Summary: How do I talk to God? Does God hear me? How do I hear God?
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Habbakuk 2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
Receiving Guidance from the Holy Spirit:
1. Withdraw: Get alone in a quiet place.
Habbakuk 2:1 I will stand at my watch…
Hab. 2:1 (NLT) I will climb up to my watchtower…
Sometimes, it takes being alone to realize that you’re not alone.
Luke 5:15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
We rarely alone, but often lonely. Jesus was often alone, but never lonely. - John Ortberg
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
The thing I'm most afraid of… is being alone, which I think a lot of performers fear. It's why we seek the limelight - so we're not alone, were adored. We're loved, so people want to be around us. The fear of being alone drives my life. - Jennifer Lopez
2. Wait: Take time to quiet yourself and be still.
Hab. 2:1 “…and station myself on the ramparts;”
The word here is the word Moses used when he said “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
“Too many people seem to believe that silence was a void that needed to be filled, even if nothing important was said.” – Nicholas Sparks
Not you and the music.
Not you and the TV.
Not you and the radio.
You and God.
Shut it off. Get quiet.
Sometimes, I’m afraid the reason we can’t hear is that we can’t stop.
3. Watch: Let God give you a vision of what He wants.
“I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” Hab. 2:1b
There are two ways God speaks to us.
The primary one: The Bible.
"If you want to hear God speak, read the Bible. If you want to hear him speak audibly, read it out loud." - Unknown
90% of the times when you feel like you can't hear God speak to you, are because you're not deep enough into God's Word to let it influence your thinking.
Get the Bible and read it. Not to cover material, but to know the Author. Read it when you don't feel like you need guidance. When you do, you'll receive guidance from the Lord.
Secondary one: Through the Holy Spirit's voice.
This is probably the hardest part to explain, the hardest part to teach… because I can’t tell you how it happens. The Bible is full of God revealing himself to people in a huge variety of ways.
• Walking in a garden
• A fire in a bush
• A still small voice
A growing consciousness of what He wants.
A still, small voice.
Note: The Holy Spirit ALWAYS speaks in agreement with the Bible. He wrote it. If you feel like he's telling you to leave your wife, break a law, disobey a spiritual leader, dishonor your parents, etc etc. -- that you're the exception to the rule -- THAT'S NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT.
4. Write: Record what you receive.
Hab. 2:2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
I think writing things down is the most lost form of self-expression. I'm not traditionally a journal person, but writing down impressions of things to pray about.
Some of my best messages have come during prayer. I grabbed a piece of paper, and start scribbling as fast as I can.
The power of writing things down: Helps memory.
The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory.
5. Worship: Thank God for speaking, commit to obedience.
Hab. 3:2 “…I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known;”
It's the privilege of God's children to be led by God in prayer.
While he won't tell you things that you should know from His Word... he won't make up for laziness. :)
But he does communicate, and it's a great privilege to hear from him.
A beautiful story from the life of Elmer Schmelzenbach
NOTE: This story is related in "Sons of Africa" by Schmelzenbach & Parrott. (Out of print)