Hearing God Through the Word
If you want to build a good, solid wall you need three elements. One of the first elements you need is cement. Without cement nothing comes together. The Word of God is that cement.
Have you ever been to a building site? They have big bags of cement powder piled up all over the place. It is hard and strong. It is the foundation of everything. It is this cement that will help to bring together everything that God told you.
Have you ever sat next to someone in church and they said, “I was studying the Word and God told me ‘this’ and ‘that’?” Then you ask, “How did God tell you? Did you see a scripture that said, ‘Thus saith the Lord’?”
I grew up hearing all the time that the Word is God’s voice speaking to me. You go to church and they say, “You need to read the Word. The Bible is the voice and word of God. If you read the Bible, you will know what to do for your life.”
So you read the Bible and think, “Who cares about Noah? Who cares about Gideon? Right now, I am having marital problems. Right now, I have a conflict in my life. Right now, I need to know if I need to move across the country.
Maybe I can relate to Abraham because he had to move across the country like I do now. “Yet Lord, how do I hear your voice through your Word?”
It just seems sometimes, that you are reading a bunch of stories. You do not know how to take those stories and principles and how to apply them to your modern day life right here and now. If that is how you feel, then I am here to help you out.
1. Understanding the Language of the Word
The first thing you need to do when you are reading the Word is to feed pictures into your mind. You keep looking at the Word of God as just words. Since the beginning of time, God spoke in types and shadows.
Even when Jesus walked the earth what did He use when He spoke? Parables. Why do you think that is? It is because we understand pictures.
I bet you can remember the last movie you watched more than the last sermon you heard. (Unless it was one of mine, in which I painted pictures of course!) I shared my story of the house with the crack in the wall, and so you are going to remember those pictures.
Somewhere along your walk, that picture is going to come to your mind and you will say, “Lord, what are you telling me here?” He will use that picture.
If you want to understand the language of the Word, do not think it is about what version of the Bible you are reading. You have to understand that it is a language of pictures. You need to learn to visualize the Word.
When you start reading the Scriptures, visualize what is going on in the scripture as you are reading it. Picture yourself right there in that situation.
You have Paul giving a long sermon late into the middle of the night. Can you see yourself huddled there in the upper room? It is late and everyone is yawning. Can you imagine the guy sitting on the window and thinking, “Hmm, that looks a bit dangerous”?
As Paul drones on, the guy falls asleep and falls out of the window. You hear this big “thud” and realize that the guy fell out of the window and killed himself. Can you imagine the panic?
Can you imagine being in a church meeting where someone sitting on the church window dozes off, falls and wipes himself out?
See Yourself There
Then can you see yourself rushing outside with the crowd? You arrive and watch as Paul raises the dead boy up. I bet you will never forget that scripture now.
You see, it is not enough to just picture the Word, but you have to see yourself there.
Something happens when you put yourself in the Word. You feel the emotion of it. What you are doing is using your entire soul. You are bringing your soul into subjection to the Word. You are not just seeing or understanding the Word, you are feeling the Word.
When you do that, the Word becomes alive to you. Jesus is manifested in the Word. The Word is alive. It is living. You can feel it. You can experience, taste and smell it.
Can you see Peter walking to the temple after the day of Pentecost? Can you hear the hustle and bustle of the marketplace? Can you smell the scent of someone cooking as Peter walks by?
It was dirty and messy. There was a crippled guy on the side of the road. He is grubby and begging. Peter stops and says, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I will give to you.” You are there. You see that man leap and walk.
Maybe he did not have all his teeth but he had a big, gummy smile. He is leaping and praising God. Everyone that saw it was so excited and they danced all the way to the temple. Wow, I am so excited visualizing this. I want to go raise somebody up right now!
See? God is speaking to you through the Word. It is not good enough to say, “I read my chapter of the Word today.” No, you must see yourself in it. Numbers and Leviticus are books that I love. I can picture them.
It says, if this happens, do this. I can see this poor guy coming with a problem to the priests and the priests say, “You must go back and for seven days do this and this.”
It gives me a picture of what it must have been like to live in that day and age under those laws. Imagine having to live by those guidelines and rules. It gives me a picture and an understanding of where these people came from.
However, if you are just reading the Word with your head or your own understanding, the Lord will not speak to you through it, because the Lord speaks in pictures. So, every time you read the Scriptures - visualize them.
Make a Movie
We are in a modern age where there are videos everywhere. So make a video in your mind. Say to yourself, “If I had to make a movie of this chapter, how would I project it? Who would act in the main part? What part would I play in the movie? How would that person react?”
Feed the Word into your spirit using all five senses. Was it cold? Was it hot? Suddenly, the Word is not a scripture that you have to read like the law. It is not just boring stuff. It is now living, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.
However, it will not become powerful or living until you make it so. Let me tell you something - the devil knows the Bible better than you. So you would think he would be born again by now wouldn’t you?
There are lots of people who have read the Word, but do not know the power of it because they do not feed it into their spirit. How do you feed something into your spirit? The same way you get something out of your spirit - through your five senses.
Using Your Five Senses
You get it through what you see, taste, smell, touch and hear. That is how we get things out of our spirits as well as how it goes in.
You know what is exciting about doing this? You will go to the Lord in prayer or be traveling on the road and have a problem, when suddenly the Lord presses rewind and play.
Suddenly the movie that you pushed into your spirit a year ago will pop up into your mind and you will think, “Why am I thinking about that right now?”
Guess what? The Lord just spoke to you through His Word. You are waiting for the “Thus saith the Lord” message word for word. People have the idea that they will wake up and the Lord will say, “Go to Psalm chapter 2 verse 3.“
Then they will have to go quickly and look through the Word. “What is God telling me?”
No, that is not what it means to hear God through the Word. So, if you are not getting that kind of clear revelation, you can chill because you are normal like the rest of us.
I am not saying God does not use it that way. I am sure He does, but He mostly speaks in pictures. Why do you think the Word is so pictorial? Why do you think it is so full of stories and illustrations? Why do you think it gives brutally honest images sometimes?
Some of the pictures are really “way out there”. Read the Song of Solomon. There is nothing left hidden there. The Lord was trying to show us, even in that book, how He speaks.
Solomon did not just walk up to his bride and say, “I love you.”
He said, “You are as beautiful as… “
“Your hair is as lovely as a flock of goats.”
(This apparently was a compliment in that age. But in our modern era… not so much.)
The point is - he painted pictures. The Lord speaks in pictures. Start to read the Word in pictures and as you push them down, eventually they will come back up again.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing, by the rhema word of God. First you have to push those words into your spirit, and then, once those pictures come back out, faith is formed, because it comes out as rhema.
The Word Will Come out as Rhema
It may only go in as logos or even just as your imagination. You may not even feel any anointing on it at first. However, when that word comes out, it will come out as rhema. It comes in power, in the right place and at the right time.
Have you ever experienced this in your walk before? You listened to a message or read a book but didn’t really get anything out of it at the time.
Then somewhere along the road, something happens and you say, “You know, this situation reminds me of a story I read. It reminds me of something that ‘that’ preacher shared with me.”
The Lord just spoke to you. This is a powerful way to hear the voice of the Lord, and you are neglecting it. Now, let me get to the next point, otherwise I will carry on with this because it is my favorite way to hear the voice of God. I am sure you can tell. Make the Word fun. Make it alive in you and let God speak to you.
2. Reading the Word With Intent
Now, the next thing you can do to hear God’s voice through the Word is to read it with intent. In other words, read until something hits you.
It means to read deliberately or on purpose and for a specific reason. Say for example that you have a need. You are battling with bitterness, lust or you are having a conflict with someone.
Pick up the Word with that question in your mind. Read the Word and expect to find the answer there. Now, you might not always find the answer in the first scripture or two.
When I have put out my faith and said, “Lord, I really need a solution for this particular problem. I really need a direct answer for this counseling crisis. Lord, I need something more than a vision. I need something solid that I can stand on and confess.”
I pick up the Word and start reading with the question in my mind of, “Lord, how do I deal with this problem?” I will start reading and reading. I will swap through several books of the Bible.
I will go from chapter to chapter and I will let my eyes skim the pages until suddenly the right verse will hit me at the right time. It will be the exact answer to my problem.
Read in Faith
Now, the key to that one is firstly to read in faith and to put the question in your mind. So many people get the impression that if God wanted to say something to them, He would just jump out and say it.
So they read the Word thinking, “Okay God, say something to me.” Well, that is not a very nice conversation. When I have a conversation with someone, it is a “permission conversation.”
I ask you something and then you ask me something. I do not just walk up to someone and tell them what I want them to do. Unless, of course, I have not had my first cup of coffee that morning and I am in the mood to boss someone around… but that is something completely different!
The Lord is not going to do that though. He is not going to impose His Word on you. You will not be walking along when suddenly He comes and jumps on you, or shouts at you. He is not that kind of God. He is a loving, tender God.
He wants to converse back and forward with you. So, when you come to Him with a question, He is going to give you the answer. Now, when you read the Word this way, it can take up a bit of time.
The more you get used to flowing this way, the quicker you will find the right scripture at the right time. When you do find it, that scripture will become an anchor point in your life.
Discovering Keynote Scriptures for Life
I remember one time when I was battling with a huge attack on my mind. I did not know what it was. My dreams were full of nightmares and while I was going through the day, terrible thoughts would run through my mind.
It was a battlefield in my mind. I took authority, I prayed and I struggled. I said, “Lord, you have to help me.” I started reading through the Word and I came to the scripture about casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the glory of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:5)
Wow! That set me on fire. I said, “That is it! That is my answer!” Then I said, “Satan, you loose your hold because I bring into captivity every thought right now!”
I am very pictorial, so I saw all those thoughts out there. I grabbed them, put them in prison and brought them to captivity under Christ, and God had the key. Then just like that, I was free.
Every time I had one of those thoughts again, that scripture came to mind and I brought those thoughts into captivity like snatching birds from the air and putting them in a cage. I grabbed them and put them under the Lord. After that, I stopped having attacks on my mind.
It took the Word to give me that kind of power. I needed that anchor. When you read the Word of God with intent, you will get the kind of scriptures that become keynotes in your life. They will become pillars in your life that keep you anchored.
Guess what? You just heard from God. You keep thinking that hearing from God in this way is this super-duper thing that only high-level apostles can do. If that was the case, then why did the Lord take the time to put the together in the first place?
You are already hearing from the Lord. You just need to identify it. You need to practice hearing Him in this way.
3. Forming new Templates Through Memorization
Now the final way to hear the Lord through the Scriptures is to form new templates. You need to form new molds in your mind for success and blessing. There is no easy way around this. It takes a little work. It takes some memorization of Scripture.
It is a lot like reading the Word and making a movie out of it like I said earlier. You need to do that deliberately with specific scriptures. The scripture you use will depend on what you are struggling with.
Maybe you are at a point in your life where you want to understand doctrine or are trying to figure out your calling. Maybe, you are battling with sin in your life or struggling with finances.
Step 1: Read With Intent
Begin by reading the Word with intent. As you do this, scriptures are going to pop up and when they do, write them down.
Step 2: Memorize Scriptures That Pop Up
Then, after you write the scriptures down, start to memorize them.
Step 3: Visualize the Scripture as You Memorize It
As you memorize that scripture, make a movie of it in your mind and see yourself in it. Say it again and again. Continue to push it into your spirit.
Perhaps the scripture you were memorizing was,
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.Each time you quoted it, you envisioned that mountain being thrown into the sea.
The next time you are in prayer you say, “Lord, what did I do? Where did I go wrong? What has happened?” Suddenly, the picture of the mountain that you were pushing into your spirit will come to your mind.
What is the Lord saying? The verse said that, “Whoever says to this mountain be removed… “
He is saying, “Remove the mountain.” You just heard the voice of God through the Word.
Do you see why pictures are so important? If you are not using the Word as your cement, you are going to find a nice big crack in your wall, because if the pictures are not based on the Word, then what are they based on?
What Are You Basing Your Pictures On?
Think about all the pictures you pushed into your spirit within the last 48 hours. I guarantee the pictures came from books you read, conversations you had or movies you watched.
What pictures are you pushing into your spirit? What are you giving God to work with? What cement does He have to build your house with? If you do not learn to hear God from the Word first, then learning to hear God in the next two ways will not make any sense to you.
Cement comes first. The Word is our basis and our foundation. Once you can hear God through the Word, the next step, which is hearing God through the spirit, becomes so much easier.
(This article is taken from the book How to Hear the Voice of God)
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