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How Do I Hear God’s Voice?

How Do I Hear God’s Voice?

Joe Sirola passed away this year. You don’t know his name, but you’ve heard his voice. Its unusual fiber and flexibility made him the king of voice-overs, and at one time he narrated forty different commercials at the same time. He made a fortune with the timbre of his voice. Marketers speculate that most Americans heard Sirola’s voice every single day, though they didn’t know who he was or anything about him.

Everyone on earth hears God’s voice every day, though they may not recognize it. They hear it in His general revelation — the whoosh of wind, the chirping birds, the rolling thunder, the crashing sea. The Bible says,

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech… they use no words…. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world. — Psalm 19:1-4

It’s easy to miss the message. The other day my phone rang, and I walked outside to deal with the difficult call. I paced around the driveway, and when I finished my call I stood there a moment, and all at once I heard something — the birds chirping all around me. In my distraction, I’d almost tuned them out. But I stood there a few moments, listening to them and thinking to myself if the birds only sang once a year, we’d mark the day on our calendar to make sure we didn’t miss it. But because they’re constantly tweeting their praise to God, we’re prone to neglect them.

Standing there, I was also reminded of God’s other voice — the truth of Scripture, specifically this verse:

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! — Luke 12:24

And God spoke to me — through His voice in nature and through His words of Scripture.

Psalm 19:7 says,

The Law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Whenever we open the pages of our Bible, we’re entering a listening chamber in which God speaks to us personally, specifically, infallibly, and intimately. From my experience, the greatest way to hear God’s voice is through daily Bible reading, memorization, meditation, and saturation.

Several years ago, I spent a week on Lake Como in northern Italy. My hotel was old, and my second floor room looked across the lake. About a quarter mile up the lakeshore was a café, and each morning I’d find my table by the lake, order several cups of coffee, and study the book of Revelation. The more I read and pondered the book, the better I understood it. It was as though the Lord met me there each morning to tutor me through one of His more challenging sections of Scripture. From that experience I later developed a class to teach others.

I’ve not been to Lake Como since and may never be again. But recently I found a corner on my porch largely hidden by overgrown shrubbery. I moved a glider into the spot, added a small table for my coffee cup, and I call it my Lake Como Corner. Just this morning, I spent a very pleasant half-hour there reading in the book of Deuteronomy, jotting down notes, underlining verses, and soaking in the passage.

We all need a Lake Como spot where we can enter the Lord’s Presence each day as we open His Word, listen to Him personally, and respond to Him in prayer.

My best ideas and wisest instincts have come from such moments. This is the birthplace of creativity, and the source of strength and solace in life.

As I say in my book, Always Near, “Many times — more than I can recall — I’ve gone to my desk in heaviness or distress. I’ve been anxious or angry or senseless with worry. With a prayer for guidance, I’ve opened my Bible, often where I left off the day before. Sometimes I’ve tracked down other verses cross-referenced in the margin. Sometimes I’ve gone to passages I’ve known for years; other times I’ve plunged into sections of Scripture less familiar. Always I have found a verse that spoke to my situation, as though the Lord Himself were speaking to me, giving perspective and renewed strength.”

Learn to recognize God’s voice in His general creation and also in the specific words He has given in Scripture.

Find your Lake Como spot and say, as the boy Samuel did,

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. — 1 Samuel 3:9

He longs to speak with you today.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Robert J. Morgan, author of Always Near.

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Hear from Robert Morgan about his book Always Near