How Do You Listen To God? (Reprinted from my other Blog Site)
Posted by gshstudy on August 3, 2006
Today, someone at work and I were having a discussion….. OK. Let me back up a step. I am reading (among the other recent books) John Ortberg’s, “If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat”. It was given to me by a very dear friend about 2-3 years ago and I never read it. Wish I had, but anyways. I was so into it last night, that I brought it to work to read at lunch. I left it out on my desk and several people commented on it. One of my co-workers asked me what it was about and I told him it was about taking risks and learning to surrender in faith.
He asked me how do you know which risks to take. I mentioned a few ideas but my last and probably most important one was you listen to God, to know that what you are risking is right.
Then he asked me the stumper. How do you listen to God?
I had no answer straight off. Prior to 2 months ago, I wouldn’t have had any idea what that was and at that time I had been a Christian for over 4 years. Oh, I knew how to ask God for what I wanted in prayer, but listen to God, not happening. Not that I didn’t want to, but I just never thought about it.
Now, I am finally listening to God, but I never really sat back and thought of how I listen. This questioned ran around my mind all day and I am still not sure I have a clear answer or if a clear cut answer exists, but here is how I see it basically anyways. I guess this is the first three things that come from a day of thinking about this but I am sure there is more.
1. The Holy Spirit – The changing spirit that is like a fire inside your soul. I believe God talks to my spirit through the Holy Spirit. The question is can my brain calm down enough to hear what the spirit is telling me and how do I know when it is the spirit and when it is my own desires clouding the way.
2. The Bible – Like so many of my daily relationships at work and home, I need to understand the people that I deal with. I know when my son is being sarcastic and when he is serious based on my years of experience with him. At work, I know who to joke with and how much based on the time I have known them. God is no different. The way I learn about God is the Bible. By understanding God, I can understand my direction is based on what God wants or what I want.
3. People – I believe God speaks to me through the people around me. The network of people that help me through life. At just the right moment it seems, someone will say something or be there just when I needed them. The person from work whose question inspired me to write this would be a great example, as well as countless others in my life.
Well, Not sure this really clarifies the answer because to be honest it feels like there is a whole lot more that I am leaving out. I am only beginning to understand this subject and there are probably whole books written on listening to God by people who know far more then I. All I know is that in the future, this is one of the exciting areas I am going to explore.