HearingGod(This is the second half of a post from Tissie Beasley on learning to hear from God for ourselves and for others. To read Part 1, click here.)

Hearing from God and talking with him is like having a conversation with an intimate friend. When you spend time with them long enough, and sit and listen intently, you hear their heart. When we spend time with Jesus, we hear His heart for us and for others.

Relationships take time to build. Close intimate ones don’t happen overnight. Here are some practical ways to hear God for yourself and others:

1. Be a willing vessel. God wants to speak; we just need to be willing to listen and then respond. Listening is only half of it; we need to be willing to respond and act on what we hear. Be obedient.

2. Have a sincere heart and love for people. This comes from being in the presence of the Lord. The more we are full of him and his love the more natural it is to love people.

3. Position yourself in a place to hear his voice. To hear God clearly we have to make time to do so. Spending time in his Word and praying opens our heart to hear him. Just remember, this is not a “to do” list, but spiritual disciplines help draw us close to the heart of God, and allow us to commune with him. God shares his heart for us and others when we walk in close relationship with him.

4. Believe that God wants to and is speaking to you! His heart is for you. He has passionately pursued you, so trust that he wants to speak to you. Here is what Jeremiah 33:2-3 says: “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” Here is the same verse in the Message: “This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’” God wants to speak!

5. Have a trusted mentor, life group leader, or pastor who can help you discern the voice of God. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), and surrounding yourself with people who are strong in the Lord and who can encourage you is so powerful. We are not in this alone, and God uses others to help us grow. If you hear a word for someone, run it by a leader or mentor, especially if it is correctional. My experience is that God uses us mostly to speak words of love and exhortation to others. Be careful when speaking correction to someone. God’s heart is not for us to go around correcting one another, but for us to build one another up. Ephesians 4:16 says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

6. Something that has forever changed my life is the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Being filled and empowered daily by God’s Spirit has opened my eyes, heart and ears to hear and see Him more clearly, and to act boldly and with confidence. It is one of my most precious relationships, and I am very intentional about making time and a way for God’s Spirit to work in and through me.

Be encouraged today that God wants to speak to you, and that he desires to use you to reach and minister to others. Be obedient even in the things you think might be small and unimportant. You never know what will minister to the heart of someone else and impact their life.

This post was written by Tissie Beasley. To read more about her, click here.