Okay, confession time: I have some hearing loss in my left ear.
While a hearing test detected that I had difficulty distinguishing between certain sounds, the doctor said that it wasn’t enough to warrant a hearing aid.
Still, the loss is frustrating at times. When Mike is speaking to me from a distance, I will often have to say, “Huh?” and come closer as he repeats what he just said.
When it comes to our prayer life, we can have a similar issue Spiritually.
I believe the problem is often not one of speaking but of hearing!
In the following article, you will learn 4 ways to tune up your Spiritual hearing so that you can experience more of the blessings of answered prayer.
Here are some topics we will cover:
- Why is Spiritual Hearing Important?
- Assurance that God Hears You
- The Dangers of Spiritual Hearing Loss
- Becoming ‘Swift to Hear’
- How to Discern God’s Voice
Why is Spiritual Hearing Important?
Many times when we pray, we come to God with a laundry list of requests. However, prayer is meant as a two-way communication between the Lord and His people.
The first thing you need is confidence that God hears your prayer requests!
That is important because of what 1 John 5:14-16 tell us about God’s hearing in prayer:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
When you speak to God in prayer, are you confident that you are praying according to His will and not your own?
Answered prayer is dependent upon our faith in God’s hearing as well as ensuring that we hear Him clearly.
Assurance that God Hears You
According to 1 John 5:14-16, we have faith (FAITH = Full Assurance in the Heart) that God hears us when we pray according to His will.
How do we know God’s will? Check out the guidance in these scriptures:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.– Romans 10:17
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”– Galatians 3:5-6
So then, we know that the Lord hears us when we pray according to His will through His word.
The Dangers of Spiritual Hearing Loss
The ability to hear God speaking to you is essential to a victorious Christian life, especially when you go through trials.
Unfortunately, we have a Biblical example of God’s people ignoring His voice:
Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”– Psalm 95:8-11
This scripture tells us that God’s people hardened their hearts against Him before they closed their ears to Him!
If a believer in Jesus does not make Him Lord of their lives through obedience to His word, then they will only deceive themselves ultimately.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:21-23:
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Becoming ‘Swift to Hear’
As you can see, it is important for your Spiritual health to have a heart to hear God’s voice and to do what He says.
Check out this jam-packed wisdom from the book of James:
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.– James 1:19-25
Being “swift to hear, slow to speak” is one of the most challenging scriptures for me to practice in the natural.
Too often, I am quick to speak and slow to hear. It is so tempting to want to justify myself, cast blame, or complain.
Ouch. Seeing the truth in that Biblical mirror hurts sometimes!
Too often, the same attitude can manifest itself in our prayer time with the Lord.
We are so busy speaking in prayer that we don’t stay quiet long enough to listen…and sometimes even less time implementing what the Lord told us to do!
So how do you flip that futile script?
I believe hearing from God starts with a desire to hear and the expectation that you will hear from Him. After all, He is a good Father who desires to guide His children in making wise decisions each day.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.– James 1:5
How to Discern God’s Voice
Because this world is noisy and many voices are competing for our attention, it is imperative that we have moments of stillness in our day to “be still and know that He is God” (see Psalm 46:10-11).
In this way, we connect with the Source of life itself.
Here are my 4 guidelines to discern God’s voice above all others:
1. God’s voice is still and small. He doesn’t scream at you; His voice is quiet and reasonable.
2. God’s voice always agrees with His word. That is why it is so important that you study God’s word for yourself so that you can determine if the voice you’re hearing agrees with the word you are studying.
3. Obedience to God’s word yields Spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 defines Spiritual fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
4. Obedience to God’s word helps you find strength in Him. Notice that I did not say the choice is always easy!
In all likelihood, the choice won’t be easy simply because Spiritual choices war against fleshly choices.
The good news is that the Lord gave you His Spirit not only to help you make wise choices, He gives you the power to walk them out. And you can receive His comfort you as you make those hard choices.
In Summary, I hope this article inspires you to sharpen your Spiritual hearing and use the guidance provided to do so.
It is only in hearing God’s word and obeying His will that we can receive the fullness of His good will for our lives. His plans for us are better than any plans we have for ourselves.
Love to hear your thoughts in the Comments!