The subject of Listening to the Lord is so vast, that I have barely even begun to scratch the surface in these last few postings. Everytime we read the Holy bible the Lord is speaking to us. He speaks to us in dreams, in visions. Sometimes He speaks to us in parables by the situations going on around us in our lives and the world at large. Sometimes the Lord speaks to us through other people.
Here is a list written by James W. Goll of the Elijahlist:
"Ten Effective Tools for the Trade
• Number One: Don't Make Hearing God Complicated!
It is actually not hard to hear God. We tend to overcomplicate the whole matter. The following are three simple steps that help us, very simplistically, hear God's gracious voice.
# 1 — Submit to His Lordship
Ask Him to help you silence your own thoughts, desires and opinions. You want to hear only the thoughts of the Lord right now. Proverbs 3:5-7, "In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil." James says, "Submit unto God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Before resisting always comes submitting.
# 2 — Resist the Enemy
Use the authority Jesus Christ has given you as His disciple to silence the voice of the enemy. Apply the Blood of Jesus over your life and resist the enemy. He will run in terror away from you. Great news! If you do what God wants you to do (first!), then He will do for you what you cannot do on your own!
# 3 — Ask your Question and Expect God's Answer
Ask the question that is in your heart, bring it before the throne of Almighty God. You must now wait for Him to answer. Believing that as you submit to God and resisted the enemy you can now expect that you will be filled with the knowledge of God's will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9). Now, at times, an immediate reply will come—other times it is like a slow, simmering process—but the most important aspect is to ask, expect and receive.
• Number Two: Allow God to Speak in the Way He Chooses.
Don't try to dictate to God the guidance methods you prefer. Listen with a yielded heart. There is a direct link between yielding and hearing. He may choose to speak to you in a method that you are not accustomed to. He will speak through His written Word, through a person, through dreams, visions, through the quiet inner voice... Now having submitted, resisted and asked, do not dictate the way you want Him to answer your request. Allow God to speak to you in the way He chooses.
• Number Three: Confess Any Known Sins.
Psalm 66:18, "If I regard wickedness in my heart the Lord will not hear me." If the Lord doesn't hear you, then you're not going to receive the answer that you're hoping for, because He hasn't even heard the question yet. So the third point in hearing God's voice is one of the foundation stones of A, B, C Christianity—the confession of sins. Confess your sins. He is waiting to listen. He is waiting to forgive. Confess your sins to our Father in Jesus' great name. A clean heart is a prerequisite to hearing God.
• Number Four: Have You Obeyed the Last Thing God Told You to Do?
If you haven't obeyed His last orders, why do you think He would give you new ones? He's waiting for you to do what He's already told you to do. This alone is one of the main reasons people don't think they are hearing from Papa. He has already spoken—you already know what is required of you. Now go do, for Jesus' sake! It's the issue of obedience. Go back and finish your last orders could be a word of wisdom needed so that you can continue in life's journey.
• Number Five: Get Your Own Leading.
God will use others to confirm your guidance, but we must learn to hear the voice of the Lord for ourselves. God is a jealous God. He wants to talk with you. Become secure in your own identity in Christ. Realize that you are a son or daughter of the Creator of the universe in your own right. He has promises to lead His own and has given us His precious Holy Spirit to be our guide. Is He yours? Don't be wrongly co-dependent upon others. At the same time, don't jump in the other ditch by over-reacting and cultivating an independent and rebellious spirit. You've got to, and you will learn to, hear God for yourself.
• Number Six: Don't Talk about Your Word Too Soon.
This is a really wise one. I wished I had known this one a bit earlier on in my life! I think the dreamer Joseph might have wished he had heard this one also! The main purpose of waiting is to help you avoid the not-so-obvious pitfalls. Have you ever considered that God might like to share a secret with a trusted friend? Have you considered asking permission before opening wide your mouth and repeating everything you supposedly know?
Oftentimes, God does speak something to us ahead of time, before it comes into being. His word comes to prepare us and to change us to be the vessel qualified to do what has been spoken. He will prepare us for that which lies ahead.
• Number Seven: God Will Confirm What He's Telling You.
Realize God does use others to confirm His word. It's a part of a safety net of protection. Second Corinthians 13:1 wisely states that God will confirm His word by two or three witnesses. This particular truth is quoted three times in the Bible. God will confirm His word by the witness or testimony of two and three others. Isn't that wonderful! If it really is God, He will speak the same or similar thing more than once. So—in other words—you don't have to go running off with just a one-time word! If it really is from God, it will be confirmed. Rest in that fact.
Believe that the Lord will speak through those in relational authority in your life. Trust the Lord and pray for those in authority. There is safety in the multitude of counsel.
• Number Eight: Be Aware of Counterfeits.
Satan loves to counterfeit. He has no originality—He's just a copycat! If there's a counterfeit, what does that mean? It infers that there's something authentic and real out there. The enemy only counterfeits what is real. Counterfeit money...Why is there counterfeit money? Because there's real money and it has power.
Why does the enemy have counterfeit voices, counterfeit occult, counterfeit experiences, and even counterfeit supernatural encounters? Why? Because our Lord of Hosts has the real power, the real dreams, myriads of angels, and the true guidance system.
God is a supernatural Being. People are born with a void that only the voice of God can fill. But beware of counterfeits from the dark side. They exist to trap you; flee from them in Jesus' name!
• Number Nine: Practice Hearing God's Voice.
Yes, practice hearing the voice of God, and it will become easier. It's like picking up the phone and recognizing the voice of a friend. You know their voice because you've heard it so much.
If I want to know His voice, I've got to spend some time with Him. The voice of the Holy Spirit is so lovely to me today. I would never want to grieve Him. We must get to know the voice of our Master and it only comes by spending time with Him. The more you practice, the easier it becomes!
• Number Ten: Cultivating an Intimate Relationship.
From God's perspective, the most important reason for hearing the voice of God is not just to know the right things to do—it is knowing the Source Himself! If you don't have good communication with a person, you don't have a vibrant relationship with them.
True guidance is getting closer to the Guide. We grow to know the Lord better as He speaks to us. As we listen to Him and obey His word, we make His heart glad. Our relationship with our Papa God goes so far beyond information, guidance, dreams, visions, angels, and all the wonderful supernatural stuff. It goes so far beyond that.
It's all about intimacy with Jesus. The gifts of the Spirit are appetizers to whet our desire for more of God Himself. The voice of God is used to create a deeper hunger within us so that we might come into closer communion with Him. The reason to hear His voice is really simple: to cultivate an intimate relationship with our Abba Father. Our Daddy wants to commune with us even more than we want to commune with Him. Draw near, He is drawing near to you.
So, that's some simple foundational thoughts on hearing the voice of God. I hope these tools will get added to your tool chest 'cause it's time to listen up! The Holy Spirit has something He wants to say to you!
Blessings to You! James W. Goll"
One last thing. There is an excellent podcast from The Full Armor of God Podcast website that you should listen to.
It is called Full Armor of God: A Danger Signal - Unanswered Prayer.
Thank you Merciful Heavenly Father for desiring to have a relationship with us, wanting to talk to us and have us hear You clearly. Thank you for the gift of Holy Spirit and for your plan of redemption for us. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.