Prepare Your Heart to Hear From God
By Glenda Ward
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
We don’t know when God will speak directly to us, but we should prepare our hearts so that we are ready to listen at any time. We need to spiritually tune in to God’s communication. So how can we tune our heart spiritually to hear more of God’s voice more clearly? When our hearts and mind are not in the right place we hear incorrectly. We end up hearing what our hearts want to hear instead of what is really being told or instructed to us. We can be sure that what we think is truly God’s Will and directly from God.
Put God First – At times we feel unworthy to pray, we feel we don’t know Him well enough, that He won’t bother with us, Or that we don’t have the skills it takes to pray correctly. Other times, we are angry at what we see as injustices and hurts. These are all common feelings to us all.
We need to remember that God is much bigger than all our insecurities and doubts. Even though you may be unworthy and don’t know Him as intimately as you should, even if you don’t know what to say… That is how big God’s love is! God is like a father, tender and compassionate to his children, although not all children have a tender and compassionate father. But you can receive God’s love in your heart by the means of and through the Holy Spirit (Reference Romans 5:5). Pray to God to help you overcome these feelings, so you can hear from Him with a heart that is focused directly on Him, and not on you. Read Psalm Chapter 139. Put God First.
A Cleansed Heart – At times, the guilt of some sin may weigh us down. The Bible tells us that God does not listen to our prayers when we sin (Reference John 9:31). The only way to approach God’s throne is to humbly ask for His forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. We should also ask the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and convict us of any sin to which we need to confess or resolve (Reference John 16:7-8). Unless Jesus did what He came to do, there would be no Gospel, He could not remove our sins. If He did not go back to the Father the Holy Spirit would not come to us. Christ’s presence on earth was limited to one place at a time. His leaving meant He could be present to the whole world through the Holy Spirit.
Three important tasks of the Holy Spirit are (1) conviction of sin and calling it to repentance. (2) Showing the standard of God’s righteousness to anyone who believes. (3) Demonstrating Christ’s judgment over Satan. According to Jesus, not believing in Him is sin. (Reference: John 16:9).
Your prayers are to be pleasing to God, confessing your sin, and asking the Holy Spirit to cleanse you by the blood of the Lamb. Approach God’s throne and listen with a cleansed heart.
A Peaceful Heart – We are to keep our minds very still and our Spirits open to hearing from our Heavenly Father. Find a time and a place where you can remove all distractions. Block off a time in your day for a dedicated “appointment” with God. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). Set aside the world around you, so you can hear from God with a peaceful heart.
A Trusting Heart – If we approach God’s throne with our own agendas, we may miss hearing from God. If we will really listen, God will often tell or show something much bigger than what we can imagine or even plan. He may reveal Himself in ways we don’t expect. Or He may remain quiet until His time is right to reveal His thoughts or plans to us. God is not limited to our views. Read Isaiah 55:8-9. Put aside your own expectations and ideas. God has the best intentions for you, so choose to listen to God with a trusting heart.
A Ready Heart – God is most pleased when we, His children, respond to His voice once He has spoken. Don’t make excuses when God reveals His Will and thoughts to you. Stories are recorded in the Bible of men, women, and children of God. Our book will be made and read by God Himself! Don’t be guilty of not responding to God positively when He speaks. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:10). Relinquish your self-centered attitudes at your footstool of prayer so you can hear from God with a ready heart.
God wants to communicate with His children. Christians hear from God in ways they don’t expect and are blessed by being obedient to God’s instruction and what they hear. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit when reading Scripture from the Bible, a thought of someone that prompts us to pray for them, through people working around us, we are reminded to love the person but hate their sin and pray for them. We need to seek God’s Will directly from God, not someone else.
Being quiet and focusing on our Savior can change the landscape of our hearts. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Nothing frees our hearts like taking a few minutes to humble ourselves, confess our sins, and ask God to cleanse us. One of the most intriguing miracles of the New Testament is Jesus making His home in our hearts. Open the door of your heart. Draw near to Him for fellowship. “Be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Reference: Ephesians 3:16-17).
There are ways to tend our hearts all year long. Let’s make this our New Year’s pledge to God.
Pour out your heart to God and tell Him how you feel. Read Psalm 34:18.
You may be bearing a weary heart or maybe a long, draining year has robbed you of your strength. Whatever the case, stop a few minutes with the Shepherd of your soul to reflect on this: Read Psalm 23:2-3. Whether your heart needs to be quieted, cleansed, healed, or renewed, God will meet that need as you draw near to Him. Set aside a few minutes each day to prepare your heart for Jesus.
Have a Blessed, Spirit-filled New Year in 2022 from Pastor Charles Dicks and everyone at Grand View Baptist Church.
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.