Christianity 201

October 11, 2019

Practical Ways to Hear God’s Direction

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Several months ago we introduced you to the website Soul Shepherding and the ministry of Bill & Kristi Gaultiere. Click the header below to read this at source, and check out Soul Shepherding for ministry training resources.

Six Uncommon Methods to Hear God’s Voice

We all want to discern what God may be saying to us. Here are some uncommon, but proven methods for hearing God.

To be sure, these methods for hearing God are not a mechanical sort of process in which we put our prayers into the vending machine and out comes the answer we want! But neither can we be passive.

These spiritual practices will help to foster your attunement to the Holy Spirit so you’re prepared to hear God wh

1. LECTIO DIVINA

Benedict of Nursia (6th Century) developed Lectio Divina as a disciplined method for quietly and prayerfully re-reading a Scripture passage in order to receive God’s care and guidance. With each reading, a different focus question guides you to listen for a word/phrase, your emotions, and a personal invitation from the Spirit of Jesus.

With Soul Shepherding’s inspiring and handy “Lectio Divina Guides” you can pray Scripture to hear God’s voice.

       2. FASTING

Fasting from food (or something else) makes a space of time and energy for listening to God. It’s especially powerful when combined with feasting on God’s Word (Acts 13:2-4, 14:23).

Acts 13.2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

       3. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

Many people trust their thoughts, but not their emotions. Yet, both are centers of intelligence and essential for discernment. The Psalmist trusts the Lord to counsel him in his heart, which is the source of his deepest desires (Psalm 16:7).

Ps.16.7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.

       4. DREAM INTERPRETATION  

God can speak in our dreams. In some cases, it’s a direct word, but more commonly it comes in a kaleidoscope of seemingly random emotional scenes that rise up from our unconscious mind. The meaning is probably more in the inward spiritual-emotional themes than the outward forms (Genesis 40:8; Daniel 1:17).

Gen.40.8b Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

Dan.1.17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

      5. INDIFFERENCE

In The Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius teaches that to know God’s will on an “election” (a choice that is not a moral issue) it’s best to become indifferent to the options. We abandon the outcomes to the Lord because we can be happy in Christ in any situation. Then like a weather vane we wait for the wind of the Spirit to blow us where he pleases.

       6. TAKE A BREAK

Dallas Willard teaches a paradoxical method to hear God. If you’ve spent concentrated time listening for God and haven’t heard anything then stop trying—take a break and do a mindless activity like gardening, doing chores, or running errands. (I like to go for a jog.) Later a divine thought or feeling may pop into your mind! This is waiting on the word (Psalm 25:5; 130:5).

Ps.130.5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.

Help for Hearing God’s Voice

To help you sense God’s presence and guidance in your life and ministry we have created three Bible meditation resources filled with easy to use and engaging one-page guides: “Ignatian Meditation Guides,” “Lectio Divina Guides,” and “Breath Prayer Guides.”


BONUS ARTICLE: I invite you to also consider another article by the same authors, Surprising Lessons on Leadership from Jesus.

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