How do I listen to God?

We pray and we read the Bible, but how do we blend the two to listen to God? We need to develop a conversation with God. The best way to do that is to open the Scriptures to a psalm or paragraph from one of the Epistles. Read thoughtfully to discover what the text is telling you about the thoughts, affections and values of God. Listen carefully and reverently to the mind of the One who inspired these words. Ask Him to help you discover the interest and desires of His heart. Then respond conversationally from your own heart to what you are hearing. As you do, you will begin to develop confidence that you know what is important to God. You will also begin to discover what God is doing in your own heart.

As a husband prays in response to the words of 1 Corinthians 13, for example, he will know God’s mind about love and apply it to his relationship with his wife. It may be…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

1 Corinthians 13:4

It may be the words “love is patient” that impress him about how impatient he has been with his wife. This, in turn, should lead to a welcome and much-needed change in his attitude and behavior. It won’t be an audible voice. But you will know it’s the voice of the Spirit when you hear the truths of Scripture speaking gently, lovingly and forcefully to the circumstances and concerns of your life. Then action needs to be taken, being obedient to what you know God is telling you.

Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:22

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