Tuning In Part 2: Hearing God Through Scripture
As disciples of Jesus we know how vital it is to be rooted and grounded in scripture; to spend time on a very regular basis immersing ourselves in the logos: the written word of God. As Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 3:16, All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
We study the Bible, and from it, we learn how to live our lives. We read it in order to know God better. But as we hold this precious book in our hands and mediate on it in our hearts it also becomes a means by which God’s Spirit speaks to us in the moment and brings the ‘now’ word of God to us.
Many of us will have had the experience of reading a passage of scripture, perhaps as part of our daily readings, and a certain bit of it jumps out at us and grabs our attention. In those moments we know that the Holy Spirit is speaking into our lives there and then through that verse or passage. In those words on the page God reveals something new to us or brings truth in a fresh way, often speaking into a specific situation.
Another common way for us to hear God through scripture is when we are praying for someone (or something) and all of a sudden a verse pops into our heads. This is the Holy Spirit bringing revelation to us that is pertinent for that person or situation, and that we can use to shape our prayers and speak out encouragement.
Whenever we are in a place of intentionally listening to God it’s a great idea to ask him for Bible verses that will be relevant. One thing I like to do at the start of a new year is to seek God for the four or five verses that will be key for my life and ministry over the next 12 months. I can then commit them to memory and mediate on them, being expectant that God will be speaking to me through them throughout the year.
To grow in your ability to hear God through scripture, here are a few simple steps you can take:
In your regular Bible readings practice reading the text slowly, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to you, and listening for the ‘still, small voice’ that draws you into his presence. Meditate on any words or phrases that particularly resonate with you.
When you stop to pray about something, start off by asking God for a Bible verse to guide your prayers.
Once a week ask God for a verse that you can text to a friend to encourage them.
God speaks to us all the time through scripture, and the more we immerse ourselves in it and store his words in our hearts, the more we will learn what his voice sounds like. Devoting time to Bible reading allows the Holy Spirit to make the scriptures come alive to us in many wonderful ways.