If you’ve put your faith in Jesus by asking Him to be the Forgiver of your sins and Leader of your life, the Holy Spirit has made residence in you and is constantly speaking, teaching, and guiding you. Often times, the problem with hearing the Holy Spirit speak has nothing to do with Him being silent, but that the volume of our lives is so loud we can’t hear Him. To hear the Holy Spirit speak clearly, we must intentionally decrease the volume of life.
One discipline I suggest to incorporate into your life to decrease the volume is a consistent and set time alone in the quiet. In those times, I challenge you to read Scripture prayerfully. Prayer and Scripture are the “deadly combo” to hear from the Holy Spirit. As you increase your Biblical engagement, you will increase the odds that you will hear the Holy Spirit speak.
You may be thinking, "So when I get 'alone in the quiet' with God, what do I do? Here are some suggestions:
You may consider starting a prayer journal to write down what you’re praying about, thinking about, what you hear the Spirit speaking to you, etc.
PRAY: Start with prayer. Prayer is simply where you speak to God and He speaks to you. Lay all your stuff at his feet. Tell him what is on your heart. Ask him to unveil what he wants to say. Journal it if it helps.
READ: Read a passage of Scripture slowly, asking yourself, "what is it saying?” Listen carefully. Journal your thoughts.
OBSERVE: Slow down and ask God to focus your attention on the part of the passage He desires you to.
When something sticks out, ask questions like:
- What are You trying to speak to me through that?
- What does the Spirit want this to mean in my life?
- What does this mean for my life? My life situations? My inner thoughts and feelings?
APPLY: Prayerfully consider and wait on God to apply the passage to your life.
- What will I do in response to what I have read and understood?
- When will I do it?
- With whom will I do it? Journal it.
PRAY: Finally, pray for God's enabling power. Listen during this time. Just sit and rest.
TELL: After your time alone in the quiet, tell someone what God spoke to you. Make it public. Reflect on it throughout the day.
Maybe you have tried to read the Bible in the past and quit because you didn’t understand it. If so, you are not alone! An additional tool that can be really helpful is a good Study Bible.
Study Bibles: Study Bibles are another great tool for anyone who wants to understand the Bible better. They have notes on every page that help explain verses. There are two Study Bibles I would recommend above all others: (1) The ESV Study Bible, and the (2) NIV Study Bible by Zondervan. I personally own both of these Study Bibles, and I read the ESV Study Bible every day.
I hope these tools and suggestions help you hear the Holy Spirit speak more clearly through God’s written WORD…the Bible.