how do you hear God?

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I listen to a podcast and the host often asks her guests how they hear God. Answers are different each time. People are different. So it makes sense.

But it got me to thinking how I would answer this question.

I have never heard the audible voice of God. I believe he can do that. He is God, after all, and used his voice to speak this world into being. We would believe the person who truly heard him audibly by the fear and trembling in their voice when they spoke of it. That is not a casual conversation. Not an everyday encounter.

I do hear his prompts in quiet, heart-whispers of his spirit throughout the day. If I am led to do something that seems crazy in it’s level of love or sacrifice- that is not from Kristin’s heart. That is the one and only Holy Spirit.

But there are seasons God seems far off. Distant. Even the whispers don’t seem to be as frequent or distinguishable. And yet, I can still hear the direct voice of God in those seasons. Through his word.

I think we get discouraged too easily when God isn’t saying what we think he should be saying. We get frustrated if there doesn’t seem to be a life-changing exchange when we sacrifice and make time for him. We doubt his existence because he doesn’t seem to give us a ‘word’ like he gives to the people around us. Or, we think maybe he’s silent because we don’t deserve his spoken voice because of who we are or what we’ve done.

All that is crap.

Because we have the Bible.

When God seems distant, his voice silent, or the exchange one-sided, read his truth. If this annoys you, read it out loud. There’s something about even the most ‘over it’ human voice speaking truth that melts bitterness, hurt, doubt or pride. If you can’t bring yourself to read it- silently or out loud- ask someone to read it to you. I’ve done this before. The voice of someone you love reading scripture over you does something profound deep in the weary soul.

I love that God speaks. I love that we can hear him. But even if we don’t, let us not forget the beautiful, powerful, sometimes painful but always true words he spoke that are living, active and able to bring us back. What a gift his word is to us.

kristin stockfisch