Hearing the Lord's voice.

Theory

I had a friend once, who announced that the Lord had called him to preach the gospel in the American West. He had no training, and he was pretty fuzzy about exactly where in the west he was going, but it didn't matter because the Lord had called him. So he quit his job, sold his house, bought a huge motor home, packed his family up, and headed west. A few months later, he found himself in the desert, broken down, out of money, and his wife was screaming at him. He came back East. He never did become a missionary. I have another very good friend, that was praying for a friend with cancer. The Lord told her - in no uncertain terms - that her friend would be healed. And her friend died.

So exactly how do you hear the Lord's voice? How can you tell the difference between your own will and His? If you are like me, and my two friends above, its by making lots of mistakes. And yet the Lord tells us to trust Him for everything..

The more time you spend with the Lord, the closer you get to him. The closer you are to the Lord the more confidence you have in Him and the more clearly you will detect the movements of His Spirit. So the only thing I can tell you is follow your heart.

I can just hear my fundamentalist friends now 'but your heart is DESPERATELY WICKED' they say. 'Well' I say, 'I'm just going to trust Him'. I'm sure they think I'm headed for perdition. So yes.. follow your heart. You'll make lots of mistakes, but trust the Lord that He will teach you. (And it would help if you knew the bible pretty well.) Augustine said Love the Lord, and do whatever you want. I heard a journalist tonight talking with a survivor of the secret police torture chambers in Iraq. His response? 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.

Practice

Disengage your rational mind. Get into the mind of your heart. Locate His presence. Rest in His Love. Stay there. If any thoughts distract you, look over their shoulder and relocate His presence. If you journal, write it down.

Foundation

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

Footnotes

The way I hear the Lord's voice probably won't be the same way you hear His voice, but I'll tell you anyway. I'm very aware of being in my rational mind or in the mind of my heart. To hear the Lord's voice - to detect the movements of His spirit - I step outside of my own thoughts and my own will, and listen with the ears of my heart. Sometimes I get just a small nudge in my spirit. Less frequently I get a vision of answered prayer. And even less frequently, I'll hear a voice behind me. I've learned to wait on the Lord for his prompting. I wait a lot. Sometimes for a long time. btw, when I get an answer to prayer like that, I've learned not to advertise. I just tell you to pray to the Lord. I'm still learning. I'm a work in progress just like you.