One of the most important things we can teach our children is how to discern when God is speaking to them but we can’t teach them if we ourselves don’t know when He is speaking to us.
We sometimes worry so much about our homeschooled children having gaps in their education or are we preparing them enough for college or the work force that we neglect to teach them probably the most important tool they will need for this life; to discern God’s still small voice for themselves.
Do you know when The Lord is speaking to you? Can you hear His still small voice? When I was first married my mother in law used to always say, God told her this and that; I wanted to hear God the way she did. I was a new believer so I wasn’t quite sure how to hear Him.
Every morning I started journaling when I read the Bible. I started asking Him things and writing them down in my journal during my quiet time and you know what, I started to learn how to hear His still small voice. I have never heard The Lord audibly speak to me but I have learned when He is speaking to me as I mull over scripture, ask Him specific questions about what I have read or for direction in decisions or answers to problems. Many times He has spoken to me through my husband or fellow believers. Another important aspect I have learned is that I EXPECT to hear Him.
It is so important to take time to cultivate hearing His voice. He says you will find Me when you seek for Me with all your heart. It will take us making the time to read His Word, to pray, and to EXPECT Him to speak to us. There is nothing more thrilling than to have Him give you direction or comfort.
Years ago when my son was a teenager he received some money from his grandma and asked me to take him to the mall to buy some clothes. We got there and he started picking out these gangster clothes. I was mortified. I felt the Lord say don’t say anything to him, let him buy the clothes. So with every piece of clothing he bought I kept praying, Lord, are you sure you want me to let him do this. I felt Him say yes, just pray. So I did. I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. My son couldn’t believe I was letting him buy these clothes. He kept showing me every item expecting me to lecture him or say no. (I had a lecture or sermon for just about everything) About a week later he came to me and said, “Mom, I want to take all the clothes back.” I was stunned and asked why. He said, “before school I stopped at the gas station (wearing his new clothes hoody and all) and the cashier looked at me like I was going to rob the place.” He told me, “you know what mom, all I wanted was a pop tart.” I almost rolled on the floor laughing.
I am so grateful how it turned out. Not only was my faith in hearing God’s voice strengthened, but to see that He wanted to teach my son a lesson; how you dress represents who are. Had I lectured or taken out one of my many sermons the outcome would have been much different I’m sure.
This is what I have learned over the years:
Read His Word daily. If you don’t have time, make time. Especially if you have time for Facebook or watch TV; sometimes the solution is simply getting up earlier or staying up later. Pray, He will show you!
Devotions are awesome but they shouldn’t replace reading scripture and discovering His voice and truth for yourself. The Lord speaks to us primarily through His Word.
I really cultivated hearing Him while reading His Word and journaling; asking for direction EXPECTING answers.
Be specific in your requests and He will be specific in His answers. This will boost your faith so much. It’s hard to know He has answered a general prayer like please bless the world or please help the homeless.
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He whispers to you. When you feel He has spoken to you write it down and wait on Him. Ask Him to confirm/show you what He has said.
What if you ask for direction and you don’t hear anything: “Sometimes God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose? God wants us to learn how to choose well.” (James Merritt, Proverbs 31 Ministries)
Moms of littles: He knows the season you are in and that you are exhausted. Ask Him to show you what your quiet time should look like. Teach your kids at a young age not to disturb you during your quiet time. I did this with both my kids.
It’s a great time to train them to learn how to be quiet themselves and hear from God. They are never too young to start learning to discern His voice. Encourage your kids to pray about their decisions instead of always making the decision for them.
God Bless and remember to be in the Word daily!