Getting God’s Input
By Rafael Holding
Is God personally concerned about you? Does He want to provide solutions to your problems, bless your endeavors, help you get the most out of life, and make you the best person you can possibly be? If so, is He able to tell you how? Yes, yes, and yes!
He knows that you have questions and problems, and He wants to give you answers and solutions. To that end, He created a means of two-way communication, a channel between Him and you, so that you can talk to Him in prayer and in return receive messages that He speaks directly to and specially for you.
Even if you don’t consider yourself very spiritual or close to God, you’ll be happy to know that God will speak to anyone who has even only a little childlike faith—and He wants to speak to you, to lead you into a closer relationship with Him and to improve your life in the process.
The first step is believing that God wants to communicate with you from the spiritual realm. The second is being willing to put aside what your natural senses tell you (and sometimes even what common sense tells you), in favor of what God wants to tell you. Once you take those first two steps, you’re ready to begin in earnest.
Start by finding a quiet place and taking a few minutes to talk to God, just like you would talk to a close friend. If you have a specific question, go ahead and ask. Or perhaps you don’t have anything in particular on your mind, but want to hear whatever He might have to say to you. Either way, once you’ve told Him that you want to hear from Him, do your best to concentrate and listen with your spirit for His answer.
Sometimes God may speak by bringing to mind a familiar verse or passage from the Bible, which when applied to the particular situation you’re asking Him about, can be the clear and simple answer that you need.
At other times, God may speak a new message—words that He’s never spoken exactly that way to anyone else. The wording style may range from formal to casual, everyday language. God can express Himself any way He likes on any subject, but He usually speaks to us each in a way that will be easy for us to receive and relate to.
It’s easy to dismiss this little inner voice as being your own thoughts, especially when you are first starting to hear from God, but it’s important that you accept that this is Him speaking to you. When you’ve sincerely asked God to speak, He will. “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). He fills the spiritually hungry with good things (Luke 1:53).
Try not to analyze, scrutinize, or judge the message as it is coming, as that will interrupt the flow. You should study it later, though, so unless His message is very short you will probably want to type or write it down as it comes, before you forget any of the details.
You may feel any one of a number of emotions while receiving a message from God. Some people feel a surge of excitement or joy, some feel nervous, some break down and cry—but many, perhaps even most, feel nothing unusual at all. Some may feel something sometimes and nothing at other times. Whether you feel something or not doesn’t make the message you receive more or less valid. “We walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)—and certainly not by feelings!
Don’t be disappointed if at first you don’t receive long, eloquent messages from God, although that can happen. Usually with time and experience, as you exercise your gift of hearing from God, the messages you receive will become more detailed and more complete. Don’t give up! Practice makes perfect.
Remember also that a message from Heaven doesn’t have to be lengthy to be exactly what He wants to tell you at that moment. Sometimes God may give you the answer you need in one sentence or less. Of course, it’s good to wait long enough to make sure He doesn’t have any more to say before going about your business, but once you feel that He has finished talking, then thank Him for speaking and trust that the message He gave you contains the answer you were asking Him for.
There will probably be times when you ask Him to speak but are too distracted by other thoughts to hear anything at all. Don’t worry. It’s tough to concentrate sometimes, and God understands our human weaknesses. If this is new to you, the simple fact that you’re trying is a sign of progress. Keep it up!
Try to take a few minutes each day to pray and thank God for His goodness. Follow this with your “question of the day” and a few moments of listening for His answer or whatever else He may want to say to you. As you get in the habit of hearing from God, it will become easier. As you continue to strengthen your faith by reading God’s written Word, and if you continue to earnestly desire this gift of His Spirit, God won’t fail you. He has promised to speak to you, and He will!
(“Getting God’s Input” was excerpted from Hearing from Heaven)
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