simple. If you have a right relationship with God, if you have a reverent respect for Him, you will surely seek Him in a sincere way. When you do this, you will know when your Lord speaks!