All may hear the still quiet voice of God, but only a few actually take the time to listen. Of those who listen, it is fewer still that do so on a regular basis. To hear the voice of God, there has to be a willingness to listen. There has to be a willingness to deny the self, take up one’s cross, and follow Jesus (see Matthew 16:24). There has to be willingness to get outside of one’s self, and the desire to know the heart of God.
In school, most people excel in the subjects they are interested in, as they are the ones they more apt to give much attention. It is in those classes they more readily listen to their teachers. The question we have to ask ourselves is how interested are we in God? Along with that question, how interested are we in the heart of God? Does our interest in Him go only as far as it “benefits us?” Are we really interested in intimacy with the Father, or are we just looking for Him to answer our prayers?
To hear the still quiet voice of God, especially on a regular basis, we need to seek Him for Him. Praise has to do with adoration for what God has done and is doing; whereas, worship is adoration for Who He is. If a person wants to offer up pure praise, he needs to live a life of worship. When we learn to appreciate God for Who He is and what is in His heart, the more we appreciate what He does. The more we know Him, the more time we will want to spend with Him. It is so easy to get wrapped up with the desires of our own heart, that it becomes difficult to take interest in what is in someone else’s. This is where deny your self comes into play. We need to put our own interests on the back burner long enough to pay attention to God’s. That is when we find out if our interests line up with His as well. The “I want” generation will not hear the still quiet voice of God because it is not concerned with what He wants.
If one truly wants to walk in the perfect will of God, there will have to be a desire to know His heart. The greatest commandment of all is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all, your mind, and with all your strength” (see Mark 12:28-30). Love (AGAPE) takes joy in the recipient purely for His sake. There is nothing self-serving about it. That means, if we truly love God, we are going to take joy in Him. We are going to want to know Him and His will. Not only that, we are going to want His thoughts and ways to be ours as well.
Hearing the still quiet voice also requires the putting away of the clamor of our mind. It means quieting our minds enough to listen. Instead of rushing in to tell the Father what is on our minds, we should stop to listen to what is on His mind. Besides, He already knows what is on our mind, so we can afford to wait to share. Yes, God does want us to share with Him because that is part of the relationship. However, there are two sides to a relationship. When a person is too self-absorbed to listen to someone else, hearing the still quiet voice will be a stretch.
Another aspect to hearing is trust. We not only have to trust that God still speaks to people, we to need to believe He wants to speak to us individually. We have to trust Him in the relationship, which means we trust that God indeed does love us and is interested in us. Think about this: not only is He interested in us enough to listen to what we say, He listens to our every thought. We need to remember, it was God Who initiated the relationship, not us!