Recently, I blogged about how to feel God’s presence. But yesterday, I thought about that a little bit further. During yesterday’s student-led worship service, the preacher was talking about how sometimes God seems to not be speaking to you even though he always is with us. He gave us six different ways to hear God speaking and some were surprising, but made me see a new light in feeling God’s presence.
The first of these practical ways is Scripture. Reading the bible is a way to know that God is speaking. The bible is a useful way to hear God’s word, but it still has not had a lasting impact on me. I usually do not ready the bible, but because I am at a Christian college, I am reading it more often. I have to read it for class because some of our general ed requirement are religious classes. Because I usually go to the student-led worship service, I am looking up the passages that are relating to the sermon. Despite barely reading the bible, I am glad I am reading it more often than I used to.
The second way to hear God is through Jesus. He uses his own son to communicate with us. That is surprising because Jesus is God in human form. But if you want to know what God looks like, look to his son. God sent his only son to die for us and carry the burden of sin. Jesus sacrificed his own life to save us from our sins and by doing that, we understand how important he is in our life.The love of Christ of us is so big that he will love us no matter what.
The third way to listen to God is through Creation. That is one of the best ways that I feel God’s presence. When looking at creation, we realize that someone put that there. When we are out in nature, we now that God is there because he created it. That is why I love being out in nature so much. Looking at sunsets makes me feel God’s presence. Hiking makes me feel even closer to God especially when I reach the top and see the view. There are some parts of creation that are so incredible that we know that God put it there.
The fourth way to listen to God is through Others. This sort of surprised me a bit. Everyone is made in the image of God. Than again, certain people are part of our life for a reason. That is why it is so important to give back. I know deep in my heart that I am supposed to help those less fortunate than I. If someone has been on your mind and you don’t know why, it is God speaking to you saying that you need to pray and give back to that person.
The fifth way to know God is talking is through Discipline. This was the most surprising because how can discipline be a way of God speaking to us. During this service, we were told that it is learning from your mistakes, but what does that have to do with God. I know I have made mistakes in the past and that I have learned from them later. But if that is a way to listen to God, than there most me some purpose. Sometimes you may not realize you made a mistake to learn from. Usually you may not know it was one until later. It is important to learn from your mistakes instead of running away. Learning from your mistakes makes you a better person. It help you live in the moment instead of the past. You cannot live in the past because you cannot fix the mistakes you made, but at least you have learned from them.
There are two things in the sixth way to talk to God. It is through Worship and Prayer. For the longest time, I have struggled with prayer. I never could find the right way to offer prayer to God. Nothing seemed to be working and I did not have much interest in it. I finally found a useful way to pray in college. The best way for me to pray is through writing. God listens to be the best through what I write. I can be very expressive in writing prayer compared to silently praying to him. Worship is an even stronger way for me to listen to God. That is mainly due to my love for contemporary Christian music. That is a big reason why I go the student-led worship service as much as I can. Christian music makes me realize all that God has done for us. The words and melodies have so much meaning and they represent the truth.
If anyone is struggling with hearing God, I would suggest using one of these six strategies. The most shocking one was Discipline and I still have no idea how that connects to hearing God. The rest make perfect sense even though some them need work. But they are slowly getting there. But creation and worship will always be the strongest to me because I have deep connection to nature and a deep love for Christian music. But than again using others is another way that perfectly works for me. I know God is telling me to give back to those less fortunate than I. That is why I know volunteering not a sacrifice and why I joined a volunteer club when I transferred to Gardner Webb.