Hearing God

It occurred to me the other day while writing about hearing from God that maybe some of you might not know what I mean, and maybe some of you might want to know what I mean.  And there are tons of resources out there for you, I will link plenty, promise.  But also, I will tell you a little about what I mean when I say I hear from Him. 

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As I’ve said before, it seems to me that I have known Him to be in me, outside of me, caring for me since… forever.  Honestly, I don’t have a great explanation of that except to say that during some rather traumatic instances in my childhood I experienced Peace and Love. 

Someone asked me recently about my first experience of hearing God.  I believe it was when I was about five years old.  My mom, sisters and I lived in a tiny apartment in the projects.  We were po, couldn’t even afford the last half of the word.  I had this beautiful white canopy bed with a pink gingham top though.  I’m not sure where it came from, but I know the mattresses came from beside the dumpster.  Anyway, I remember God speaking to me in that big beautiful bed one night.  He said “I love you” and I said “I know.”  I would like to say that I remember saying I love you too.  I’m fairly certain I did, maybe.   But I digress…

Church and religion were not a huge part of my childhood, Jesus was though.  We attended a few different denominations, mainly Nazarene and Baptist, very sporadically.  Somewhere along the way I picked up the “Jesus Loves me this I know” concept and never let go.  I believed because… because I needed to.  He felt real, was, is to me.  (So much so that when my sisters and I eventually ended up living in West Texas with my aunt and uncle and going to a tiny little Church of Christ, I found myself totally baffled and a little bit heartbroken that the sweet people in church there didn’t believe that He walked and talked with them.  Lucky me, I found a Vineyard Church not long after we moved back.)  Digressing… again…

Hearing God is more like experiencing God for me.  It's more like connecting with His presence than simply hearing Him.  I’ve never heard His audible voice.  He often shows me things, pictures or visions in my head.  He sometimes highlights things around me, or words.  Occasionally He will download a thought, a concept or an idea into my head… It doesn’t always or even usually happen at church.  Sometimes in my car, or in the shower, in bed, while I’m doing dishes and yes, sometimes when I’m praying. 

How do I know it’s Him? That’s kind of what I mean when I say it’s an experience for me.  Generally if He says or shows something, there is a feeling of great peace or maybe excitement.  Sometimes there is unexplained warmth.  Because when He speaks, things happen and atmospheres change. 

When I first started trying to understand hearing God I was told, (by I can’t remember who, maybe Heather? Whoever it was, thank you!) that if I heard something especially wise or encouraging, it was probably ok to go ahead and assume that was God.  He doesn’t say things that aren’t Loving.  I’m not saying He doesn’t say things that are hard, He is always Loving though.  So sometimes I get words, or unexplainably understand concepts, or inexplicably see things.  I feel Him, but also, I know Him because I seek Him.  That’s my best explanation. Check out the links at the bottom for a better one.

Recently someone said “Wow you are really tuned in” when I shared something He said.  Another friend said “So what? Like, you just go around praying all the time?”  It’s not that I’m praying constantly, though maybe I should.  It’s more like an ongoing conversation that we have.  Because that’s what He wants.  Because that’s what I want.  Because I am grateful for all He has done for me.  Because He has saved my life so literally many times.  Because He is gracious and merciful and unfailing.  Because I have experienced the sheer wonder of His great Love through a few awesome encounters, I do my best to follow Him, turn to Him, look for Him and hear Him. 

My best advice for how to do that is to get still, get as quiet as you can and listen.  Doing this is something in the middle of really easy and very hard.  He speaks and He created us with the ability to hear Him.  This world is kind of a mess though, even on good days life gets in the way.  I get that.  My mind is cluttered to say the least.  Usually before I can calm myself and stop running through to-do’s, I have to make a list.  Getting it out on paper helps me focus on Him.  Also, I’ve been known visualize myself in my own mind, pushing away all the clutter and boxes that crowd the space He should be in.  Hey whatever works right?

For way better explanations and much more insight:

Go here: Freedom Classes  and click on Hearing God

Go here: Gateway Sermons browse by sermons and click on Frequency

Read this: Post about Hearing God

Read this: Great article about Tuning In

 

This is the thing, He loves you.  He created you.  He wants to meet with you.  And His words will do So Much More than anyone else’s.  Listen to Him.  And I pray that you will hear Him.  Let Him whisper, let Him illustrate, let Him show you LoveFinding time and space and having the ability to quiet the busyness of our minds can seem impossible. I promise you though- It is so worth it.

 

 

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