Do you desire to hear from God? Do you find that often your time with God seems more like a ritual than a relationship? Then I hope these posts on hearing from God will be a help to you.
Recently I did three posts on hearing from God. These posts encouraged you to Listen to God, put Safeguards in place and gave Four Keys to Hearing God's Voice. The simplest way to hear from God, though, is to read the Bible. OK, you may be thinking, that is just too obvious. The Bible is God's Word, so of course, if you read the Bible you will hear from God. So, why bother writing a post about it?
Many people read the Bible without hearing anything from God. In fact, I once had a discussion with an atheist who had read the Bible and knew it very well. But we do not really need such a radical example. There have been many times in my own life when I have read the Bible but did not feel like I heard from God that day. Although I believe there may be multiple reasons why a person does not hear from God (personal sin, God's silence, apathy, etc.), one reason we do not hear is that we are untrained in how to use the Bible to hear from God.
Over the next few months I will be showing you five tools you can use to hear from God while reading the Bible. To conclude this post I will give you a quick overview of each tool.
- Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina means "sacred reading" and is a time tested method for reading the scripture with the intention of hearing from God through the Holy Spirit. It involves reading a small passage until the Spirit highlights a word, phrase or image for you.
- Luther's Four Stranded Garland. This method, developed by Martin Luther, involves looking at a passage and looking for four types of messages: Instruction, thanksgiving, confession, guidance.
- Questions Jesus Asked. Jesus was an expert at asking question. We are amazed at His ability to ask questions that penetrate to the heart of a persons problems. Next time Jesus asks a question in scripture, stop, and ask the question of yourself.
- Placing Yourself in the Story. The Bible is full of stories. Next time you read a story, use your imagination to enter the story. What can you learn from God by experiencing the story rather than just reading about it?
- Dialoging with God. This tool can be combined with any of the above tools. Dialoging is most powerful when written down but can also be done in your head or verbally. The idea is to talk to God about what you just read. What did you like about the passage, what did you not like, what did you not understand? Talk to God about it and then listen to see if God may respond. Don't just talk, but dialog with God, expecting Him to respond.
Try one of these tools today. Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory