Hearing God - Hope 103.2

Hearing God

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSunday 13 Oct 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


I was interested to read just recently about a huge survey held on the internet which involved more than one million people worldwide. A university in Manchester,UK,organized this survey to ask people how they felt about some truly horrible sounds. In other words,what are the most awful sounds you’ve ever heard? An interesting question. Some of the answers were a dentist’s drill,fingernails on a blackboard,a cat howling and mobile phone ring tones. But it’s probably no surprise that the sound of someone vomiting was voted the most horrible sound in the world. Makes sense doesn’t it. Other results were the sound of people arguing was offensive,and children under 10 didn’t like the dentist’s drill. Men were more troubled by the sound of crying babies than women.

So sounds play a big part of our lives. Unless we have a hearing difficulty,we hear sounds all day and hopefully none at night when we go to bed. But did you know that the Bible uses hearing,rather than seeing,as the primary image for how people came to know God? There are many verses in the Bible that refer to God speaking to people. Our problem today is we’re not used to that image. We are visual rather than relying on sound as the world is an incredibly noisy place. Noise can be distracting and very annoying at times. People who’ve made a habit of listening for God find it helpful to set aside certain times during the day or find a comfortable place for that purpose. It does take effort to shut out the world’s noise and sit before God and wait for Him.

A little boy was attending church with his parents one Sunday morning and in the children’s segment he put up his hand and asked the Minister “What does the voice of God sound like?”. It was quite an interesting question,and everyone in the church looked at the Minister waiting for his answer. They,too,wanted to know. It wasn’t an easy one to answer but then he said .. “The voice of God sounds like … like your best friend,like someone you trust,someone you can really talk things over with. The voice of God sounds like your mother or your father or your favourite baby sitter when they comfort you because you’re having a bad dream in the night. You hear them next to your bed,calling: “Everything’s all right. Everything’s all right. I’m right here beside you.” I think that’s quite a good explanation.

There are many stories in the Scriptures in which a person is said to have heard the voice of God. Abraham heard God tell him to leave the land of his ancestors,and go to a land that God would show him. Later,he heard God command him to sacrifice his son Isaac,but an angel stayed his hand. Hagar heard God tell her that her son,Ishmael,was also heir to the promise,that he,like Isaac,would be the ancestor of a great nation. Moses heard the voice of God calling out of a burning bush. In the story of Elijah,we are told that the voice of God was not in the storm or the earthquake or the fire,but in the resounding silence. So you see that for some people,they heard the actual voice of God.

In an ordinary conversation,we speak,then listen for the response of the other person. It’s the same with God! Once we’ve prepared our hearts to listen through prayer,we’re more likely to hear the voice of God. Does He speak to us through an audible voice? Some claim He does,but usually that’s not the case. We may not actually “hear” the voice of God,but He speaks to us in many ways. For example,through His Word the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitude of the heart.”. I believe He speaks through our own thoughts and in the conversations with others,and in the ordinary circumstances of life.

The best way to hear Him is to establish a relationship with Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh.  Get to know Him like John who wrote “Christ was alive when the world began,yet I myself have seen him with my own eyes and listened to him speak. I have touched him with my own hands. He is God’s message of life” (Revelation 1:1 LB). Jesus says to us in His Word “I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door,I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Let’s take the example of the Psalmist in Psalm 143 who said “Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you. I come to you in prayer,asking for your guidance”. Do you want to hear words from God? Those will come but not in the way you expect. He may ask you to do something you don’t want to. If you’re not ready to act on what you hear,then you’re not really listening out for Him at all. Simply say hello to Him and listen for the sound of God in your life.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by