Hearing from God
I thought that I would bring you along as I do my Bible study today because I have seen and heard many people ask the same question that I am asking and if this helps even one person out there (besides me), then I will be happy.
If you’re like me, then you have probably read books about how to hear God’s voice and many of these books say that you must get quiet before the Lord and have no distractions. But…what if your own brain is the distraction and you don’t know what to be thinking or doing when you get quiet? I have heard that as a Christian, you should not clear your mind like people who meditate do because it can open you up to outside influences. Then what do you do?
Someone said I should try focusing on the fact that I’m sitting and looking at Jesus while waiting for Him to talk to me but I’m so busy doing that, that my mind is busy anyway. I can’t stare at a wall as I might go crazy and I can’t close my eyes because I’ll fall asleep. You see my dilemma and frustration and why I wanted to do a Bible study on this subject. And I know I’m not the only one. Authors, creatives, and musicians (amongst others) struggle to get their minds to keep quiet.
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The first thing I did was go through my Bible study book to see if I had maybe written something down in the past year or so about this subject. While going through it, I noticed there’s a lot about how to hear His voice but nothing on what I should be thinking while waiting to hear His voice. I know I’m probably making this more difficult than it should be, but I want to know!
Next, I Google and this is probably the most effective way to find answers. Google is your friend people! Google is your friend! Except when you’re trying to see what illness you have because then Google tells you that you’re dying. Don’t do it, rather see a doctor! He might save you yet! (Haha) I digress… Oh yes, Google for help.
I open the search items that I want to read in separate tabs and then I start going through them. Let’s see what they have to say. This is also the point at which I put my Bible next to me so that I can refer to scripture if they give any, which they should.
According to Joyce Meyer in this article, she says ‘We know the word wait means “to expect” or “to look for.” But remember, it also means “to serve” — just like a waiter waits on your table at a restaurant. Our act of waiting isn’t supposed to be spent sitting around passively hoping that something will happen sometime soon.’
She then goes on to use this example of Paul and Silas waiting on God for an answer while they were in jail: Acts 16:25 & 26 – But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened. God answered them suddenly!
At first glance, I thought that this doesn’t help me because it was not saying what to do with my mind, but then the Holy Spirit sparked a thought as I was about to move on. That thought was this; Paul and Silas were not sitting quietly and waiting to hear God. They were praying and singing hymns. So, their minds were busy focusing their attention on God by praying and singing to Him.
I then moved over to a blog post by Dawn Klinge, How to Quiet Your Mind So You Can Hear From God and this post was very helpful! I’m going to share her 6 tips for quieting your mind so you can listen to God that she shares in her blog post below but I would recommend that you go and read her whole post because it was very helpful and she writes beautifully!
1. Place yourself in an environment that helps you concentrate. Find a quiet corner or room that is away from distractions. I live in a small house with my husband and two teens, so sometimes, the only place I can find is the bathroom! I like to fill up the bathtub with hot water, lock the door, and read my Bible while I soak.
2. Talk to God about what you’re reading in the Bible when you pray. Treat it like a conversation. Leave space and quiet for him to respond.
3. Don’t fight distracting thoughts by trying to avoid them altogether. The more you focus on what you don’t want to think about, the more you’ll think about it! Instead, think of those distracting thoughts as if you’re sitting by the side of a busy freeway. The thoughts are like cars speeding by. Acknowledge that they’re there, watch them go by, and let go.
4. Choose a short phrase or sentence from the Bible. Meditate on it, reading and re-reading it until it really sinks in.
5. Find a time to pray and meditate that works for you and stay consistent with that time. First thing in the morning works for a lot of people.
6. Start small. Baby steps. If you aren’t used to sitting quietly, try 5 minutes until that gets easier, then work your way up to longer periods.
You’ll notice from her list that she also mentions in number one that she sits in the bath, soaks, and reads the Bible quietly. In number two, she’s talking to God about what she read. That reiterates what Joyce said in her article about Paul and Silas. I like her comment on the distracting thoughts and watching them go by. I’m definitely going to be trying that.
I found another post on the website called Crosswalk.com titled 10 Things to do while waiting on God. I am only going to give the headings of the 10 things. If you would like to read the whole article, the link is above.
#2 Read Truth
#4 Make a list of what God has done in your life
#5 Go for a walk
#6 Meditate on God’s promises
#7 Study God’s Names
#8 Call a friend
#9 Talk to a pastor
#10 Visit someone who is homebound
I would agree with the first 7 points but the last 3 points are more for waiting in the grander scheme of things and not while you praying and waiting on God in your quiet time.
In conclusion, it seems that I do not have to sit for long periods of time trying to keep my mind from drifting away while I wait on God to answer me about something. I can pray, read the Bible, sing to Him, and show Him my gratitude for all that He’s done for me, or I can sit and have a conversation with Him. In these moments, I can have short periods where I am silent in order to give Him a chance to get a word in edgewise.
This study has been very helpful and I now know what to do while I wait on God. It just shows you how important it is to study God’s Word and see how others have handled the same situation and been victorious. I hope this helps you too. If you have anything to add, then please comment below and share it with us so we can learn from you too.
That’s it from me for now…
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