Many Jesus-followers receive revelation from God in this same manner; they are what I call hearers. That is, when God speaks to them, they receive words, scriptures, lyrics, phrases, whispers, etc. Their experience hearing God’s voice is actually not unlike some of the experiences of the Old Testament prophets. The prophets' common phrase, the word of the Lord came to me saying seems to indicate the manner in which the revelation came to them—that is, auditorial. The prophet received the word through an audio experience.
Before you check-out because you’ve never heard God from a burning bush or a heavenly trumpet, keep reading!
Often hearers make the mistake of dismissing revelation they are sensing because it feels too human, simple or natural. But remember, when God spoke to young Samuel, his voice was repeatedly confused with the voice of Samuel’s mentor, Eli (1 Samuel 3:1–18). It seemed the experience of God’s voice was so familiar to Samuel that he assumed it was the voice of Eli. Could it be that many today, in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, similarly dismiss audio revelation from God because they too confuse his voice with the familiar sounds of their own thoughts and imagination?
It’s helpful to recognize the broad spectrum that describes our experience of revelation. It ranges from subtle to spectacular. The classic example of subtle audio revelation was the still, small voicethat whispered to Elijah (1 Kings. 19:11–13). God was not in the spectacular in that moment—He was in the subtle. Not surprisingly, that’s how most of us get it today. At the other end of the spectrum we find the spectacular experiences of God’s audible voice, accompanied by great signs (Ex. 3:4; Matt. 3:17; Rev. 1:10–11). While I covet these types of experiences with God, I recognize, even in scripture, they are the exception and not the norm. Building with the norm, we might ask how do we grow in our ability to hear God?
If you’re even a little persuaded that you might be a hearer, this next part is for you!
When working with hearers I find myself continually directing them to the devotional practice of bible meditation as a primary means of cultivating their grace to hear God. I describe biblical meditation as the practice of pondering the scripture while one’s heart and mind are receptive to the Holy Spirit. Meditating on scripture orients your mind for communion with God and familiarizes you with His sound and the movements of His heart. Consuming large quantities of scripture familiarizes you with God’s ways and with scripture's larger storyline. Understanding what God has already said (in the Bible) helps you more accurately discern and understand what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you today.
Here’s a simple 5-fold practice of bible mediation I follow (borrowed from my friends at the House of Prayer)
Adam Narciso is the visionary and pioneer of Catalyst Ministries, a training and global outreach mission for the next generation. Since 2009 Adam has trained and mobilized over 40 international evangelism teams and has equipped thousands in the areas of identity, hearing God and evangelism via seminars around the world. Adam has preached the gospel in city campaigns, universities, high schools and bamboo huts in remote villages, all with supernatural effect. Communicating with humor and fresh biblical insight, Adam is a unique prophetic evangelist who equips everyday Jesus-followers to live authentic, New Testament Christianity, discovering their highest joy in the Great Commandment and their unique assignment in the Great Commission.
Adam is author of New Identity: 30 Days of Prayer for Spiritual Transformation and producer of the Gospel Encounters eCourse. He and his wife, Jenny, have four children and reside in Franklin, TN.
Adam is ordained through Messenger Fellowship, an international community of leaders, churches and ministries committed to the glory of God.