“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”– Romans 10:17 (ESV).
God wants to talk to you. I know that may be surprising to some. It may seem at times that God can seem like a distant Father, tolerating us but not really interested in the daily hills and valleys of life. The opposite is true. God wants to be a part of every detail and wants us to know who He really is. For reasons only He fully understands, God rarely chooses to speak to us in an audible voice. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t revealing Himself, and His desires for our lives, all the time. So what is this simple way to hear God’s voice? It’s actually pretty easy…read your Bible.
The pages of Scripture contain so many amazing stories of how God spoke to His people. Within these stories we see the power of a people focused on following God’s leadership, and the problems that occur when people go their own way.
Before you file this in the “heard all that before” cabinet, consider this: God loves talking to us through His written Word. The Bible is a beautiful narrative of God creating, saving, and interacting with the people He loves. Reading it on a regular basis can give us insight and understanding into how God is currently moving and operating in your life. Most importantly, it’s nonfictional: it is filled with actual words from His mouth, written down by people who heard His voice.
2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is “inspired by God.” His Word sometimes gives us a warning, a word of encouragement, or a lesson for life. God is whispering, and sometimes shouting through His Word, giving us instructions and principles for life so “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)
Reading the Bible to understand God is compelling. But it is even more compelling when the words on those pages leap out and begin to speak directly to you in real-time. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the words you read. It is amazing how a verse can suddenly feel like it comes to life and speaks directly to your heart. If you sense this happening while you are reading the Bible, pause and reflect on those words. Read them again. Ask God to reveal what He has for you in this passage. Reading the Bible is not a speed-reading exercise. You may miss God wanting to speak to you directly.
May God stir up our hearts to hear his voice through the pages of Scripture today. And may we align our hearts with the principles found in its pages.
- Why is the primacy and authority of scripture so important when we are listening for God? Discuss how we hear God’s voice through scripture? How do we hear God’s voice in matters not directly addressed by scripture?