The sheep follow their shepherd because they know his voice”. (John 10:4 in today’s Gospel). Can you hear God’s voice? Maybe not an external voice but can you receive God’s guidance? How often have you faced situations when you didn’t know what to do? Should I go for this risky surgery? How can I deal with my kid, or with my spouse? Should I get another job?
To be able to hear God’s voice, you need to be committed to the truth. Jesus said to Pilate, ”All who are committed to the truth hear my voice” (John 18:37). And Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life (John 14:6). Are you committed to Jesus? That is necessary if you want to hear his voice, his guidance. So, we need to repent from sin, from everything that prevents us to be committed to him. Sin confuses us. We cannot distinguish what is from God, or from us, or from other people, or from the devil. There are too many voices in us. Each voice tries to draw us to itself. Only through steady and frequent interactions with God can you become familiar with his voice.
How can you distinguish what is truly from him and not from your wishful thinking? First, get familiar with the Bible. God uses the Scriptures to talk to you and you can check your own wishful thinking against Scriptures. Scripture passages are the alphabet God uses to speak to you. Enrich your God’s vocabulary! Secondly, God speaks to you through the Church. Get familiar with the Church teachings. Join a Church faith education group. Thirdly, prayer. Give 10 minutes a day to read a Scripture passage and listen quietly to what God says to you. It is important to do this every day. After a few weeks, you will start to hear God’s guidance more clearly. It is a guarantee from God himself. Join the Wednesday Lectio Divina at 6:45pm in the church basement*.
*Except May 10 Lectio Divina will be in the gym
You need to really be committed to hear God’s voice. “Whoever is from God listens to the voice of God”. (John 8:47)
Fourthly, you need to practice quietness, stillness, inside and outside. We live in the noisiest world ever. We become more and more dispersed and agitated, inside and out. “Be still and quiet your soul like a weaned child in its mother’s arms.” (Psalm 131:2)
Simplify your life in order to amplify God’s voice. Remember Martha, the friend of Jesus who was worrying about a multitude of things, and a complicated service. But Jesus said to her, “Only one thing suffices. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her”. If you choose to listen to the Word of God, no one can take this away from you. Unless YOU allow it. You may have to make great sacrifices, to obey God and to repent. But you will not only keep the ability to be guided personally by God, but the ability to hear God’s voice will always grow deeper and more intimate. Try it! It’s worth it!
God bless you,
This Pastor’s Corner is a summary of a recorded talk in presentationministries.com. Just search for “Hearing God” in that website.