It's easy to hear from the Lord. You just have to have faith. When you ask the Lord for an answer to a question or problem, expect an answer and take the first thing that comes. If you want the Lord to answer and really believe He can and will, you won't be disappointed. What you see or hear with the eyes or ears of your spirit, that's the Lord answering. It will be such a comfort to you. Expect God to answer. Just open up your heart and let it in.
Hearing from the Lord is your spiritual nourishment: You've got to be able to hear from Him in order to grow spiritually. A baby is a good illustration of this principle: When you're asking the Lord to speak, you're like a baby crying for food --in this case, the spiritual food you need to live on.
When a baby is crying for his mother, she wouldn't think of refusing him. That little baby has more faith than a lot of adults do when they pray, because the baby expects someone to hear him when he cries. He knows --God put it in him to know --that if he calls, his mother will answer. He expects an answer, and he gets it. If he asks for milk, his mother is certainly not going to deny him or give him something else (Luke 11:11-13). She's going to give him what he needs. Just so, when you ask God to speak to you, you must believe that the next thing that comes into your mind or heart is from the Lord.
Shutting your eyes helps you to see in the spirit and to become less conscious of the things and people around you. It helps you get your mind on the Lord and in a relaxed position where nothing distracts you. When you ask the Lord to speak to you, believe that whatever you hear or see is a message or vision from Him. When you are asking Him to speak, you are like a baby crying for food --in this case, the spiritual food you need to live on.
When a mother picks up her child to nurse him, what does she do? She reveals herself to him. If he's a tiny baby, she also has to bring the nourishment to him. She has to show him where it is; she has to place her nipple in his mouth. As he gets older, he automatically knows where to find the milk and he can reach out for it himself. It's the same with hearing from God. The longer you practice receiving nourishment from the Lord, the better you know where to find it. You just open your spiritual eyes and see it and reach for it.
Faith is the hand of the spirit, which reaches out and receives. It is the part that you do, your spiritual effort. After the nipple is in the baby's mouth, he automatically starts nursing. When you ask God for spiritual nourishment, He puts it there for you, but if you don't start sucking, you'll never get it. You have to have the faith to begin to receive. You literally have to draw God's nourishment. If you don't suck, you won't get anything. The child sucks because God has put that automatic reaction in him to do it. A lot of times he has to suck for a while before he gets anything, but if he doesn't give up, eventually he will.
Faith is a type of drawing power. It is you drawing power from God. What is it that brings the mother's milk out of her breast? How is this explained in scientific terms? When the baby sucks, he creates a vacuum inside his mouth, which pulls the milk out. Similarly, you have to create a vacuum in your spirit: "Lord, here is an empty space. Please fill it!"
When you reduce the pressure in one area, what fills that vacuum? In the case of the nursing child, it's his mother's milk. All the child does is create the vacuum. He reduces the pressure inside his mouth, which then becomes lower than the pressure inside his mother's breast, so the milk flows out into his mouth. That sucking on the part of the baby is his effort; the mother does all the rest.
In prayer, you create a vacuum and the Lord's pressure fills it. Every time you open up your spirit, every time you create a low-pressure area, His Spirit will flow in, in all His power! What if the baby took one big suck and got discouraged? "Well, I didn't get anything, so I'll just quit!" Sooner or later he would get so hungry that he would start sucking again and not give up. When you start sucking for dear life and really desire that spiritual nourishment with all your heart, you'll get it.
You have to believe that when you create that vacuum in your spirit, the first thing that comes into your mind is from the Lord, and you must go straight on from there. If the baby didn't swallow the first mouthful, he couldn't get any more! His mouth can only hold so much at once. He gets a mouthful and swallows it, and then he gets another mouthful. He's got to swallow each mouthful as it comes, or he won't get more --and it's the same with receiving messages from the Lord.
He gives you a little to start with, but then you've got to expect and make room for more. In this case you empty your mouth, you "swallow," by believing the first words or Scriptures that He gives you, and repeating them out loud or writing them down --and you've got to keep swallowing. The Lord's not going to squirt milk out into the thin air where it will be lost, or into some baby who won't swallow it. You only get one mouthful at a time, and if you don't swallow that mouthful, you won't get another!
Likewise, when you ask the Lord for a vision and you begin to see something, you need to start describing it. Describe what you see, and then the Lord will give you more. What do you do when you watch a movie? You have to keep drinking it in, scene by scene. You couldn't possibly get it all in one picture. You have to keep "swallowing."
Unlike the mother, God has unlimited capacity to give. What you get is only limited by your capacity to receive. When receiving messages from the Lord, pretty soon you get so full that you can hardly stand it. The Lord will keep on feeding you until your vacuum has been filled, your "stomach" is satisfied and your spirit is content.
The Lord is always there, ready, willing and able to speak to you if you're willing to listen, but He won't force you. The mother can place her breast in the baby's mouth, but if the baby takes one gulp and doesn't like it and quits swallowing, he's not going to get any more. You have to be willing to receive what God gives!
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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