Unplowed Ground: Learning to Hear

I believe that one of the most important aspects of experiencing intimacy with the Lord is in learning to hear His voice. If we do not believe and experience Him as a God who is willing and able to speak into the details of our daily lives, then we will be quick to dismiss Him as the faithful Friend and Father that He is.

It is hard to experience the presence of an invisible God. It is hard to hear the inaudible voice of our Father. But it doesn’t have to be impossible.

So often, we are reluctant to seek the Lord because we fear we will not find Him. We fear He will not meet us in our deepest need. We fear He will not meet us as He has met another. And so, to maintain some semblance of control in our relationship with our Creator, we do not seek to hear from Him because we do not want to risk His rejection.

The Bible is the final, authoritative Word of God, but the Bible itself says that He still speaks. If we are going to encounter this God of the Bible in our actual lives, we are going to have to learn to recognize His voice—not perfectly and not in every waking moment but often enough that we can trust Him to be faithful, that we can find Him to be present and involved in our day-to-day.

Below you’ll find my thoughts on learning to hear the voice of God and an introduction to a practice that I find helpful as a way to practice listening for and recognizing Him when He speaks. This is, once again, not a formula but an intentional way to posture our hearts before Him and to plow up some of the ground we’ve left untended.

Here is a link to the worksheet that I reference in the teaching: Listening Prayer Exercise Guide.

Practical Plowing:

  1. Try out the listening prayer exercise above. If you want to come back to it, the exercise itself begins at minute 13:10.

  2. The Bible introduces us to a God who delights to be sought and found by His children and who speaks to us (James 4:8, John 10:3-4, Luke 11:9-13). Nothing He says to us personally will ever contradict or violate what is written in His perfect and authoritative Word (the Bible)! But so often, He is willing to speak specifically into our daily lives, and this is one way that we can practice listening for and hearing Him.

  3. What are other ways that you practice listening and responding to the voice of God in your own life?

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