3 Keys To Hearing God’s Voice More Clearly
By Fin Sheridan
One of the most impressive skills that mothers have (and the list is extremely long) is the ability to hear their child’s voice or recognise their cry, particularly in loud and noisy places. Whether it’s at the outdoor playground or the indoor ball park, or even at home, with multiple children playing in the garden, I’m sure this is a familiar scene:
*Generic child’s cry of distress, amongst countless other noises*
Mother 1: “What’s that noise?”
*all mothers pause and cock their heads to listen to the sounds of children playing.*
Mother 2: “Not mine”.
Mother 3: “Not mine.”
Mother 1: “Yes, I think it’s mine.”
*others breath subtle sigh relief whilst Mother 1 sets off towards the fray*
There’s some part of the divinely wired connection of a parent and child which enables this ability. Through DNA, the regularity of time spent and the mystery of biological attachment, the parents ear hears clearly, even through the noise. They hear shouts, yes but they also hear whispers and muffled cries. You probably even know a super mum who can tell when her child is about to burst into tears, before they actually do, even from a different room.
How many of us wish we had this same ability to hear when it comes to the voice of God? Rather than being able to hear with clarity, so many of us struggle with hearing God’s voice with any sort of certainty. Instead, he feels muffled, far off or indistinguishable from the voice in our heads.
“An essential key to an intimate relationship with God’s voice is a surrendered heart.”
Is there anything we can do about this communication problem? After all, the Bible is filled with examples of people who seemed to chat away with God as if it is the easiest thing in the world to do. What makes them so special, and is this kind of hearing available today?
The first key to hearing God’s voice more clearly is pursuing relationship. What do I mean by that? Well, I know many people (including the man in the mirror) who only talk to God when there are major decisions to be made. I make little effort to walk daily with him, preferring instead to consult him like an 8-ball. When we only view God transactionally, rather than relationally, we shouldn’t be surprised when deciphering his voice is a hard task. It’s like having a conversation with an occasional acquaintance as opposed to a best friend.
The second key is pursuing holiness. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the people that I sense hear God the clearest are the people who have committed to living his way. They aren’t perfect but they are clearly pursuing him and that seems to be a difference maker. The lesser quoted verse in Jeremiah is verse 13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” An essential key to an intimate relationship with God’s voice is a surrendered heart.
Finally, the third key is pursuit over time. Part of the parent-child connection is crafted through time. Research has shown that, as men have generally spent more time being “hands on” with their parenting over the last 25 years, they also have the capacity for recognition that mothers commonly display. Time plays its part. We cannot underestimate how, regularly showing up to God’s Word (the clue is in the name), time in prayer and time around Christians engaged on the same pursuit, will bear the fruit of clarity in our lives, hearts and ears.