How To Hear From God

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV)

Many of us have significant decisions to make over the next few weeks concerning our jobs. Should we change grade levels or schools? How should we spend our time or where should we work over the summer? Which job offer for the fall is the one God has planned out? If you believe like I do that the Lord has a plan and purpose for your life, you're probably seeking His will in your decisions. But when it comes to non-morality issues like the ones I've mentioned, how do you know which one is right one? How will God communicate His plan for you? How do you know if you’ve heard from God?

I never used to understand what people meant when they said God told them something- to be honest, the phrase scared me a little and always seemed to be used as justification for something appalling and outrageous like bombing an abortion clinic. But as I come to know Him more, the concept has become less foreign and I’m able to discern His voice. While I am certainly no expert on this subject (Joyce Meyer’s book ‘How to Hear From God’ reveals a much deeper understanding than I have), I do feel led to explain what I mean when I say in these devotions that ‘God spoke to me’.

God speaks to me, personally, through His Word; other believers (preachers on TV, my best friend, my family, books by Christian authors, etc.); circumstances; and a still, small voice or a sense of ‘knowing’, especially when I am worshipping Him in the sanctuary or while I’m talking to Him on my nightly walk. There are quite a few more ways that God talks to people, but these are the methods He has used to communicate with me.

Normally I receive an initial word from Him and then confirmation through another source. For example, I recently prayed about whether a decision I had made regarding a relationship had been the correct one. The Lord answered me the following day as I was driving in my car listening to praise music. As I meditated on Him (meaning my thoughts were totally focused on who He is and what’s He’s done), the answer just popped in my head. I felt a huge weight had been lifted off of me.

The next day when I went out to dinner with friends, I asked God to give them the words to say to me, and I shared what was on my heart. All three of my friends, without having been told God’s response to me the night before, confirmed exactly what He told me, with one girl even using a particular phrase the Lord had given me. Our conclusion lined up with His Word and I have had a wonderful sense of peace about the situation ever since.

Nothing the Lord tells us ever contradicts the Bible- that’s why it’s so important to know scripture and spend time in the word each day. If we don’t know what the Bible says, we won’t have the wisdom to discern which thoughts are our own (or from the enemy) and which are from God.

Of course, the Bible doesn’t tell us things like which restaurant to eat at, or which house to buy, or which job to take. That’s why we have to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, practicing His presence every day. We can do this by reading and meditating on His Word, praying, and filling our hearts and minds with the things of God instead of the distractions of this world. Then we’ll be able to walk in step with the good works He has prepared for us ahead of time. :-)

6 comments:

Brandi said...

this entry is so true! I have learned toget confirmation through those that know HIm personally and it does lift a huge weight off of your shoulders. Your sites are wonderful adn truly have helped me get through my student teaching program. Please publish a book so that others without computer access can use your information to make their teaching experiences better!

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Anonymous said...

Your site has been an answer to prayer. I am a single mom with three teenagers. My income alone supports us. I only state this to let you know tht my there are so many descisions to make each day. I could never do this alone, nor would I want to. GOD is his infinite mercy has shown me love through this process of living. Add being a teacher to the list, and I am often on overload. Your site has been a companion of sorts, and has help to alleviate my anxiety. It helps to put my focus back on GOD.
GOD has given you a talent to write not only what you feel, but what others feel as well. You help to articulate our emotions. As a teacher, we wear many different hats. This job can wear you down emotionally. The LORD has provided me with this site, like a light in the darkness. I thank GOD for you. GOD BLESS YOU ANGELA-

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela-
I am back once more reading the past posts from a different spritually perspective. I posted the comment right above this one months ago. Summer has past, and the school year has progressed, albeit seemingly very,very slowly- My heart is in a sad state due to many more obligations I am currently am experiencing. As well as ending a relationship I had with a man I thought was "the one". The Lord in His wisdom, compassion, and understanding for this tired mother brought me here for His words of comfort. My strength is returning(since I am remembering where my strength comes from)once more. Thank you for your obedience to Him. N. Kelm

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for your website, and all the content that you have so skillfully included. This particular devotion was just what I needed. I have been offered two positions for this fall. The first position is teaching 2nd grade for a Christian school, and exactly what I have been looking for except for the salary. It is $15,000 less than my family can afford. The second position is for a local Head Start program, and is the ideal position all around. My heart wants to accept position one, my head indicates that I need to take position two! I have been in this spiritual battle over this for three weeks now. I don't want to turn my back on the Lord's plan for my teaching career, but it is so hard to let go of this financial issue when we are already struggeling financially. I have actually turned down position one twice in the last week or so! Please pray for me as I continue to seek the Lord's will in this situation! It will be settled this week. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Angela,
I want to commend you on your dedication and wonderful work with this website. Not only have you provided teachers with wonderful classroom ideas, but you have also helped encourage teachers with God's words. I too was in a relationship with a guy who I thought was perfect. It seemed too good to be true but I still had some doubts. One day I felt as if God had spoken to me from within. It was a feeling that I can't explain but it confirmed that he was not for me. This was a few years ago, but I still feel that God continues to confirm my situation through people and situations. God's plans are much bigger than we can ever imagine. We need to trust in him and allow him to light the way.