God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What this simply means is that, you cannot expect to hear from God if you are canal in your dealings. Allow the Holy Spirit who resides in you to take charge of your affairs. You have accepted Jesus Christ into your life; hence you are no longer the master of your life but Him. Allow Him to dictate what happens in your life and not you or the circumstances surrounding you.
You may wonder how can I do this? Simple, acknowledge Him in all your ways. You have heard that before, right? Let me break it down for you; before you go visit that friend, did you ask God if it is His will? Before you bought that form to proceed on a course, did you acknowledge God, by asking Him if you should or should not? You just went ahead right? Because it seemed right to you. Or probably, you wondered, even if I ask Him, how will I know His mindset concerning this particular issue?
Well these are all valid points but certainly not the best way to live your life. You have been bought with a price and you now belong to God, so allow Him to take the lead while you follow. This is the sure way of fulfilling your purpose here on earth.
I have set below some principles that will enable you hear God speak. They have worked for me and many others, but certainly not limited to these only.
- Spending time with God: I started with this because this is the most important as far as I’m concerned. When you spend time with someone, you get to know the person better, his likes, dislikes, what pleases or displeases him or her, his or her character, what attracts them, what brings them joy, what turns them off, etc. The more you spend time with someone, the more the person opens up to you and draws closer to you, because he or she feels treasured and important. They begin to share their secrets with you, they give you access into their lives and personal information.
This same principle applies with God too; you cannot expect God to reveal Himself to you when you don’t have time for Him. How will you know His voice when He speaks? The bible says in John 10:27
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”
How will you follow a voice you do not know? You can only know His voice by spending time at His feet daily, allowing Him feed you with His words, while you soak up His glorious presence in the process. His presence makes the difference in your life.
In case you are wondering how to spend time with God, please follow below steps, but don’t be limited to this, allow the Holy Spirit lead you.
- Pick a particular time of the day or night and call it your covenant time with God. It’s called a covenant time because you are entering into a covenant with God to always be there with Him at that particular time. That time is meant for Him ALONE. No phone calls please, no reading of sms, no chatting on social media, no distractions whatsoever. This particular time has been dedicated to God only. It’s a time of intimacy with your Creator, every other thing can wait. I usually advise people to pick a time during the night, so at least you are sure of peace and quiet. You may decide to make it 30 minutes and gradually upgrade to an hour or more as the Spirit leads.
- After choosing your time, say this prayer ” DEAR LORD, I HAVE CHOSEN THIS PARTICULAR TIME TO BE WITH YOU (please mention the time you chose and how long you desire to stay with Him) AND LEARN AT YOUR FEET. I HAVE COME THAT YOU MAY PURGE ME AND MAKE ME WHOLE. SO THAT I CAN ABIDE IN YOU AND YOU IN ME. I DESIRE TO KNOW YOU MORE, IN ORDER TO HEAR YOUR VOICE AND OBEY. I LAY ALL MY PLANS AT YOUR FEET, AND I NOW TAKE UP YOUR OWN PLANS FOR MY LIFE. FROM TODAY LORD, PLEASE TAKE THE LEAD, WHILE I FOLLOW IN JESUS NAME, AMEN”.
You only need to say this prayer once, to signal the commencement of your covenant time with God.
- During your covenant time, please take along the following, (a) a journal to write what God says. This is important because it shows seriousness and readiness to do what He tells you (b) a bible, (c) hymn book or praise and worship songs, a Christian book on spiritual growth or relationship with God.
- When it’s time for you to start, begin by acknowledging His presence, because He is there already whether you can see Him or not. God always honours covenants. Remember it’s called covenant time, so God will ALWAYS be there, it’s your duty to ensure you don’t miss that particular time or go late.
- Ask Him to make you Christ like, and purge you of all that is not of Him, then begin to worship him with songs, hymns or reading psalms (I recommend psalms 92 to 100, and 145 to 150 because they center on exalting God and singing His praise). Covenant time is not a time to focus on your need or prayer requests, it’s solely for God and allowing Him cleanse you, so you can begin to hear Him and align to His will for your life.
- After your worship session, take up your Bible, open to any chapter you feel like and start reading. Ask Him to come and teach you His words, so that you can be renewed by it. Never read your bible without asking the Holy Spirit to come and teach you, otherwise you may just be reading the bible like any other story book without any spiritual backing, revelation and transformation. The bible has the ability to renew and transform you while you feast on it. This is so, because it is the word of God and Jesus is made manifest in it.
John 1.1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Anytime you read your Bible, God is speaking.
- When you are done reading the Bible, ask yourself what did God just say to me through His word? Sit still and reflect on it, then write down whatever comes into your mind. Remember He is there beside you and His Spirit is leading you.
- Then, take up your Christian book on spiritual growth or building a relationship with God and start reading. Once more, ask Him to come and teach and illuminate what you are reading so that your spirit man can be blessed. Now, with a pen in hand, start marking out those places that speak about issues concerning you.
- When you are done with all these, take a break and just sit still. Tell Him to speak to you. You may just sit for a few minutes and then you leave. He will decide how and when to speak. The reason I prefer choosing night time for covenant time is because you can always go back to sleep and expect divine revelations.
- Living a disciplined life: some Christians live a carefree life. They cannot account for the time they spend each day. Remember what the book of Ephesians says in 5:15-17 “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
So, how do you apply this to your life? It means every minute of your life matters to God. What are you doing with your time? Watching TV? Chatting on social media? Visiting friends, so you can spend time talking about things that will not add value to your life? Commenting on every post you see on social media? What about sleeping all day? If you desire to hear God, then you need to change your lifestyle and be more accountable and productive with your time. Being productive here, doesn’t necessarily mean you must be working in an office or doing business. I understand a lot of people are jobless and that’s not entirely their fault, but even in that state of joblessness, you can still be productive by engaging in spiritual matters. Use that idle time to pray, but this time around stop asking for money, job, spouse, etc. Start asking for His presence in your life. Remember, His presence makes the difference in your life. Being a carrier of God’s presence causes doors of opportunities to open of their own accord. What you spent months praying for begin to come to you with ease. The reason? His presence goes before you and causes men to rise up and favour you.
Remember the Ark of Covenant in the old testament? Anywhere the Ark was taken to, unusual things began to happen and always in favour of the Israelites. The Ark signified the presence of God with them. Today, that same Ark is with us, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
- In all you do, always ask God for His will to be done: Proverbs 16.3 says “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
How do you practice this in your daily life? You can do this by making a habit of always saying ” Lord, I want to do this but let your will prevail” Do you wish to go to a certain place for vacation? Before you make those arrangements, pause and say that prayer above. You will be surprised at the turn of event if it isn’t God’s will. How about hanging out with friends? Also pray the same prayer and allow Him decide. So, whatever decision you want to make, always pause and say that prayer. It’s vital in living a God driven life.
- Consecrate yourself to God: last but not the least, dedicate yourself to God and be willing to use your resources, talent and time for God. All that you are and have belong to God, so let Him decide how they should be used. If you are an artist, use it to glorify God. A teacher? Teach with heaven in mind. An influencer? Let your influence make people long for Jesus. A writer? Write to glorify God. A public speaker? Use that platform to win souls for God. Nothing of yours should be used to expand the kingdom of satan. In all you do, ask yourself, will this action of mine draw people to Jesus or push them further away from Him?
Finally, if you know you have a calling upon your life, this is the right time to answer that call. Please stop shying away from what God has purposed to do with your life. You are alive today, simply because of the Father’s love. Why are you running away from your father? Answering God’s call is what will enable you live a fulfilled life.