I once had a friend who was born totally deaf. He grew up in a silent world, communicating through his hands and American Sign Language. One day we were having a “discussion” about how one hears God. He was adamant that it was impossible for him to hear God since he was deaf! I was a bit taken aback, and finally said, “You hear God the same way hearing people do. We hear Him in our hearts, not with our ears.”

That got me thinking about how we actually know that we hear God. It’s always a dangerous thing when I start thinking and asking questions that no one has ever heard of before! So, during this process of analysis, another friend asked me, “Where do you hear God?” I responded, “What do you mean? Like in the kitchen or the office?” He laughed and said, “No, where do you hear God in your body?” Believe it or not, this question that seems a little silly has helped me many times to identify if I’m hearing God or if a thought is coming from another source! I personally hear God in the very center of my being. If it feels like it’s in my head, then I stop and re-examine what I think I’m hearing.

So, how do YOU know if you’re hearing God? I facilitated several Refocusing Widows groups this past year, and sometimes when I started talking about hearing God’s voice, I got blank looks coming back at me! Do you know that there are churches that never teach their people that they can hear God?

It’s been said that God has never stopped speaking; we’ve just stopped listening! One of the first steps towards hearing God is to set aside some quiet time where you ask questions and listen for answers. We’re generally very good at asking questions – it’s the listening that we find difficult.

Psalms 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” In one of our group sessions for Refocusing Widows we talk about solitude and what that means as a spiritual discipline. This waiting patiently before the Lord is what we mean by solitude. Quiet your body, mind, and spirit, and wait for the Lord to speak.

Job 33:14 tells us, “For God speaks in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.” Apparently, God anticipated this problem of our hearing, so He uses many ways to communicate with us.

Here are some ways that God speaks:

  • He speaks through His creation. “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.” (Psalm 29:3)
  • He teaches us to know Him. This scripture goes on to say that His sheep will not follow anyone else. “My sheep hear My voice.” (John 10:27)
  • He guides us through His Word. Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  • He leads us through peace in our hearts. Isaiah 41:13 — “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

You may still be one of those people who don’t think you’ve ever heard God speak to you. Let me put it this way. Has there ever been a time that you felt strongly you should do something? If you acted on that, what was the result? What was the result if you ignored that urge? Has there ever been a time when you felt you SHOULDN’T do something, and you did it anyway? What was the result? Chances are very good that this was God speaking to you, but you didn’t recognize His Voice.

Let me encourage you! As you grow in your relationship with the Lord, you will become more and more confident that you are hearing Him clearly in the decisions you need to make. This is especially important for widows who are already dealing with loss of self-confidence and widow fog!! Be intentional about setting aside that solitude time, and you’ll find that He is waiting to speak to you. If you have a relationship with the Lord, then you’ve already heard Him at least once! The Bible teaches us that no one comes to the Father except that the Holy Spirit draws him. So, quite simply if you have any relationship with Jesus, you’re hearing Him. Be intentional about listening and you’ll hear him!!

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