How do we hear from the Lord?
We’ve discussed trusting the Lord with every area of our lives and how God’s Holy Spirit leads us so actively every day. Now it’s time to talk about how we should seek God so we can hear from Him.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. - Psalms 40:1 “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. - 1 Chronicles 16:11 “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; - 1 Chronicles 16:8-12
Seeking the Lord involves an equally important second step: waiting.
We must actively seek a relationship with God. We do this by making an effort to know and obey Him (both in our thoughts, and in our actions)
Then, we wait with patience and contentment for whatever God wants to provide. He knows what we need and when.
What we or anyone else may say about seeking the Lord is not as important as what God himself says. Therefore, I’m going to put a lot of Scripture in the coming sections. Practice seeking the Lord by asking God to speak to you through them.
Seek God like you would see good earthly counsel. Since God is always available, we can commune with Him any time day or night. Spend time reading His living words to us in the Bible. Listening to what God has said is how we can proceed in confidence knowing God’s heart and instructions.
“But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. - Deuteronomy 4:29
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. - Psalms 119:1-2
“He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. - Psalms 24:5-6
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. - Psalms 9:10
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. - Psalms 34:10
“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD - Jeremiah 29:12-14
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. - Jeremiah 10:23
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:31-33
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. - James 1:5
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. - Deuteronomy 4:29
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:6-9
Waiting on God
After we have sought God we must not give up nor grow tired or weary in waiting on God. God is never late—a truth we sometimes struggle to believe. Look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They ran out of time for deliverance. They were thrown into the fire and… wait! God did save them even though by all human standards it was too late!
Consider the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth who were much too old to bear children - but…wait! God did give them a son!
These stories together are an example of hoping in the Lord during in intense persecution and during decades and decades of tiring patience.
Time and time throughout Scripture, God arrives at the last second (i.e. the exact moment He has planned to act) to restore hope and deliver those who have put their trust in God—and often, these have risked their lives. Yet, even more often, people fail to hope in the Lord and walk away from Christ because of the difficulty of believing God long enough to receive what He has for them.
This culminates with God sending His own Son to die for our sins because there was no other person in History who was faithful enough to deliver mankind from sin and death.
“Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; - Isaiah 50:2
Wait on the Lord…when you are tired
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. - Psalms 27:14
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40:29-31
… when you are in need
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. - Psalms 23:1-2
… when you want
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. - Philippians 4:12
… when you have been obedient
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. - Hebrews 10:35-36
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Galatians 6
… when you have been wronged
“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. - Proverbs 20:22
… when you seek prosperity or provision
“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. - Psalms 37:34
Blocks to hearing from God
Sometimes there are sins in our own lives that prevent us from hearing the Lord. Part of seeking the Lord involves repentance (turning away) from sin, and doing what He has told us to do in His Word. This includes repenting of pride, which causes us to rely on ourselves.
“Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: - Colossians 3:9-10
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. - Psalms 66:18-20
“LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: - Psalms 10:17
“But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. - Psalms 81:11-12
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: - Psalms 95:6-8