How Do I Even Hear The Voice of God?

artemis-pixie asked:

It really confuses me when people say,listen to God,what does this mean, how? God obviously won’t just talk to me like how I talk to other people, so how do I listen when there is no sound? I’ve meditated but, I can’t get what God means from silence.

Hey my dear beloved friend, you know: I’ve always had trouble with this idea of “hearing from God.”  I always side-eye those super A+ put-together Christians who were hearing from God every week, and somehow I was outside the door of some secret club where God was throwing around fortune cookies full of His life-changing secrets.

I remember a pastor once telling his leaders, “I can teach you how to hear the audible spoken voice of God.”  No joke.  At another Bible Study, they asked us every time, “What did you hear from God this week?”  And we’d go in a circle saying increasingly spiritual things that “God laid on my heart” until the last person was writing an extra chapter of Revelation.  Some kid thought that God told Him to do missions on the foothills of Tijuana, or Siberia, or some other uninhabitable place, and we would cheer with cringing desperation.

I got frustrated with all this because I began to expect God to boom down from the rafters and for angels to explode from the ceiling.  Of course, I believe God could do that if He wanted to.  He parted a sea before and He made the sun stop.  BUT — God didn’t do this every Thursday.  Those were bonafide last-resort miracles, and I think asking for God to do this every week was like having a wedding everyday of your marriage.  The expectations were killing us.

Eventually I spoke up to say, “Actually man, I did not hear from God today.  Not for a long time.  Is that okay?”  And I think this shocked a few people.  I think someone tried to lay hands on me to re-fill my spirit tank.  A few others thought maybe I was possessed or gone prodigal or had “unconfessed sin.”  But most of us felt the same way: we were in this exhausting run-around of trying to hear God’s voice all the time and feeling like crap because we didn’t.  At least not in the way we were taught to hear Him.

To be truthful, I think many people who say they “hear from God” are too afraid to say anything else.  We’re always appealing to the gatekeepers of faith to chest-bump our spiritual masculinity, but there’s hardly any room in church for vulnerable real talk.  So a bunch of us affirm each other over “God told me” when really we just make it up on the spot to look spiritual, and it’s basically a Cold War stand-off.

Continue reading “How Do I Even Hear The Voice of God?”