Reason #4 to Read the Bible
To Discern the Voice of God
Hearing the voice of God is possibly the single most important discipline in any Christian’s life, and it comes with two prerequisites:
1. Believing you can hear the voice of God
2. Disciplining yourself so that your spirit is tuned into His.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me"— Jesus (John 10:27)
Can I hear God?
The first step sounds easy, and it can be, but I find it to be a stumbling block for many people; not necessarily the idea that God speaks, but that He speaks to us. I’ve noticed that most people find it easy to picture people in ministry–like the pastor at their church or a missionary–can hear the voice of God, but the idea that they (or any Christian not in a pastoral or ministry focused role) can also hear His voice is often difficult to grasp.
What I want you to know is that you CAN hear the voice of God! Yes, you! It doesn’t matter how unqualified you think you are, God loves you and DESPERATELY desires to talk to you.
As to the second point, the only way to really tune your spirit into His is through spending time alone with Him. This time can look like any number of things, such as worship, prayer, meditation, and reading the bible.
How to Hear God
Spend time alone listening for Him. As mentioned above, tuning your spirit into His–just like a transistor radio–will strengthen your connection and make it easier to discern His voice. It’s pretty easy to get ourselves out of tune when living in a world full of evil. For this reason it is extremely important that we take the time to make certain that we maintain and strengthen our connection so we don’t get out of tune with His Spirit.
How do I know it's God's Voice and Not My Own?
Excellent question! Did you know that when the Federal Government would train someone for their counterfeit department, the first thing they needed to do was to teach them how to spot a fake bill? This process usually took several days or even weeks in which the new agent would be put in a room, given a case full of real money and be told to count it, over and over again. After a while, the trainer would slip a single fake bill in with the real ones. What’s amazing is, as soon as the new agent would feel the fake dollar they would stop, they knew something was wrong with that bill! It didn’t feel right, it didn’t look quite right, it didn’t even smell right!
You see, while the new agent was counting bills they became so familiar with the real money that as soon as a fake dollar touched their fingers they knew it was a fake!
In the same way, when we read the bible we learn the truth; we learn the difference between the real and the fake. Hearing God’s voice, even if it’s quiet and deep down inside of us, starts to feel natural and it becomes part of who we are. The longer we spend in the Word and hanging out with God, the stronger this conviction becomes. Later on, when the devil comes to tell you a lie, you will know it right away, because you have disciplined yourself to understand and know the truth!
"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it"— Hebrews 2:1
The Bible as a Platform for Discussion
Once you can hear God fluidly, the bible really opens up! Because as you’re reading you can hear God speaking to you, exposing the truths inside the words on the page. Any time you run into something strange or that seems off, you can just ask God and listen to Him explain what’s going on. It is by this process; reading the Word, listening to the voice of God, and receiving the Truth, that we grow into mature Christian adults.