Living in relationship with Jesus involves talking with Jesus. It is sharing with him your most intimate thoughts. It is also about listening to what he has to say. For many people, the first part comes easier. It is one thing to talk at God, but it is another thing to talk with God and keep the line of communication going both ways.
How do you hear from God? How do you discern his voice? The season of Epiphany is all about how God reveals himself to us through Jesus. It is through Jesus God makes himself known to us. We cannot know God or hear from God apart from a relationship with Jesus. Jesus himself says:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)
Hearing from God also involves a humble and repentant heart. It is easy for pride to get in our way. Do you have a hidden sin in your life that you enjoy and that you are holding on to? It could be overspending and poor stewardship. It might be a lack of sexual purity. It may be laziness and slothfulness.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18 (ESV)
Maybe the first way to start hearing from God is to start talking with God about that sin. Open your heart to what he has to say about that sin. Commit yourself to pursuing his desires. You might be surprised that when you commit to living a godly life, God has a way of revealing what that looks like. The question is if you are willing to receive what he has to say.
Another thing that hinders our ability to hear God is our insistence on going it alone. We live in an individualistic society that values individual achievement. Especially for men, we pride ourselves in being self-sufficient. Many of us have a hard time asking for help.
But as I look at the Scriptures, the pursuit of God is more than an individual effort. The pursuit of God takes place through community. This is why God gives us the Church. He knows we need each other on the journey. So many of the promises of God are given to the community and not the individual. It is impossible to experience all that God wants for you apart from a community of believers who regularly worship together, serve together, pray together, and wrestle with the Word together.
With that said, I want to invite you to join us on Sunday at 8am or 10:30am for worship as we continue this discussion about how we hear from God.
I would love to hear your thoughts and your comments below. What are some ways you pursue listening to God? I might share some of those thoughts on Sunday.