Will Jesus speak to me? Do you long to develop confidence that Jesus will speak to you in a personal way as you read God’s Word? God speaks in many ways, but the Bible tells us that in these days He has spoken to us in His Son (Hebrews 11:1). In this post I’m sharing practical prompts that helped me learn to listen as I meditate on a Scripture passage. Don’t miss some of my best tips for cultivating a deeper relationship with Christ through my new Spiritual Growth Pack of tip sheets, truths, and prayers.
We All Face Struggles with Hearing God
Do you believe that Jesus will speak to you personally when you read the Bible? In theory, we know that the Bible is God’s Word, but on a practical level it can be confusing to learn how to hear God speaking as we reflect on Scripture. Unlike the conversations we have with people, spiritual listening is usually inaudible, coming to us through insight and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Making time for God in a busy life challenges us in every season of our spiritual lives. Overcoming distraction and developing spiritual attention are two more challenges we encounter when listening to Jesus. Reading His Word, our eyes move across the page, but we may struggle to connect with God through the text. Can you relate?
Hearing Jesus is Not Just for the Spiritual Experts
When I began to pursue a deeper relationship with God, I wondered if there was a secret formula for hearing God. It felt like a special club for the spiritual elite—the ones who read the Bible every day, never struggled with worry, and hardly ever sinned. Was hearing Jesus only for the “perfect people”? Have you been wondering how to grow closer to God?
Learning to listen to Jesus ignites spiritual growth and deeps our relationship with God. Years ago, a mentor helped me understand that listening to Jesus is easier when we come with the faith and expectancy that He will speak to us through His Word.
Faith is a key ingredient for opening ourselves to the words of Jesus. #listeningtojesus #hearinggod Click To Tweet
Remember when God spoke from the heavens, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)? God was direct about the importance of listening to Jesus. Jesus spoke then and He still speaks now.
Listening to Jesus is More Than a Skill
More than a skill to develop, learning to hear from Jesus is a relationship to pursue. We know that good relationships are built over time. Somehow we forget this truth when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. A regular Quiet time or devotional practice helps us recognize when Jesus is bringing something to our awareness.“The simplicity of a regular devotional time with God is a training ground where we listen, learn, and obey God” (Holy in the Moment). #listeningtogod #quiettime Click To Tweet
With practice, we begin to notice the difference between God and other voices because of the truth, content, wisdom, and clarity of the thought as we reflect on the Word. When Jesus speaks it always is consistent with the Bible and with the character of God. Meditating on God’s Word is a form of listening that deepens our relationship with God.
In Holy in the Moment, I wrote a chapter called “Moments to Listen to God”. Here’s a snippet of what it means to meditate: “Meditating on God’s Word blends Bible reading, listening, and abiding together in a sacred conversation with God. Meditation simply means to attentively practice, be diligent in, to ponder or imagine. As we ponder the truth, the Spirit opens the Scriptures to our listening hearts”.
This sounds great in theory, but how do we get there?
‘“The sheep listen to his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts all his own sheep outside, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 14: 3-4).
It’s important to trust that the Holy Spirit will enable you to recognize Jesus’ voice in your heart. One of the roles of the Spirit is to reveal the words of Jesus:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you” (John 16:13-14).
Practical Help for Listening to Jesus Speak Through Scripture
Is there practical help for hearing Jesus speak through Scripture? Here is a list of questions, or prompts that helped me begin to discern when I’m hearing from God. I’ve seen this list in various forms and places, so I don’t know the original source. A friend gave me this list thirty years ago. I still use it today.
At first, I read the list every time I asked God to speak through His Word. I’d open my Bible with the list in front of me.to prepare my mind. Over time, the concepts on this list have become an organic part of my Bible reading as I trust the Holy Spirit to open my ears to God’s voice.
Questions become listening tools to begin our conversation with God, helping us to focus and listen. Think of these prompts as conversation starters as you read and reflect on the Biblical passage you read each day.
10 Questions to Help Listen to Jesus When You Read the Bible
Is Jesus speaking to me about…
- A new thought about God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit?
- A promise to claim?
- A command to obey?
- A sin to forsake?
- An example to follow?
- An instruction to practice?
- An error to avoid?
- A choice to make?
- A question to explore?
- A topic to pray about?
How to Use the Prompts to Listen to Jesus
Try these simple steps to discern the voice of Jesus.
- Ask Jesus to speak to you as you read and reflect on a passage from the Bible.
- Review the questions quickly before or after reading a passage in the Bible.
- Read the passage a second time and pay attention to what stands out to you.
- Reflect on the prompt that applies to the content that resonates with you. “What do you want me to understand about this?” is a great question to pray.
- Write thoughts, questions, or observations come to mind as you talk with Jesus through praying about the passage.
- Share your response with Jesus in prayer or in your journal.
- Ask Jesus to show you how to apply what you’ve learned.
Do the Listening Prompts Apply to Different Parts of the Bible?
These simple questions help us listen and learn from the Bible’s many forms of writing. You can have God conversations about any book of the Bible. Not every prompt will apply to every verse in the Bible, but they can train us to notice important details and truths in the text. Here are a sample of types of content found in various books of the Bible (this list is not exhaustive).
- In historical accounts we discover examples, principles, and commands.
- The prophetic books demonstrate the sovereignty of God as His heart, plans, and purposes are revealed.
- The Psalms help us to connect with God as well as offer examples of prayer and praise.
- The Gospels fill our ears with the actual words of Jesus that include instruction, teaching, encouragement, invitation, as well as correction and rebuke.
- The Epistles offer instruction, promises, principles, and examples.
At the heart of it all, the Bible is a love story of God’s desire for relationship with His people. And my friend, that includes you. He is a God who speaks.
He is a God who speaks to you.
What helps you listen to Jesus? I’d love to know what practices are meaningful to you. Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Share this post on social media to share this practical resource!
Get More Practical Tips in the Spiritual Growth Pack
Want more practical ideas to go deeper with Jesus? I’ve just put together a Spiritual Growth Pace of tip sheets to help you cultivate a deeper life with God. This power pack is filled with ideas, prayers, and truths to help you thrive in your relationship with God, no fluff and no dilly-dallying around. Print the resource sheets to incorporate into your spiritual practices as you depend on the Holy Spirit to help you.
- Simple Ways to Cultivate a Deeper Life with God
- 30 Ways to Listen to Jesus (expanded list from this post)
- 15 Simple Ways to Overcome Distraction and Focus on God
- 10 Perspective Shifts to Free Your Heart from Fear
- Prayer to Put On the Armor of God
- Prayer for Making Decisions
- 4 Biblical Ways to Peace in Decision Making
Related Posts to Help You Listen to Jesus
- Six Short Devotions to Help You Listen to Jesus + printable version
- When You Long for God to Speak to You
- Simple Ways to Meditate on God’s Word
- 8 Powerful Ways to Connect with God When He Is Silent
- Ignite Your Faith with Simple Truths for Listening to God
- Do You Struggle with Listening to God?
- 10 Benefits of Reviewing What We Learn from God
- Simple Ways Silence Can Deepen Your Faith
- Discover Six Important Truths About Listening to Go
Enjoy More Help for Listening to God in Holy in the Moment
A deeper, healthier life in Christ happens in the choices we make in the moment. Learn practical ways to live with freedom and joy to overcome perfectionism, anxiety, insecurity, self-righteousness, and negative attitudes. Chapter 8 is filled with more help for listening to God. Are you ready to discover the difference your choices can make?
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