I used to love running in my twenties, but that was a lifetime ago. These days I like curling up in a comfortable chair with a cup of coffee and a good movie much more. However, desperate times call for desperate measures, so I have decided to get back to running. I went for my first run with great fear and trepidation, fully expecting to pass out the moment my feet hit the tar. However, to my amazement, I made it through my first week of running. I make no promises about next week, though.
I think the thing that made the difference was my coach. I bought one of those coaching programs where you can listen while you run. My running coach teaches me how to run, not something I thought I would have to relearn. She tells me when to run, when to walk, and even when to drink water and to breathe. My coach tells me I'm doing a great job, and I believe her because she knows what she is talking about.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could hear the voice of God in the same manner? You know, having an audible voice in our ear all the time, telling you exactly how to navigate life? It is more important to discern God's voice amongst all the noise in this time of change, upheaval and confusion. So, how do we hear God speaking to us?
I hear God speak to me in different ways. The two unusual occasions were when I felt convicted to address persons about sin in their lives. In both cases, I was overcome with urgency and desperation for the salvation of the persons. I begged the persons to acknowledge and turn from their sin. I pleaded with them to return to Christ. In both cases, the persons repented and changed their lifestyles. Unfortunately, in both cases, the persons died soon after our conversations, and I understood why I felt such urgency to speak to them.
Generally, I hear the voice of God in the usual ways. I wake up and have my coffee with Jesus, where I read scriptures and pray. God usually has something to say to me, and I write it down in my journal. The Bible is still the most reliable way to hear God's voice. Worship music is another excellent source; it is incredible how the perfect song at the right time can be just what I needed to hear.
However, there are occasions when we need definite answers from God. Should I move or get a new job? Buy the house? How long, Lord? Such questions require more listening. So, more Bible reading, more prayers and in some cases, fasting too. I also make it a point to listen to mature believers filled with the Holy Spirit. They generally have good advice. In the end, I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in me. This is sometimes revealed in a strong desire to move forward; quick disclaimer, I am referring to desires that are in line with the word of God. Other times, the Spirit gives me peace, peace to wait, stay, or let go.
John 10:27 says: "My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me."
I guess the key to hearing God is to make sure you follow so closely that you get to know His voice. Remember, He knows you, so you can follow him with confidence.
How do you hear the voice of God? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear from you. Or maybe you just have some running advice. I will take all the help I can get.