A good introduction to listening to God is the book I just finishedby Loren Cunningham entitled Is that really You, God? Hearing the Voice of God. The book traces the history of the founding of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) with particular concentration on listening to God. I think you will enjoy this easy read as much as I did. It often moved me to tears and more importantly, moved me to draw closer to Jesus.
Here are some of the principles Loren was taught in the process of starting YWAM.
The three steps to hearing God:
1. First, we took Christ’s authority to silence the enemy.
2. Second, we asked the Lord to clear from our minds any presumptuous and preconceived ideas.
3. Third, we waited believing he would speak in the way and in the time that he chose.
Here are some quotes from the book:
One of the principles we use in seeking guidance is ongoing confirmation, similar to the road signs you would look for on an unfamiliar highway.
One of the most trustworthy tests for valid guidance is this: Does it bring the people who are involved one step closer to freedom and maturity in the Lord? If this is not so, the guidance is probably suspect.
Divine guidance is so heavy, so spectacular, that there is the risk of Glory attaching itself to the work rather than to the Lord.
Success itself is the most dangerous obstacle to properly hearing the voice of God.
Twelve steps to hearing God’s voice:
1. Don’t make hearing God complicated. Here are 3 simple steps:
a. Submit to Jesus’ lordship
b. Resist the enemy
c. Expect an answer
2. Allow God to speak to you in the way He chooses.
3. Confess any unforgiven sin
4. Use the Axehead principle from 2 Kings 6. If you seem to have lost your way, go back to the last time you knew the sharp, cutting edge of God’s voice. Then obey. Have you obeyed the last thing God told you to do?
5. Get you own leading. God will use others to confirm your guidance, but you should also hear from Him directly
6. Don’t talk about your guidance until God gives you permission to do so. The four pitfalls of divine guidance are:
c. Missing God’s timing and method
d. Bringing confusion to others
7. The Wise Men Principle. God will often use two or more spiritually sensitive people to confirm what His tell you (2 Cor 13:1)
8. Beware of counterfeits. Only things of value are worth counterfeiting.
9. Opposition of man is sometimes guidance from God.
10. Every follower of Jesus has a unique ministry
11. Practice makes perfect
12. Relationship is the most important reason for hearing the voice of the Lord
A good friend of mine who pastors a church here locally told me that they keep this book by their bedside table! High Praise! To read more about learning to listen to God, check out our post on Listening Prayer.