Speak Lord, for your servant is listening (1 Samuel 3:11).
When God speaks, how do we hear him?
Abundant Home did some research. Folks considered the following questions:
How do you interact with God? Each person is different. There are many ways he speaks to us, guides us, or directs us. Exactly how do you hear his voice? How do you relate to God?
Below is a collection of responses–from men and women, young and old. As you read, may God’s presence and voice become more apparent to you.
Near and Present Healer
He responds through scripture and songs for me. “Build my Life” was and is my favorite song. I had a tumor the size of a baby’s head attached to my uterus, white/red blood count was very low, was internally bleeding, and they thought I might have cancer. I gave everything to God. That song kept me from trying to take it back and from dwelling on death and cancer.
Just Me and God
I thank the Lord every morning and every night with my personal prayer.
The Beauty of the Earth
I perceive God through nature and his creation. Oh what an artist God is! The beauty fills me up sometimes, and I feel as if I could cry. That is where I communicate and feel his direction.
God, the Good Listener
I usually “chat” with God. It’s usually a monologue since he isn’t very chatty. It’s sort of casual and just us. I’m slightly concerned I’m overly chatty but he seems patient with my ongoing chatter.
Song in my Heart
I have always heard God’s voice loudest through music. I pray a lot; I talk to him a lot; but through music is where I hear him speak to me. There have been so many moments in my life where I am questioning or feeling lost, and a song will come on the radio or in my play list and it is like a bolt of lightning. The message will speak so deeply to my heart that, at times, it can move me to tears. Sometimes I find myself replying out loud, “I hear you and I know.”
Always Seeking God’s Voice
I hear him in the stillness, the quiet times, but try to get direction from prayers and others trying to hear him too.
God speaks to me (and my close friend Wendy, before she went to heaven) through what we both call “God nudges.” People or scenarios are put in your head. I feel God wants me to reach out to that person or maybe change something about myself. It’s about listening and doing what he wants.
When Wendy was ill, I knew she was worried about how I’d be without her. She set up hospice to call and check on me when she was gone. Before her hospice, she was going to try another drug trial. It was put in my heart that I needed to tell her she could stop treatment and not worry. My husband and I would also care for her husband after she passed.
Before she died, Wendy got a nudge to put things right with her brother. She died after a few weeks, and I was given the privilege of sitting with her.
God in Others
I can’t say that I hear his voice. It’s probably because I’m too logical. Rather, I see his works and accomplishments around me. It can be something as simple as driving down a country road and enjoying the scenery or seeing a deer grazing in a field. It can be God doing his work through someone else or unsolicited acts of kindness. Heck, it can even be a smile from some stranger as you pass them on the sidewalk. There are people I know well who don’t publicly address their faith, but their actions surely prove it.
I see visions or pictures, or sometimes a small voice or a knowing. I relate to God as a Father, a friend…a protector…a healer. He’s my champion. He is my savior. He is beautiful. He’s everything I could ever need or want. Just a taste of His love, of His voice and He’s irresistible.
There are so many ways to be in his presence and know he is always in my heart. A recent situation brought me closer, and he’s given me what I call “God Winks.” I’m journaling everything and thankful for his Word.
Wisdom from Father to Daughter
I interact with God by talking to Him when I pray. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and responds to my pleas for help by planting thoughts in my head, sometimes several times, until I act on his message. Other times, I feel him validating a decision I might make or a statement I make by giving me chills. This tells me I have discerned the situation correctly.
On the other hand, if I make a decision and continue to have trouble moving forward because of one obstacle or another, I know my decision is not meant to be. I should then rethink my solution.
Sometimes solutions come from the help of other people who I respect. I know that God is always there to help, advise, guide, and answer my prayers. The timetable is in His hands.
I am a senser-feeler. My senses and emotions tell me that God is present and speaking. I get excited during worship, jumping up and down in the presence of God. I get overwhelmed with tears and a weighty feeling in my body as Jesus enters a room. At times, pleasant goosebumps tickle my back and arms—even showing others that my body is physically responding to the divine. I’ve seen visions in the middle of the night, awakening with pictures, plans for a new book or song, or ideas to help me in life. Creation rocks me to the core. On a visit to the coast of Maine, I felt the awe of God’s glory in a rocky inlet. God uses my sensitive emotions to catch my attention—and then he speaks! I consider it an honor and great pleasure to be his listening daughter.
The Living Word of God
For me it’s journaling, sitting and meditating on the scripture I read, and writing down what thoughts/impressions I receive.
Communication for Action
Some seasons he speaks to me through visions and dreams, other seasons through scripture. When he really wants to call my attention, he sends angels to speak to me exactly what is going on—or what I need to do. I believe when we position ourselves to seek him, no matter what, he always responds. Always. He loves for us to chat with him and he delights in it.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
Painting by Deborah Nell; photos courtesy of Pixabay and Hannah Olinger on Unsplash