4 Powerful Ways to Discern the Voice of God
A few years ago, at the first Delight Leadership Conference, I heard Megan May Miller share her testimony and speak on the power of showing up daily to spend time with the Lord and how her commitment completely changed her life. I remember going home desperate for a relationship with the Lord that felt like what Megan described. I bought the resources she shared about and jumped right in. But, after just a few weeks I had already turned back to my old habits and routines – setting God at the bottom of my “to-do” list and claiming “I just don’t have time.” Anyone else?
For the last two weeks, the Lord has consistently reminded of the life He calls me to, the relationship with Him that He desires, and Megan’s message. From conversations, to church services, to what I’m reading in the Word, the Lord is reminding me how I can hear His voice in a season where I’ve let worries, what-if’s, and fear of the future cloud out His presence. I’ve felt convicted of my wishy-washy ways and how I’ve set Jesus aside in exchange for what my flesh desires. I know that in this season I need to hear God’s voice, be reminded of His Truth and promises, and commit purposefully to Him more than I need answers or clarity, more than I need desires. If you’re feeling this way, too, I want to encourage you with four powerful ways you can discern the voice of God and transform your relationship with Him:
- Wise Counsel
- The Word
How that looks in your daily life…
- Commit: Abandon your tug of war, open the flood gates of surrender, and soften your heart to commit to the Lord. Make daily, moment-by-moment adjustments on your part to surrender your time, relationships, thoughts, actions, business, schedule, money, resources to the Lord. Surrender may feel like a loss, but it’s not. As we surrender, we gain the Lord’s insight. God invites us to live close to Him, encouraging us that together we’ll keep the wolves of worry at bay.
- Prayer: Go to God in prayer. Begin and end with prayer. Class, conversations, studying, working, meetings. Silently, or inviting others to join you. As we spend more of our time in prayer, He will instruct, He will teach. Let your eyes be on Him, saying “Yes, Lord.” THEN, be brave enough to let God search you. Ask Him to reveal any callused places that may be blocking you from clearly hearing His voice. Give to Him any area where you sense resistance + doubt. Pray with confidence that God will listen AND respond (Psalm 28:6-7). In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are encouraged to richly season our continual communication with God with thanksgiving.
- Wise Counsel: Seek wise counsel. Who are people in your arsenal you can confide in, ask for prayer, and receive honest feedback from? A few people may be popping into your mind already. Is there anyone who you are tempted to avoid talking to? My church spoke truth into why we may avoid some people in our community – they’ll tell us what we need to hear, but not what we want to hear. Move forward any way; you need the Truth s/he has to share! Text or call your friend(s) to schedule a time to meet up and or talk more on the phone. Commit to showing up to the conversation and being honest with where you are at and how they can support you.
- The Word: Go find God in the Word and show up daily. In humble obedience, intentionally make an appointment with God and keep it. Plan a specific time and place and show up. How you’re spending time in the Word does not have to look Instagram-able or glamorous; showing up is the only essential. Megan is an incredible resource and encouragement in your daily life with Christ. At the leadership conference, on her blog, and on social media Megan is a rock star at authentically sharing what her walk with Christ looks like and how she daily commits to spending time with the Lord. She’s currently leading a 31-Day Bible Reading Challenge on Instagram and it’s incredible. If you’re looking for a place to start, Becky Tirabassi’s "Change Your Life Daily Bible" and "My Partner Prayer" Notebook are incredible resources.
I want to invite you over the next month to commit to spending time in prayer, seeking wise counsel, and spending time in the Word. We can be encouraged by Priscilla Shirer that ,“…you’ll be doing so well with a faith that is fully assured of the goodness, timing, and wisdom of God. Yet even without full clarity as to what He may ask you to do or where He may instruct you to use it, either how or in the future, make the choice in advance to say “Yes, Lord,” sure that this key of obedience will unlock every good and perfect gift your father intends for you…” When we seek Jesus above all else, other things are added and we experience fullness as we come to know Jesus – going from emptiness to abundance in Christ.
As you move forward, prepare your heart by asking yourself:
“Will I prepare to be obedient to God? OKAY How? What kinds of plans would help turn these noble desires into real resolutions? Especially in areas where obedience is the most difficult?”
Karly // @karlyprichard