Listening to God
Sometimes God speaks to you well in advance, with long-range plans and careful articulation of dreams. Sometimes God interrupts those long-range plans and careful dreams. God does it easily both ways. The key question is 'are we listening?'. How do you hear God?
Well, answering that is alot like asking "How do you hear and understand your wife?" There is no formula, some trial and error...even failure. But in time, you will discover some principles that hold true.
Here are some principles that I have found to be true:
1) God is best heard by those adopeted as his children. This adoption happens when you place your faith in Jesus.
2) I try to keep my life as free from sin as possible. Sin blocks your ability to hear from God. When sin does creep in, confession is the best solution to keep clean before God.
3) Make time to listen. God is often speaking in a still small voice if we listen. Ask God to speak.
4) When you hear something, Obey. Immediately.
5) God's commands don't always make sense immediately. Often, you'll find out there is amazing wisdom after taking the risk. But it does not always fit the facts before you act.
6) If you have a strong emotive reaction (especially tears of joy) pay close attention. The world of emotion and the soul are deeply connected.
7) Kids often hear from God when adults are not listening. If they say they have, listen closely...they may be telling the truth.
When you align yourself with God and his purposes, your life impact is dramatically multiplied. Better to do one action prompted by God than a thousand nice things done in your own strength.