Of all the ways God speaks, the most often way He chooses to reveal His will is to speak through His Word. If you own a Bible or have a Bible app on your phone, you have the most comprehensive record of God’s word. The Bible is the plumb line, the litmus test for all that we hear from God. We have discussed, how to discern if we are hearing from God, the enemy, or ourselves. And how important it is to align what we hear with God’s written word in the Bible. If it doesn’t line up, it is not truth.
Now that we’ve covered how to discern, let’s look at how to hear God as we read His word. Even here, the enemy can twist the truth. Still, the more we read and meditate on God’s word, the easier discernment becomes. Reading God’s word with Him and dialoguing with Him through it becomes a rich time of fellowship.
1. CHOOSE A PASSAGE in the Bible you want to consider with the Lord. It can be a chapter or an entire book.
a. Begin with PRAYER. Ask Holy Spirit to speak to you and stop you on the things you need to consider. Tell Him, “Lord, I want to know Your will, I want to know You. I open my heart to receive Your truth. Lead me, Lord.”
b. Now, READ OUT LOUD, slowly, a verse or two at a time. (Speaking it out loud involves more of your senses. It heightens your ability to hear Him and makes you more aware of where to stop.
c. Put yourself in the story or take the position of the one the Word is speaking to.
d. Read until He stops you. If He doesn’t stop you the first time through, read it again. g.
e. Circle, highlight, or jot down the words or phrases that appear to have the greatest impression on you. It’s not about finishing great quantities of scripture. But instead, it is about establishing a relationship with God.
f. Now that you’ve read it and heard it several times, WRITE OUT those one or two verses, or words on paper.
2. PRAY again.
Lord, I believe You stopped me on this word/this verse. Please tell me more.
- Do you want me to look up this word in the concordance?
- Do you want me to look at cross-references to this word or verse?
- Is there something You want to tell me about this word/verse that applies to my life?
3. WAIT FOR HIM to say something or show you something.
If you don’t hear or see anything after 15-20 minutes, set it aside and try again later. Or do the exercise again on another passage the next day. It is a learning process. You are building a relationship with your Creator. He is looking at your heart and the fact that you are reading His word and seeking Him pleases Him.
The scripture out of Matthew 7:7-8 says:
“Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
In this scripture, the words, ask, seek, and knock are continual. Ask, and keep asking. Seek and keep seeking. Knock and keep knocking—until the promise that He will answer comes.
4. When you hear or see something, WRITE IT DOWN.
Sometimes, He will begin talking to you. He may give you counsel or reveal something. He may give you an understanding about Him or the word and how it applies to your life. Writing it down is key to activation on your part. Your written record will give you something to ponder and act upon the next day or even years later.
Another benefit to having it written is that He may confirm it days, weeks, months, or even years later.
5. ACT ON WHAT HE’S TOLD YOU.
If you don’t understand the passage, read all the cross-references attached to it. When you read those cross-references, look to see if there are more references by them. Keep searching. Often, you will come to one verse that nails down exactly what He is telling you.
6. SET A DATE FOR COMPLETION.
If He gives you an action step that you can’t complete at the moment—ie. “Go apologize to your friend,” OR “Start tithing your income,” it is helpful to SET A DATE FOR COMPLETION. You may want to ask for a friend to hold you accountable. Tell them what God’s asked you to do and the date you’ve agreed to have it completed.
7. OFFER A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING.
Thank God for His word. Thank Him for answering. Thank Him for being willing to talk with you and establish a relationship. There is no other god in the universe who speaks truth and is willing to interact with their followers. We are blessed. There is no other god who loves like our God or has the wisdom we need for our lives.
Enter into fellowship with Him and His word. You will be forever grateful.