One of the most important lessons we can learn is how to listen to God. In our complex and hectic lives, nothing is more urgent, nothing more necessary, and nothing more rewarding than hearing what God has to say to us and then obeying Him.
You may ask, “Does the Lord really speak to us today?” The Bible assures us He does. The book of Hebrews opens this way: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets … in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2). Our God is not silent. Our heavenly Father is alive and active. He speaks to us individually and in a way that we can hear Him, receive His message, and obey Him. He’s infinite, fully capable of communicating with each of us, right where we are—in the midst of our circumstances—in a very personal way.
This may be one of the most important concepts you’ll grasp in learning how to listen to God. When the Lord speaks, He’s speaking to you. The Word of God contains His truth; therefore, take it personally. Allow His Holy Spirit to open your heart so you’ll have a deeper understanding of Scripture. When you do, you can begin to claim His promises for your life. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of His provision, care, and love.
God is serious about His relationship with you. He speaks for your benefit, and it’s important for you to listen to Him and respond in obedience. Sometimes He’ll challenge you to change your thinking or to release certain unhealthy feelings and opinions. Sometimes He’ll command you to change aspects of your behavior. Yet with every instruction He gives, you can be certain it’s for your good. He desires to encourage and mature you so that you might live with greater joy and strength. He also wants to transform you into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ—helping you become the very best you can be.
Learning to listen to God through the reading of His Word is the most important thing you can do because there’s no other way to enjoy the wonderful, abundant life He offers. Therefore, pay close attention to what He has to say, and He’ll certainly “tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
And that’s the memo.
By Dr. Charles Stanley