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Copyright © 2017 by Prophet Charles Ibrahim

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced
or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in South Africa


First Printing, 2017

ISBN 978-0-620-77850-3

www.arenaoflibertyinternational.org
Dedication
I dedicate this book to the beautiful family that God has so graciously given
me-my wife Lethabo and my son Charles Jude. Without their unending love,
support, prayers, understanding and patience, there would be no Interpreting
God’s Voice. I would also like to honour my brother in the Lord, Prophet Jay
Israel senior for being a sound board of ideas and a wise counsellor. I would
also like to thank my team at Arena of Liberty International Ministries and all
the people who have assisted me along my path of faith in Christ Jesus. I am
where I am today because someone at some point along the way helped me.
Indeed, I stand tall in Jesus Christ because someone paved the way and
shared this great message with me. This book is dedicated to you all.
Endorsement

I have had great moments and deep spiritual discussions with Prophet
Charles. I have personally experienced the life-changing message found in
this great book Interpreting God’s Voice. Birthed out of personal triumph and
deep personal tragedy, Prophet Charles shares profound, yet simple truths on
how through meditation one can improve the ability to hear God. I believe
this book will change your life as it has mine.
Prophet Jay Israel senior (Spirit Life Church)
Contents
Introduction:

Chapter 1: Meditation is a Key to hearing God……. 11

Chapter 2: Hearing God through crisis……………… 19

Chapter 3: God speaks time and again, can you 33


hear Him?..............................................................

Chapter 4: Seek the voice of God always……………. 45

Chapter 5: Hearing God through dreams ………….. 57

Chapter 6: The power of imagination………………… 73

Chapter 7: Have you ever heard God's Voice?......... 87


Introduction

As a prophet and teacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am acutely aware of


the importance of a good beginning. If you don’t start your story off with a
bang you’re in big trouble because more than likely your audience is not
going to have the patience to stick with you. There is also a level of trust
implicit in all beginnings, and it is up to the author to create that bond of trust
with his audience. Look at it as a kind of non-verbal contract where you are
promising your reader that firstly, you know what you’re doing and secondly,
you’re about to take them on a fun ride.

I have always been fascinated with the book of Genesis, simply because there
are so many “firsts” there, and it’s also chock full of amazing stories and
characters. God is establishing the scene for us, but He’s also jumping right
out of the gate with stories that are gripping and exciting.

I have a great testimony and story of how I found God through a crisis and
how step by step from that crisis I learnt how to hear from God. I will thread
and weave my testimony and story through the next seven chapters in this
book. I will teach and highlight some very important and fundamental steps
that can aid us to hear God clearer.

What do people mean when they say we hear God in the “still small
voice”? Does God talk to us in our mind or in our spirit? What does it
sound like?
The “still small voice” term comes from the King James Version of 1 Kings
19: 9-13, the story of Elijah in the cave. Elijah was discouraged, and God
showed up to speak with him. Verse 12 says, “and after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” Other
translations render it, “the sound of a soft breath,” “a soft, gentle voice,” “the
sound of a low whisper,” “a gentle and quiet whisper.” It is quite possible
that what Elijah heard was an audible voice. People sometimes hear God
speak in an audible voice today (meaning they hear it with their natural ear),
but what people generally mean when they refer to hearing God in the still
small voice is hearing in their inner being, not out loud.

It would be a whole lot easier for all of us if God just spoke to us through our
natural hearing all of the time. But God is after intimacy with His people.
Lovers share their most endearing moments together in whispers. When we
first start our life with the Lord, He usually makes sure the inner voice is
fairly firm and insistent. He wants to help us gradually become confident in
recognizing His voice. But the closer we get in our relationship with Him,
the more likely it will be that He will speak in a whisper.

Does the inner voice come from the spirit or the mind?

Sometimes we sense His voice in our spirit, but it can also appear to be in our
minds. I experience both, but the primary way I hear is in my mind. For me,
it is as though God is speaking thoughts, usually phrases or short sentences,
in my head. These are usually in the first person: “I love you. I will help
you. Trust in Me.” They can be in the third person: “God will not let you
down. God’s promises are faithful.”

Some people hear in full paragraphs in their minds. That has happened to
me, but it is not my usual means of receiving. Everyone is different, and God
tends to speak to us in the style that we do best with.

All of us experience hearing God speak through the inner voice, but
sometimes we don’t recognize what it is. Have you ever felt the conviction
of God about some sin you have committed? That was the Holy Spirit
speaking to you in the inner voice. It wasn’t so hard to hear, was it? Hearing
Him in this way for things other than conviction of sin isn’t hard, either.
Chapter 1

Meditation is a Key to hearing God

Indeed, many Christians now place less value and importance on meditation,
dreams, visions and the importance of finding access portals. Many ancient
secrets once used to communicate and hear from God, such as meditation
have been lost and many simply shunned by the modern Christians.

We were made to meditate. God designed us with the capacity to pause and
ponder. He means for us to not just hear him, but to reflect on what he says.

It is a distinctively human trait to stop and consider, to chew on something


with the teeth of our minds and hearts, to roll some reality around in our
thoughts and press it deeply into our feelings, to look from different angles
and seek to get a better sense of its significance.

The biblical name for this art is meditation, which Don Whitney defines as
“deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in Scripture for
the purposes of understanding, application, and prayer” (Spiritual Disciplines,
46). And it is a marvellous means of God’s grace in the Christian life.

Christian Meditation

Since we were made to meditate, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that world


religions have seized upon the activity, and new schools try to make use of its
practical effects, whether to cultivate brain health and lower blood pressure.
Christian meditation, however, is fundamentally different than the
“meditation” popularly co-opted in various non-Christian systems. It doesn’t
entail emptying our minds, but rather filling them with biblical and
theological substance — truth outside of ourselves — and then chewing on
that content.

For the Christian, meditation means having “the word of Christ dwell in you
richly” (Colossians 3:16). It is not, like secular meditation, “doing nothing
and being tuned in to your own mind at the same time,” but it is feeding our
minds on the words of God and digesting them slowly, savouring the texture,
enjoying the juices, cherishing the flavour of such rich fare. Meditation that is
truly Christian is guided by the gospel, shaped by the Scriptures, reliant upon
the Holy Spirit, and exercised in faith.

Man does not live by bread alone, and meditation is slowly relishing the
meal.

Meditation Day and Night

Maybe it’s the multiplied distractions of modern life, and the increased
impairments of sin’s corruption, but meditation is more the lost art today than
it was for our fathers in the faith. We are told, “Isaac went out to meditate in
the field toward evening” (Genesis 24:63), and three of the more important
texts in the Hebrew Scriptures, among others, call for meditation in such a
way that we should sit up and take notice — or better, slow down, block out
distractions, and give it some serious consideration.

The first is Joshua 1:8. At a key juncture in redemptive history, following the
death of Moses, God himself speaks to Joshua, and three times gives the clear
directive, “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). How is he to do
this? Where will he fill his tank with such strength and courage? Meditation.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall
meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:8).

God means not for Joshua to be merely familiar with the Book, or that he
read through sections of it quickly in the morning, but that he be captivated
by it and build his life on its truths. His spare thoughts should go there, his
idle mind gravitate there. God’s words of instruction are to saturate his life,
give him direction, shape his mind, form his patterns, fuel his affections, and
inspire his actions.

Meditation in the Psalms

Then, two more key texts come in the first Psalm and the longest. Psalm 1:1–
2 echoes the language of Joshua 1 — “Blessed is the man [whose] delight is
in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” The
blessed one, the happy one, who delights in God’s word, doesn’t avail
himself of the words of life with some quick breadth reading, but “meditates
day and night.”

And meditation nearly dominates Psalm 119 and its celebration of the words
of God, as the psalmist says he meditates “on your precepts” (Psalms 119:15,
78), “on your statutes” (Psalm 119:23; 48), “on your wondrous works”
(Psalm 119:27). He claims, “Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm
119:99) and exclaims, “O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the
day” (Psalm 119:97). If God’s old-covenant instruction could be so precious
to the psalmist, how much more should the new-covenant gospel captivate
our meditation.

Meditation Is the Missing Link

And so, meditation on the Scriptures has occupied a deep and enduring place
in the history of the church as one of the most enjoyed means of God’s grace
for his people. In particular, the Puritans celebrated the gift of meditation as
much as any, and drew attention to its vital relationship with hearing God’s
voice (Bible intake) and having his ear (prayer). Whitney quotes several
prominent Puritans to the effect that meditation is “the missing link between
Bible intake and prayer” (71–76), and in doing so, he moves us into some
practical counsel for Christian meditation:

• “Begin with reading or hearing. Go on with meditation; end in prayer.”


(William Bridge)

• “The word feedeth meditation, and meditation feedeth prayer. . . .


[M]editation must follow hearing and precede prayer. . . . What we take in by
the word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer.” (Thomas Manton)

• “The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we
do not warm ourselves at the fires of meditation.” (Thomas Watson)

• “The great reason why our prayers are ineffectual, is because we do not
meditate before them.” (William Bates)

Meditation, then, for the Christian, is a discipline that has a certain function
related to the other disciplines. It doesn’t stand alone, hermetically sealed
from God’s revelation of himself in the Bible and our reverential response to
him in prayer. Rather, meditation bridges the gap between hearing from God
and speaking to him.
In meditation, we pause and reflect over his words. We roll them over in our
minds and let them ignite our hearts — we “warm ourselves at the fires of
meditation.” We pose questions and seek answers. We go deep in God’s
revelation, take it into our very souls, and as we are being changed by his
truth, we respond to him in prayer. As Matthew Henry says, “As meditation
is the best preparation for prayer, so prayer is the best issue of meditation.”
True meditation

Christian meditation is less about the posture of our bodies, and more about
the posture of our souls. Our main pointers aren’t, sit on the floor with your
legs crossed, or sit on a chair with both feet on the floor and your back
straight, palms facing upward. Christian meditation begins with our eyes in
the Book, or ears open to the word, or a mind stocked with memorized
Scripture.

Perhaps we start with some broader Bible reading from which we select a
particular verse or phrase that caught our attention, and carve out several
minutes to go deep in it. Then, with intentionality and focus — often best
with pen in hand, or fingers on the keys — we seek to better understand
God’s words and warm our soul at his fire, and let it lead us into prayer and
then into the day.

In our restless and stressed-out society, it very well may strengthen our brain
and lower our blood-pressure to practice the art of Christian meditation. But
even more significant will be the good that it does for our souls.
Chapter 2

Hearing God through crisis

Before I found Jesus Christ, nightmares had plagued me. Not once had I
tasted a vision or godly dream. I had but seen the full horror of what I’d been
forced to endure, nightmares overflowed inside me and my subconscious
succumbed to memories of an inglorious past. Indeed, a checked past.

I had just got myself tangled up in a very messy and toxic relationship. The
terrors became so bad that I began to fight sleep, to force myself to stay
awake and avoid reliving the things I’d spent a life time running from. I had
grown up a catholic and I served as an altar-boy, however, the lady I had got
into a relationship with had lead me into drugs, as I tried to hide myself from
reality of a failing relationship. I dabbled in drugs, anything and everything to
run from the demons, both metaphysical and tangible, that hunted me.

I was in a crisis, but little did I know that this crisis would lead me to a
deeper relationship with God. Indeed, crisis has historically led many people
young and old to seek God in a more deep and spiritual way. When I say
crisis in this instance I am talking not restricting the meaning to tragic events
or disasters necessarily. But, I am referring to that gaping chasm existing
between visible reality and scriptural reality, what’s presently seen and what
is biblically available.

There are many people in our day who read the bible and learn of people who
spoke to God and heard from God through the ages, however, this for many
is like trying to square a circle.

Eventually I found a church, I was invited by a friend and from there my life
took a great turn for the better.

My experience, which I termed a “theophany,” reminds us that God may use


a crisis -- even a severe one -- to help us better understand his purpose for us
and changes in direction he wants us to take. The circumstances in which I
found God, are best described as a crisis.

I was in my 3rd year at university, all seemed gloomy, I was in a mess. I had
just been involved in a very unhealthy relationship, which had messed up my
mind. Suicidal thoughts had crossed my mind. A lot had happened, I had
invested a lot emotionally into this toxic relationship.

My academic performances in my university classes had all but hit rock


bottom. I was not only a broken man, but, I was also financially broke. My
father had passed away. It was just a terrible place for me at that time but it
was also at that very time that I found God at a deeper spiritual level.

I have been a catholic altar boy and so I knew God, at least to some level.
However, the connection I made with God after this experience was the
beginning of a new life for me. A life that I have maintained and enjoyed to
this day.

While I went through all the agony of that period of my life I had many
questions that needed answers, I was seeking for answers, but I wasn’t
listening to God’s voice. Or shall I say I couldn’t hear it perhaps because I
had not learnt how.
I’m not suggesting that God caused the tragedies of that part of my life in
order to bring me certain benefits or to teach me certain lessons. I do not have
the slightest idea what was in God’s mind in these events, and I would be on
horribly inappropriate ground to speculate. All I know for certain is that God
cares deeply for me, and God continues to extend His fullest mercy and
support to me. Attempting to explain the “whys” of what happened is both
irreverent and an insult to God’s love and the mercy he proffers me. All I can
say is that I came out of it and found God in the process and learnt great and
valuable lessons on how to hear God’s voice and most importantly, how to
interpret God’s voice.

It is highly appropriate, though, to ask how God may want us to grow


personally through these calamities. It’s not only permissible to ask the
question, but critical, if we’re to fully realise our potential for Christ.
Stewardship of our life requires it.

This isn’t to suggest that God only speaks to us in crises situations, nor to
suggest that we should be more attentive to God’s voice only in the middle of
a crisis. Yet it’s in the midst of such grieving, ironically, that sometimes the
most treasured insights into God’s intentions for our life emerge. We can
benefit greatly by staying alert to this happening and to how He may wish to
enlighten us. In some cases, the inspiration that comes helps our healing
process considerably.

Brokenness Preceded Isaiah’s Call

Isaiah enjoyed such a breakthrough insight into his personal mission after two
events shook the foundation of life. He describes his experience in Isaiah 6:1-
8, noting it took place “in the year that King Uzziah died.”

Isaiah undoubtedly was aware Uzziah was dying and upset about it. Uzziah
had been one of Israel’s rare good, productive kings, enjoying an
astonishingly long reign of 52 years, and serving the Lord faithfully for most
of the time. Yet toward the end he brazenly attempted to offer incense in the
temple, assuming a function strictly reserved for the priests (2 Chronicles
26:16-21). After resisting the efforts of no less than eighty priests to restrain
him, God struck him with leprosy and rendered him incapable of governing.
Uzziah’s demise was surely disheartening to Isaiah, and probably deeply
disturbing to him. He was obviously worried about Israel’s future as well. In
this state he entered the temple, where he experienced a second traumatic
event -- an unspeakable theophany: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high
and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were
seraphs. . . . At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook
and the temple was filled with smoke.”

It is hard to exaggerate the horror Isaiah must have felt at this moment. Jews
assumed that a face-to-face encounter with God meant certain death.
Reinforcing this assumption for Isaiah was the fact that the temple shook
violently and smoke erupted -- horrific phenomena reminiscent of the
Israelites’ encounter with an angry God at Mt. Sinai. In case there is any
doubt that Isaiah was terrified, he confesses, “‘Woe to me,’ I cried. ‘I am
ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean
lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’”

God responds with what is one of Scripture’s most dramatic episodes of


forgiveness and pardon. “Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal
in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched
my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away
and your sin atoned for.’”

It was in that moment of numbed, incomprehensible relief that Isaiah heard


God asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
His immediate answer: “Here am I. Send me!”

What’s most striking about Isaiah’s response to God’s invitation to become a


prophet is that it was instant and unequivocal. Other notable individuals in
the Old Testament reacted with far less enthusiasm when God called them to
their missions. Jonah refused to take the job, Jeremiah expressed reservations,
and Moses strongly resisted when God asked him to deliver Israel. Isaiah, on
the other hand, seemed comfortable, eager, confident that the assignment God
was offering him fit him well. Why?

The reason, I believe, is that Isaiah’s call occurred under much more highly
traumatic circumstances. His near-death experience brought him face to face
with his own mortality, and that -- combined with his chagrin over Uzziah’s
downfall -- enabled him to grasp his life’s mission with astonishing clarity.
God, in fact, didn’t directly tell Isaiah what to do, as he did with Moses,
Jonah and Jeremiah; Isaiah simply heard God asking if someone would be his
spokesman, then had an epiphany -- a moment of strong conviction about his
calling. His example, like Michener’s, shows how a crisis may open the door
to understanding what we have been created to do.

Compelling Examples in History

We find endless examples in history of notable individuals who had a


defining moment in the midst of a major crisis. There is Victor Frankl, who
in the excruciating circumstances of a Nazi concentration camp, concluded
that while his torturers could control many areas of his life, they absolutely,
positively could not control how he felt or thought about his experience. His
insight led to an important new movement in psychology, logotherapy, and
inspired his book Search for Meaning, which has influenced millions.

Also inspiring is the experience of Maria Montesorri. After graduating from


medical school in 1896 and becoming Italy’s first female physician, she was
denied the privilege of practicing medicine in that country due to her gender.
Instead, she was assigned the demeaning role of caring for “idiot” children.
Montesorri decided she could educate these supposed incorrigibles, and
within months had them reading and writing at normal levels. The experience
defined her life calling and transformed her into a prophet who radically
influenced the thinking of twentieth century educators.

Pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart had a near-death experience at age 5, which


also changed her forever. She raced a sled down a snowy slope, defying
custom and lying flat on it like a boy. At the bottom of the hill she
encountered a horse and buggy straight across her path. With no time to stop
or manoeuvre the sled around it, she skilfully glided it underneath the
carriage -- an impossible feat had she been sitting up, as was "proper" for a
girl. In her autobiography, she reflected that the experience transformed her
life and gave her the courage to take major risks.
An example of a different flavour, but no less interesting, is that of Walt
Disney. After an unscrupulous competitor stole his character Oswald the
Rabbit, Disney was devastated and contemplated suicide. But while flying
back to California he drew Mickey Mouse, conceiving the character that
would define his life’s work and success as an animator.

Electrical innovator Nikola Tesla also discovered the secret of the induction
engine in the midst of a nervous breakdown.

Sigmund Freud also experienced emotional collapse after his two closest
allies, Wilhelm Flies and Josef Breuer, abandoned him in 1895. It was during
the dark days which followed that he arrived at his most critical insights into
the human psyche -- concepts that have transformed psychological thinking
and vocabulary ever since.

What is to say these none biblical names did not hear from God? Most people
in our day seem to think that God only spoke to those recorded in the pages
of the bible but nothing could be further from the truth, God is still speaking,
in fact he never stopped.

A more recent example is that of my own experience while I was going


through the patch of crisis in my life I started attending church and started
sharpening my spirit (this is something I can say now with the benefit of
hind-sight). I had just visited a local church where a very moving sermon was
preached and the message was on giving. Touched by this message I went
home to put that word into practice. I lived in Braamfontein at the time, I
shared an apartment with a friend, a housemate who had rescued me many-a-
times with bills and rent during this difficult patch of my life.

I went home to gather the little possessions that I had and this was mainly
clothes. I folded all my clothes and packed them in a shopping bag. I
remained with the clothes that I had on plus a T-Shirt and a pair of jeans. I
was going to give all my clothes to the homeless people on the streets in
response to the message that had been preached at the local church.

As I walked into my room I noticed that the outer wall of my bedroom was
gone. My heart fluttered and my breaths came in short gasps. I couldn’t fill
my lungs. Panic stole my ability to think. Sunlight flooded in through the
open wall. I felt the wind touch my face, as a breeze rippled into the room.
But, as serene as it all appeared, I saw a multitude of personages, whitish like
smoke-ish like beings in my peripheral vision, they leered at me, hands
reaching outward, obsidian hands trying to reach for me.

I scrambled from the spot which I stood next to the door petrified I stumbled
for cover hiding behind my bed I dragged a blanket to cover my head as I fell
behind the bed and landed firmly on all fours. It was only then, hunched over
and trembling, that I realised I was seeing a vision.

I knew I was not dreaming, so my mind started racing, it had been over a year
since I had taken any drugs, I had gotten myself mixed up with bad crowds,
during the days of the toxic relationship I mentioned earlier. So, I had
smoked weed about a year ago, I thought as my mind raced and tried to
compute what was happening at that moment.

I was seeing a vision, what I have called a ‘theophany,’ but unbeknown to me


I thought these were effects of drugs I had taken years ago. As I looked at
where the wall was supposed to be, I saw personages whitish, smoke-ish like
beings through this open wall. There were thousands upon thousands of them.
The wind still blowing in my face I was terrified by what I was seeing. I
covered my head with the blanket and then I heard a voice. The voice
questioned me saying “Can you handle?” I was so afraid I wanted everything
to stop! I remember shouting in response yes, yes, I can handle. The room
temperature returned to normal the wall of my bedroom was restored.
Everything returned to normal but my life was never the same.

I remember I could hear my flatmate knocking at my bedroom door and at


that point his knock had become more aggressive because he had been
knocking for a while. As I stood up to go and open the door, I had a moment
of reflection and I was so overwhelmed by what had just happened, tears
poured from my eyes. As my flatmate came in his first thoughts were that I
missed my father who had just passed away. I told him no it’s not that. This
is something else I said, something has just happened I cannot talk about it
right now but I am okay.

I could not explain to him what I had just gone through. I could not start to
tell him about the vision that I had just seen. I knew then that he would not be
able to comprehend what I had seen, let alone believe it.

I went to my local church which I had started attending and I decided I would
narrate my vision to one of the church leaders. As I told him of my encounter,
I couldn’t help but see the look of utter disbelieve on his face, it was like I
was narrating a fictional scene from a movie. It was at that point that I felt it
was not going to benefit me or the next person I tell this if they would
dismiss this as fiction. And so, I decided that I was not going to tell anyone
about my encounter and vision. I resolved to record it in my diary and thus, I
wrote it all down.

Two weeks after this vision I had yet another heavenly encounter. I shared
this with close friends with whom I attended the cell group, these were
people I prayed with. I was in the library at Warten Wailer, I was upstairs in
the library with my headphones plugged in I sat there gazing into space for
what to me seemed like 15mins. However, those who saw me sitting there
say I was sitting there gawking into space for over two hours, some people
got a bit worried but nonetheless, not one dared to disrupt me. But not one
knew that I was deep in a vision of heaven.

In this vision, I beheld Jesus Christ and I noticed that he was picking up
stones, and I saw Peter and three other disciples of Jesus Christ. I could hear
Jesus Christ speaking. However, what was peculiar was the fact that his
mouth was not opening nor were his lips moving yet I could hear him most
audibly. Then the vision ended.

Of course, there is also the example that many of us as Christians find most
inspiring of all -- that of Saul of Tarsus, who went through a radical shift in
his thinking about Jesus Christ and his life mission after he was blinded by
God on Damascus Road.

What I learnt from my experiences and visions

What I learnt from these visions and encounters was very profound.
Particularly the second one. I started secluding myself in order to hear God. I
would go to the university ruby fields and play my worship music with my
headphone plugged in. I learnt that in those moments of solitude and
seclusion I would speak deep conversations with what I assumed was my
inner voice, unbeknown to me God had already started training me to hear
His voice and learn to converse with Him. The more I did this the better I
became at hearing this voice and the clearer it became to me. I could now
interpret the voice of God. I learnt to obey it and follow its counsel and
instruction. I followed even what seemed mundane tasks like what t-shirt I
should wear and even what route I should use to go to the dining hall.
I was being trained to hear God’s voice and in no time, I progressed to God
telling me of peoples’ situations. However, at that stage I was still very afraid
to approach people and reveal that which God had told me about them. I
would sit on a bus or be on public transport and God would speak to me and
reveal peoples’ situations, (some going through divorce, depression, some
who had just been promoted at work and others who had just been offered
jobs).

With time I gained courage to approach people to ask them about what God
was telling me and ask them and indeed they started to confirm these things
to be true. My confidence increased and my ability to hear and interpret the
word of God was also sharpened. Meditation became a way or the tool with
which I perfected my ability to hear and most of all interpret the voice of
God.
Chapter 3

God speaks time and again, can you


hear Him?

“God speaks time and again—in various ways—but nobody notices” (Job
33:14).

Most people I know have an innate desire to hear God; actually, more than a
desire, an intense longing. We want to connect with the divine, to somehow
see the face of God, to touch and be touched. It’s inborn, an inherent
ingredient of our humanity.

Scripture says God is always speaking, but we miss it. We don’t notice his
voice because we don’t recognize it. Oh, sometimes he breaks in through
writing on the wall or through a speaking beast of burden, but mostly he
speaks in a still, small voice.

We miss his voice because it is drowned out in the sea of other voices. The
cacophony of sounds, like an orchestra tuning, obscures that still small voice.
Stomachs growl their hunger, bosses bark their orders, and that insult from
twenty years ago still shouts its condemnation.

How do we learn to discern God’s voice? In meditation. Christian meditation


trains our ears to distinguish God’s voice—that one instrument—amidst the
orchestra of others. And once we learn to recognize God’s voice, we begin to
hear it “time and again, in various ways.”

To hear God’s voice, we need to learn to meditate. Unless, like Balaam, you
have a talking donkey. However, not all of us have a talking donkey like
Balaam, and thus, God uses other ways such as a crisis to open us to
understanding our life’s purpose and mission more fully.

Crises draw us closer to God and open us more genuinely to his direction.
The greatest potential benefit of a crisis, far and away, is that it can
strengthen our relationship with Christ. We’re driven in our brokenness to
seek his comfort, and in our helplessness to seek his help and direction.

Of course, a crisis may do just the opposite: it may ignite our anger at God
for tearing from our life something we treasured. This reaction is normal and
human, and can be a necessary part of the grieving process through which we
recover and heal. When David and a team of helpers were returning the ark to
Israel from Philistine, God slew two of David’s assistants who touched the
ark inappropriately. David’s immediate response was anger at God and fear
(1 Chronicles 13:9-11).

Yet in time the experience humbled David and deepened his relationship with
God. That outcome is the ideal for each of us -- and the sooner we can reach
that point the better. In many cases a crisis thrusts us there immediately. This
clearly has been the case for many of us who’ve been stunned by tragedies
these could either be personal or even natural disasters. We’ve felt compelled
to pray for those who are suffering and to seek God’s encouragement for
ourselves. And we’ve recognized more fully than ever how desperately we
need God’s help in a life that now seems far less stable than we imagined.

It’s in this state of mind and heart that God is best able to communicate with
us, and in which important insight into our life’s direction is most likely to
come
Science has proven that crises activate our right-brain thinking. One
important reason a crisis may foster critical insight into our life’s direction is
that it frees us from our bondage to the left-brain thinking that normally
dominates our outlook. Left-brain activity is essential for most of the routines
and functions of daily life. But far-reaching visionary inspirations always
evolve from our brain’s right hemisphere. Since our left- and right-brain
functions are exclusive to an important extent, the “Eureka! I’ve found it!”
insights rarely emerge when we’re preoccupied with routine responsibilities.

This is why those pace-setting epiphanies about our life’s mission usually
occur when we’re on vacation, on retreat, in the shower or doing something
mindless and relaxing. These are activities that free our right brain to function
more fully and creatively. A crisis, ironically, may bring the same benefit, for
it forces a break with our normal routine and compels us to set left-brain
activities aside.

This isn’t to say that we should seek a crisis or that we have to have one to
precipitate a life-changing vision for our future. There are much more
pleasant ways to encourage such epiphanies, to say the least; a vacation at the
beach or a personal retreat in the mountains may accomplish the purpose just
as effectively. But it is simply to say that the crises we inevitably experience
can be the setting for breakthrough visions about our life as well. This is true,
in part, because of how God has fashioned our intellect and creative process.
You need to find alone time, time to be with God. Moments of seclusion.

“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. Wait for hope to appear.” (Lamentations
3:28-29 MSG)

The concept of waiting on God is a spiritual habit. It is the single greatest


antidote to anxiety and tension. It’s a spiritual discipline that you must learn
to do or you will be under stress your entire life.
This is what it means to wait on God: you sit down and shut up. Find a place
to be quiet and sit still in silence. Don’t read anything. Don’t pray. Just take
some deep breaths, sit before God and say, “God, I’m just going to wait on
you.” It’s amazing what a calming ability this has on your heart and mind.
“Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. … They will run and
not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

God wants to talk to you. If you aren’t hearing him, it’s because you aren’t
making time in your schedule to listen to him. You’re too busy listening to
your iPod, playing with your iPad, watching television, playing video games
or talking on your cell phone. You might be overworking.

If you want to hear God, you need to sit in silence. Turn off all the electronics
and remove yourself from all the distractions. Find a comfortable place and
sit there. Tell God you’re waiting to hear from him and then listen. Be quiet.

This is what Jesus told the disciples to do: “Find a quiet, secluded place so
you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and
honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you
will begin to sense his grace” (Matthew 6:6-7 MSG). That’s the power of a
quiet time.

So here is my challenge to you: Every day for the next seven days, I want you
to spend 10 minutes in silence before God. Tell God you’re there to wait on
him, and then just sit there. You can read a little bit and talk to God in prayer,
but the majority of your time needs to be spent in silence before God. You’ll
be amazed at the new strength you will find.

“The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in
patience – to wait for him to save us” (Lamentations 3:25-26 TEV). Wait in
patience and wait for God to save you. When your world falls apart, you want
to put it back together instantly, but that won’t happen. It didn’t fall apart
instantly, and it’s going to take time to put things back together. But wait in
patience, because God’s timing is perfect.

Isolation versus incubation. Sometimes circumstances in our lives may cause


us to be isolated or we may feel the need to isolate ourselves. To everything
in life there is a season. As the season change in the natural we change how
we prepare for that season. For example, we change from heavy clothing to
light clothing in the summer etc. We may change the food that we eat
preferring comfort meals like old fashion soup versus light refreshing salads
etc.

There are spiritual seasons and our preparations for these seasons also
changes. Satan comes sneaking around when we are vulnerable trying to
convince us that our season of isolation is a time of rejection, pain, and
frustration. He wants us to have a pity party i.e. woe is me, nobody loves me,
nobody cares and so on. He comes bringing heaviness, sadness and
depression.

God comes to turn our isolation into a time of incubation. Ahh, we are alone
now. Free from interruptions, too many voices in our ear, too busy, too much
on our agenda. We are alone. He invites us to allow him to "father us". He is
saying come away my child. Remember as a child when you ran and fell
down. You came running to your parent and they picked you up, held you in
their arms, kissed you and said "there, there it is okay" It is all better.

Well, the father is here. He will make it better. Run to him. He is ready to
rock you like a little baby, to calm your fears and take away your doubts.
LET HIM FATHER YOU.

You think you are isolated but God is bringing you to a place of "incubation"
where he is protecting, healing, strengthening, illuminating, giving vision,
revelation, validation and confirmation as to who you really are, revealing
himself to you and yourself to you.

You think you are isolated and all alone. Not so, God is right there. He has
you just where he wants you. He is drawing you to himself, protecting,
healing and giving you strength. He is illuminating that which was hidden,
giving vision, revealing himself to you in ways that you never dreamed
possible. He is revealing you to yourself, the real you with all your weakness,
strengths, flaws but even more importantly your potential. He comes to
"father you".

TRUST HIM.

He is saying I know my thoughts for you. Jer 19:11 For I know the thoughts
that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to
give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11-14

TRUST HIS LOVE FOR YOU.

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with
an everlasting love: therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jer
31:3-10.

POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO HIM.

In this season, be careful who you reveal your heart to. God will hear and
heal. Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart
before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalms 62:5-8.

CRY.
Set a time aside for quietness and meditation. Yes, allow yourself to cry.
There is a release, a cleansing and healing in the tears so release them.

REJOICE.

As you pour out your heart to him the need to cry will become less. Now he
will turn your mourning into rejoicing. Don't become so connected with the
pain and crying until it consumes you. The purpose of crying is to be released
from the pain. Now he says Rejoice again I say Rejoice. Change your
garment and put on the garment of praise. Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 30:11 and Phil
4:4

DANCE.

Have your own praise party. Compile your collection of praise, shouting
music. Find a private place. Write your issues down on a piece of paper.
Place it in the middle of the floor. Walk around it seven times and on the
seventh time break out into a dance, shout before the Lord. Oh, yes I have
done this.

SLEEP IN HIS PRESENCE.

Compile your collection of quiet, soothing songs of worship. Put it on so it


will repeat over and over. Sleep. You will be refreshed when you awaken. Oh
Yes, I know this works too. Your inner man will be strengthened while you
rest.

QUIET.
Put on your collection of worship music and sit in quietness in his presence.
Allow the ministering angels to minister to you. Allow God to fully embrace
you. Rest in his arms.

I pray that you will make your transition from isolation to incubation. The
caterpillar crawls on the ground barely escaping those that would step on and
crush them. Then one day he climbs onto the tree where he is isolated then
incubated then emerges as a butterfly able to fly over the heads of those that
once tried to walk on him. If God can do that for a caterpillar how much more
will he do for you as he keeps you safe and warm until you are ready to
emerge stronger, better than ever before.

One reason we hesitate to take vital steps of faith is that we fear failure too
greatly. We imagine we won’t be able to handle an experience of loss that
might occur, and will never recover.

Yet, in fact, God has made us each far more resilient than we normally
realize. A crisis can bring us face to face with this extraordinary fact of
human nature. We discover that we are capable of picking up the pieces of
our life and moving on. Over time we find that God works many miracles,
healing our devastation and bringing fresh life out of the ashes. This
discovery can revolutionize the way we think about risk, and enable us to
entertain possibilities for our life we’d never have considered.
Chapter 4

Seek the voice of God always

God is constantly speaking to people. But too often, they miss out on hearing
God’s messages because they seek His guidance only occasionally – usually
when they’re going through a crisis or facing a major decision. Then, with a
dire need to hear from God, people become confused and frustrated when
they don’t clearly hear what they should do. They start to wonder how to hear
from God and why they aren't.

It doesn’t have to be that way. God wants everyone to hear His messages
clearly, and it’s possible to do so. The key is to forget about formulas and
gimmicks for hearing from God, and to focus instead on developing the kind
of relationship with God that will empower you to hear God speaking
regularly.

The closer you get to God, the more you can enjoy ongoing conversations
with Him, both listening and hearing from Him, and the more God will use
those conversations to transform you into the person He wants you to
become.

Recognize that God has created you for a close friendship with Himself.

By design, the way you hear best from God is in the context of a friendship
with Him. God intends for you to figure out His will freely and intelligently
as you engage in regular conversations with Him. God’s will is to be
personally present with you and speaking with you moment by moment as
you go through life. Then you’ll grow to understand Him more and become
more like His Son, Jesus.

Consider your motives for wanting to hear from God.

Honestly reflect on why you want to hear from God. Is it because you’re truly
open to whatever God has to say and committed to putting His guidance into
action and fulfilling His purposes, even when doing so is challenging? Or is it
for a selfish reason, such as wanting to feel righteous or comforted? Confess
and repent of any wrong motives. Ask God to give you an openness to hear
and respond faithfully to what He wants to tell you.

Make your goal more than just hearing God.

While it’s important to hear from God, that shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.
Instead, make your main goal to become a spiritually mature person in a
close relationship with God. That’s the only way you’ll clearly and correctly
hear what God has to say to you.

Know that you’re important to God, but be humble.

Have the confidence that God is willing to speak to you just as powerfully as
He did to the people in the Bible, because He values you just as much.
However, don’t let pride creep into your soul, because you must be humble in
order to faithfully receive and respond to the messages God has for you.

Don’t try to force God to tell you something.


No matter how much you want to hear from God about something or how
hard you may try to convince Him to speak to you, you’ll only hear from God
when He chooses to communicate with you. Focus on developing a respectful
relationship with God and wait for His timing to deliver messages to you.

Also, if God chooses not to give you specific guidance about something
you’ve prayed about and what you’re considering is within the Bible’s moral
principles, you can confidently go ahead and make your own decision about
what to do and be within God’s will.

Recognize that God communicates in many forms, but most often through
your mind.

God may choose any one of many different ways to communicate to you,
according to what’s best at particular times and in particular circumstances.
You may sometimes hear God’s message in dramatic ways, such as through
angels, visions, or miraculous events. But more often, you’ll hear God
speaking through your thoughts, and He will use ordinary practices such as
reading the Bible, praying quietly, learning from circumstances, or seeking
counsel from other Christians to reach out to you as you think about them.

God will use dramatic means to get your attention when necessary, but His
goal is for you to be so closely connected to Him that you’ll pay attention
whenever He speaks to you. Usually, God speaks through what people have
described as a “still, small voice” to encourage those He loves to choose to
keep walking closely with Him through life.

Renew your mind.


Since God often speaks to you through your mind and wants you to develop
what the Bible calls the “mind of Christ” (the ability to make decisions as
Jesus would), it’s crucial for you to follow the Bible’s urging in Romans
12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s
will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” As you invite the Holy Spirit to
renew your mind every day, He will cleanse it from such dirt and clutter as
false beliefs and attitudes, unhealthy feelings, and misguided plans. Then the
Holy Spirit will replace all of that with true thoughts that reflect God’s
purposes.

Invite the living Word to help you when you read the written word.

The Word of God is a living, creative force – Jesus Himself – and He is


actively at work when you read God’s written word – the Bible – prayerfully.
When you read the Bible, ask Jesus to make the Bible’s words come alive for
you and become conduits through which He sends His thoughts, faith, and
love into your soul. Then focus on what He sends you and orient yourself
toward it so it will begin to transform your life.

Recognize God’s voice above all others.

By experience, you can learn to recognize God’s voice when He speaks, and
to confidently respond to what He says. When thoughts recur, pray about
them to discern if they may be coming from God. Keep in mind that God will
never send you a message that contradicts the Bible’s principles. Also, God’s
voice carries the weight of authority within it, and expresses a spirit of peace,
confidence, joy, reasonableness, and goodwill. If you think that God may
speaking to you, ask Him to confirm so as you study and meditate on the
Bible, as you’re alert to the circumstances you encounter, or as you
experience the Holy Spirit’s impressions in your mind.

Set aside time regularly to listen for God’s messages.


Make a habit of intentionally and expectantly listening for whatever God may
want to tell you. It’s more important to become a person who listens regularly
to God than it is to constantly ask God to give you guidance.

Set aside sometime today to begin listening for God's voice and hearing his
promises and plans for you. Keep a journal to remember the things he brings
to life in you.

Cultivating a Heart to Hear God’s Voice

How many times have you sensed a voice telling you to do something but
you considered it a distraction? Maybe other times you’ve felt the inkling to
do something, but brushed it off as silly or too elemental to be the voice of
God.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve had many people, especially young men I’ve been
discipling, ask me about how to actually hear or discern the voice of God. We
can sometimes think our own hopeful thoughts or our doubtful, misleading
thoughts are God’s voice. And there are other times we mistakenly pass off
God’s genuine voice as merely our own thoughts.

Some men sit down to read their Bibles and have a myriad of distracting
thoughts: I should go to the gym first. I’ve got to remember to call Mom. I
wonder what that ache in my shoulder is really about?

It’s safe to say these are clearly thoughts from our own human nature that
distract us from spending time in God’s Word. Other people I know have
frightening thoughts they believe are from God, such as visions that they or
loved ones will be injured or killed.
But 2 Timothy 1:7 says God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. We also know
that the Spirit of God is a Comforter, not one who instills fear. Therefore, we
should ask ourselves: Is this thought in the nature of God? Does it sound like
something He would say?
Not every “distracting thought” is God’s voice. You would need to ask
yourself:

• Does the thought have anything to do with what I’ve been praying
about?

• Does it sound more like human reasoning or spiritual direction?

• Is it consistent with the nature of God?

• Does this thought strengthen me spiritually?

• Does this thought prevent me from pursuing God’s ways?


Sometimes, though, that “distracting voice” is God trying to tell you what to
do. It’s His whisper. But we must be sensitive to recognize it. Jesus said in
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow
Me.” Here are four ways that you can begin to tune your ear to hear God’s
voice so you recognize it, follow it and don’t miss what He’s trying to say to
you:

1. Cut out the noise

Michael W. Smith recorded a song back in the 1980s about how we live in a
“world that’s wired for sound.” Yet how much more background noise is
around us today – from house-hold appliances, to blaring traffic, car alarms,
cell phone ring tones and the noises that get embedded in our heads.
We even walk around with iPod cords hanging out of our ears! I know people
who don’t like it when the house is too quiet and actually keep their
televisions on for background noise or can’t imagine driving without the
radio playing.

Try shutting off the television, switching off the radio, taking out the iPod
and cutting out the noise. There may be some ringing in your ears for a few
minutes, but that’s the sound of silence. And it’s the first step to getting ready
to listen. We can’t expect to hear God if we’re crowding Him out with other
voices and sounds.

2. Confess what’s in your heart

By confessing sin, you are eliminating the barriers in your heart and mind
that may be preventing you from hearing God’s voice. We can lose the ability
to hear God’s voice when we develop hearts that harden and then become
callused with sin.

Sin builds a deafening ear to the voice of God, just as sin in our life deafens
us to God’s ear, as well (Psalm 66:18). Confess not only your actions, but
your attitudes and anxieties as well. When your heart and mind are cleared of
any offenses against Him, you will be prepared to hear Him.

3. Come before Him quietly

Do you expect to hear God on the fly? Are you thinking He’ll interrupt the
busyness of your life to speak? I’ve found in my own life that God tends to
speak when I get quiet enough to listen. To come before Him quietly doesn’t
necessarily mean silently. It implies stillness as well.
David prayed in Psalm 62:5” My soul, wait in silence for God only.” We
don’t know how long David had to wait, only that he waited. I imagine his
waiting wasn’t just done quietly, however. David had to not only be silent,
but be still. Silence is external. Stillness is internal. Being quiet in the inner
recesses of our heart means not worrying, not thinking of things to do, cutting
out the noise in our heads as well.

Sometimes we can be refreshed by God’s presence simply by being still. No


words, no specific direction or command – only stillness. That is His
comforting presence on our heart, His smile at our stillness, His pleasure at
our rest.

4. Consider the Lilies

Sometimes a few moments alone can cause us to look around and “smell the
flowers.” It was times like this, when the songwriter, Asaph, was waiting for
God to reveal Himself, that he saw Him in the clouds, rain, and wind (Psalm
77:17-18). Times of silence and reflection give God an open channel to your
heart. Maybe the only thing He wants to tell you is to take notice of what He
has made.

Why? Because He loves you. Because He’s a great God. Trust your ability to
perceive and recognize beauty and draw conclusions therein. It’s one of the
ways that God can communicate with you.

No matter where you are in life, God wants to communicate with you. If you
aren’t in the habit of listening for His voice, He wants to show you how. If
you’ve been confused about direction for your life, He wants to clarify things
for you. If you simply want to know Him more, He wants to teach you all
you need to know in a relationship with Him. He also longs to encourage you
in your need, comfort you with His promises, and affirm to You His love. But
it’s up to you to cultivate a heart that listens so that you can receive what He
has to say.
Chapter 5

Hearing God through dreams

Remember the last time you woke up in the middle of a wonderful, crazy
dream when your alarm went off? As the last images of that dream ran
through your mind, you got the sense that your dream was trying to tell you
something. A message had come to you while you slept — something
profound that elegantly emerged from the jumbled mess of symbols in your
dream.

The impression was so strong in your mind that it compelled you to try to
recall your entire dream before it faded from memory. Maybe you even took
the time to record your thoughts and feelings in a journal or mobile device
while they were still fresh. You knew that the message was important, even if
you didn’t fully understand it.

Your dream was not only significant, it may have been divine.
A wise person once explained the importance of dreams to me in this way:
“Dreams are the perfect way to hear from God. When
you are dreaming, you are quiet, so you can’t ignore
Him. Plus, you are not easily distracted. You’re
basically all ears when you are asleep.”

Personal experience has confirmed this notion. On many occasions, the Lord
has spoken powerful words of encouragement and warning while I slept.
Through biblical study, I have found that God intends to speak to each of His
followers in this manner. In fact, the Prophet Joel foretold of a time when
God’s Spirit would compel us to dream (Acts 2).

I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will
prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see
visions. Joel 2:28 (NLT)

Further confirmation of God speaking through dreams to His children is


found in the book of Job. In Chapter 33, Job is confronted with the reality of
God’s voice in our lives – whether we hear it or not.

For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He
speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as
they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears… Job 33:14-16a (NLT)

It’s important to understand that not all dreams are God-given. It may be that
you ate something weird, or that your mind just kept going after a busy day.
Dreams can also be from Satan. The enemy of our souls isn’t ignorant of the
power of visions. Let 1 Samuel 28 be a warning. It recounts a time when
King Saul seeks counsel from a medium.

The scientific view of dreams

Dreams happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. In a
typical night, you dream for a total of 2 hours, broken up by the sleep cycle.
Researchers do not know much about how we dream or why.

John Allan Hobson, an American Psychiatrist and dream researcher argues


that dreams are clumsy narratives stitched together by the forebrain to make
sense of the activation of biochemical changes and erratic electric pulses
originating in the brainstem. This is Hobson’s theory of dream formation in a
nutshell, which he has updated many times over the last 30 years, and is still
referred to as the activation-synthesis hypothesis of dream formation.

The theory sheds light on several aspects of dreaming cognition. Most


importantly, Hobson’s discovery of the role of neurotransmitters in dreaming
has stimulated robust research into the biochemistry of consciousness and
revolutionized the way that mental illness is conceptualized in psychiatry.
REM dreaming is characterized by low serotonin levels and high
acetylcholine levels, which may explain why dreams are so hard to
remember: they are never encoded in short-term memory in the first place.
When we wake up, serotonin floods the brain and our dream experiences
from just a moment before are carried away by the tide.

Why are dreams so weird?

Hobson’s theory also offers a partial solution to why dreams are so wacky.
In waking life, the brain performs reality checks and strings together logical
stories to keep up with our thoughts, emotions and movements as we interact
with the world. But in dreams, this ability is zapped when the serotonin
valve is turned off, bringing about a state of consciousness ruled by strong
emotions and uncanny sensations.

It’s a chaotic place to be sentient, but the mind is so motivated to construct


meaning that bizarre narratives are hastily thrown together so we can make
order out of the mess. It’s a patch-job, at best, says Hobson.

I chose to keep the scientific view brief just to give perspective to what I
really want to focus on, which is the spiritual side of dreams and thus, the
scientific view is but very brief. You can always read up of the different
philosophies as espoused by Hobson and the Freudian theory which Hobson
has extensively countered.
God communicates through dreams or visions even today

The Bible indicates that God revealed His will to selected people through
dreams or visions in Scriptures such as Genesis 37:5-10; 1 Kings 3:5-15;
Daniel, chapters 2 and 7; Matthew 1:20; 2:13,19; and Acts 10:9-16; 16:9.

God may communicate through dreams or visions even today, but we need to
carefully check any such guidance we receive with Scripture and godly
counsel to be sure it is from the Lord. Anything which contradicts Scripture
is not from God. Our minds and even Satan are capable of producing great
deception in such subjective areas.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows that God has revealed His will to us primarily
through His Word. It says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for
teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man
of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How to Handle Vivid Dreams

1. Pray. Before you do anything else, pray that God exposes the source of
a dream and what He wants to teach you through it.

2. Listen to God. Take a moment and sit quietly before the Lord so that
you may hear His perspective. Once you feel His peace, then you can
be rest assured that His Spirit was the source. Hearing from the Lord
can save you as it did the three wise men. They were warned in a dream
to return home another way, avoiding King Herod, in turn saving the
new-born Jesus (Matthew 2).

3. Write it down. Grab a notebook and write down what you remember. If
after praying you feel that the dream isn’t of the Lord, then forget about
it. But if you think God is in it, journal what you feel He is speaking to
you.

4. Seek godly counsel. Sharing dreams is biblical. Pharaoh sought wise


counsel from Joseph and a generation was saved from starvation
(Genesis 41). Just be wise about with whom you share your visions. Be
especially cautious of friends who consult books to interpret dreams (I
John 4:1). Often, these books and philosophies leave God out of the
equation altogether.

5. Let it be. The Lord will bring His dreams to your remembrance.
Most of my dreams are extremely vivid; but the ones I pay closest
attention to are the ones I remember years after having them.
Occasionally, while sitting in God’s presence, He will recall a dream to
my mind to reinforce a lesson He is teaching me. The danger comes
when the dream preoccupies our thoughts instead of the One who gives
us these supernatural visions.

While many dreams are simply the results of your brain processing
information, others send messages straight to your soul. These spiritual
dreams are gifts from God, through which he or his messengers (angels)
communicate with you in thought-provoking ways.

Who are you to get a message from God while you sleep? Well, why not
you? God sometimes uses dreams to communicate — and he may do so for
anyone who’s paying attention.

The world’s religious texts often describe God or his angels speaking to
humans through dreams. For instance, the Bible describes the prophet Jacob
dreaming of angels going back and forth between heaven and earth on what
has come to be known as “Jacob’s ladder” — a portal that symbolizes prayer
traveling across dimensions between God and people. That beautiful image
was a message of encouragement to Jacob, a man who was seriously
discouraged when he lay down to sleep that night (he was trying to outrun his
brother Esau, who wanted to kill Jacob for deceiving him). Recorded for
future generations to read, that famous spiritual dream is just one of many in
history.

The ways God or his angels may communicate with you in dreams
include:

Sending you creative inspiration:

God or one of his messengers may send you an innovative idea through a
dream. Many scientific breakthroughs and artistic projects throughout history
have resulted from dreams. For example, physicist Niels Bohr, who won a
Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of the atom, dreamed about that
structure first and then confirmed it through lab tests.

Guiding you to solve problems:

Solutions for problems in your life may come to you in your dreams as God
answers your prayers for guidance. Inventor Madame CJ Walker prayed for
help solving the problem of her hair falling out after a scalp infection. Then
she dreamed of an angelic man who showed her the specific ingredients she
needed to create a hair care product that would help. After she woke up from
the dream, Madame Walker got to work on the product, which successfully
solved hair problems for not just her, but many others after she sold it — and
became a millionaire in the process.

Healing you from past pain:

You may receive divine healing for your soul while you’re dreaming about
something that caused you pain. Famous adventurer Bear Grylls said that he
dreamed about falling for 18 months straight after he broke his back in a
skydiving accident, and those dreams helped him recover emotionally and
regain his courage.

Warning you about an issue that needs attention:

Through dreams, God or his angelic messengers may warn you about
something important that’s dangerous to ignore — such as an unhealthy habit
(like an addiction) or a person who needs your help. Bestselling novelist
Stephen King has said that his nightmares not only give him ideas for his
horror books, they also act like mirrors that show him issues he should
address in his life. Sometimes divine warning dreams predict a future event,
as well. For instance, former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had a vivid
dream that he was going to be assassinated shortly before that actually
happened.

Encouraging you with peace or confidence:

Perhaps the most common type of divine message delivered during dreams is
encouragement. Encouraging dreams give you peace when you’re worried
about something or confidence when you’re facing a risk God wants you to
take. Olympian Edwin Moses reported that he had a series of encouraging
dreams prior to a 400-meter hurdling race that gave him both the peace and
confidence he needed to run well. The dreams featured numbers that
indicated the race’s date and Moses’ running time. Moses did so well in the
race that he broke a world record.

God is always communicating — and you may hear from him while you’re
awake, as well. But during sleep, you’re more likely to pay attention to
whatever God is trying to tell you, because you’re relaxed and therefore less
likely to be distracted. Also, your subconscious mind is open to all
information. Your conscious mind may discard valuable information because
of stress, biases, or negative emotions such as fear or anger. But your
subconscious mind is constantly open to learning something new.

So, pay attention to what you see, hear, and feel in your dreams. Record what
you remember about them soon after you wake up. Meditate on them. Pray
about them. You may surprise yourself by what you discover!

Hearing from God

It saddens me when I hear Christians say that God only speaks to preachers
or “spiritual” people and not to them. I believe that God speaks to all His
children – but are you expecting Him too?

God longs for us to know his will and his words to us. Though a Christian
might walk through a season of silence or quietness, they shouldn’t confuse
that with God’s absence. And God never leaves us without a way to hear
from him.

So how does God speak? Here are 7 ways that I have found…

1. Through His Word

The Word of God is at the top of the list. God’s words are powerful. They
can create something out of nothing – take Genesis chapter 1, which
describes how God spoke and things were created. The unseen was brought
into the seen world.

We have an abundance of written material available to us – the most that


there has been in history. From printed books, magazines, blogs and digital
books. We are inundated with the written word. With so many words
available, it is easy to treat The Word as one of the many options for our soul
food. We need to continually remind ourselves that The Word of God (The
Bible) is not just a collection of 66 books but an “integrated message
system…which is outside our dimensions of space and time.” (Chuck
Missler)

Reading, meditating and praying the Word has the power to change our
mindsets, emotions and circumstances. It is truly our soul food. If we don’t
fill ourselves up with God’s Word/food we will instinctively look for soul
food elsewhere. This could be emotional eating, drugs, materialism, worldly
“feel good” opinions etc.

Believe that every morning when you open up your Bible App or your
physical Bible, the words that you read and digest hold power – they are seed
that if planted in a heart that is expecting God to speak and act will produce a
powerful effect on your life.

2. Through Conversations with Other Believers

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to
strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s
faith, both yours and mine. - Romans 1:11-12 ESV

We are created to communicate – a spirit that speaks. God created us that


way. When believers get together and share their personal experiences with
God – how He speaks to them and answers to prayer – something happens in
our spirits. We become strengthened in our inner selves. As Paul wrote in
Romans, we are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I don’t think this
happens enough. We expect a church program to fill this gap but we miss the
opportunity for regular encouragement.
I am so grateful that I have people in my life who are open to having these
types of conversations. If you don’t, pray about it. Ask God to bring along
someone who you can share your faith experiences with and listen to theirs. It
may be that there is someone in your life already but you both have been
talking about everything else and God hasn’t featured. Why do we not talk
about God? I find myself falling into this trap also.

3. Through Nature

For his (God’s) invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine
nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in
the things that have been made… - Romans 1:20

God speaks of His character in the things that He has made – without a doubt.
Every time I go for a walk and see or hear a bird – I am always reminded of
Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow
nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are
you not of more value than they?” I feel God gently saying to me, every time
– Charles, I have your back just like I provide for the birds, which I have
made, I also have provided and will continue to provide for you.

When I see a rainbow, I remember His promise to mankind – never again will
I flood the earth and kill everybody. I remember His promises to me – to
never, ever leave me or forsake me.

Every time I walk near the mountains, I remember the verse “I lift my eyes to
the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the
Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1.

God’s creation reminds us of His character and promises. Ask God to reveal
more of Himself to you personally through what He has made.
4. Through Good Books

I love books. God speaks to me through reading other people’s experiences of


God. It is sort of like going to lunch with the author and downloading
everything that they have learned.
I have read many great books by man of God. Books from C.S. Lewis, Tom
Wright, Max Lucado, Smith Wigglesworth, Uebert Angel, Roberts Liardon,
Kenneth E. Hagin, etc.

Experiencing God helps you to listen to God’s voice and it frees you to live
God’s plan with boldness and freedom. When I look back over my life I can
pinpoint times when I moved up a level in my Christian walk and reading
these books was one of those times.

5. Through Restful Times

“Be still, and know that I am God” - Psalm 46:10

It seems to be that in the restful times, when we pause from life, that we hear
God speak more often. God is wanting us to come away from the hustle of
life, pause and just sit with Him. Once we are in that position of stillness then
we can know God in a clearer way. I spent a year thinking and acting on the
word PAUSE this book contains seven chapters on Hearing God’s voice and
learning to interpret by way of meditation.

It is my hope that as you read this book you will be able to hear God more
clearly. If you are having trouble hearing from God – maybe pull away for a
time period from the noise of media, people and distractions and just become
still. Turn off the radio or podcasts on the drive to work and just ponder God.
Take 10 minutes daily to just sit and ask God to reveal more of Himself to
you.
6. Through Simple Actions

Faith without works/actions is dead. Sometimes God’s voice becomes clearer


when we act on what we already know or have been shown by the Spirit. If
you haven’t heard from God in a while – go back to the last time that you did.
Was there something that God told you to do or was there a verse of Scripture
that challenged you? Have you put that into action? God is into moving us
one step at a time. We can’t move forward until we have acted on what God
has shown us.

7. Through Dreams/Visions

“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel
blessed the God of heaven” - Daniel 2:19

God also uses our sleep to reveal His thoughts to us. The Scriptures record
many occasions where this has happened. God has given me many articles
and inspiration for books and sermons during the night. I guess it’s a time
when we are still and open to hearing Him speak. There was an occasion
when I wasn’t sure on how to pray for my family. I asked God to show me
how I should pray for them at that time. God showed me a picture image of a
house with different rooms. No lights were on. Then the light switch in the
kitchen was turned on and scrumptious food was being prepared. Through
that simple image God showed me the importance of good soul food (God’s
Word) and to pray for the “kitchen light” to be turned on in my family’s life
so that they can be truly nourished.

Dream Facts

• Most dreams last anywhere from five to 20 minutes.

• People don't only dream in black and white, as was once believed.
• Even though they may not remember them, everyone dreams
several times a night. In fact, during a typical lifetime, we spend about
six years dreaming.

• People who have been blind from birth have dreams that are
formed from their other senses (e.g., touch, smell, sound).

• When people are snoring, they're not dreaming.


Chapter 6

The power of imagination


Albert Einstein said, "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming
attractions." And in the 1950s, author Napoleon Hill wrote, "The imagination
is literally the workshop wherein are fashioned all plans created by man."

Truly, everything that has been created by mankind: skyscrapers, skis, cars,
computers, buildings, boulevards, coffee cups, cotton balls and even things
immaterial such as concepts and philosophies all began in the mind of
someone before they became reality.

Indeed, God is the Creator and He has blessed us with minds to create, too,
through the power of imagination.

Don't get me wrong; I don't believe that we can manipulate our lives through
thought to the point that we can become our own god and make anything
happen that we want. Thankfully, God is far too sovereign for that! Instead,
imagination is a tool whereby we cooperate with Him to participate in His
divine nature and fulfil our God-given purpose.

Imagination is the ability to form a mental image of something that is not


perceived through the five senses. It is the ability of the mind to build mental
scenes, objects or events that do not exist, are not present, or have happened
in the past.
Everyone possesses a certain degree of imagination ability. The imagination
manifests in various degrees in various people. In some, it is highly
developed, and in others, it manifests in a weaker form.

I have ministered to many people, in different countries. What I found a little


peculiar is how almost all the time that God used me to minister or heal by
way of miracle the congregation was mesmerised and astounded not so much
by what I did or taught, but by my age in relation to what was done.

How can God use such a young person in such a profound way to teach such
wisdom? People would ask. That question pretty much dominated
conversations in almost all the places that I visited. Therefore, I took the
question to God, not because I doubted myself but because I worried about
those who felt age was a limit and God would qualify by age. You see as a
prophet of God you value the message that you are given to deliver and it
concerns you when something other than the message transfixes the attention
of the message you deliver.

And so, I took my question to God. I asked God, how can this be that you use
me at a very young age? God said think of Samuel. God then gave me an
illustration and posed a question thereafter. “How old is your grandfather?
God asked. He is 94 years old I responded. Then God asked another question.
How old is your son CJ? I said he is 2 months old. This was when God
revealed to me something that amazed me. God said when the heavens
release prophecy and revelation it is like latest news, current affairs, and the
one who is fresh out of heaven has the latest news. Who is fresh out of
heaven between your grandfather and your son? I responded my son CJ.

When you are born the connection, you have with heaven is so strong
however the longer you tarry on this earth the more your spiritual senses are
eroded this is why the bible says your young men shall prophesy and your old
men shall dream dreams, God now waits for old men to sleep and rest from
the chaos of the world that congests their minds, then he speaks to them.
Indeed, God is speaking to the young (new wine, new skins).

The trust level and faith that young children have is high, this is why kids
love superman and all the films with super heroes that do the supernatural.
They can relate to all this because they allow their imagination to function at
the supernatural level. However, the older they get the blunter their
supernatural connection and faith in the supernatural gets. They begin to lose
faith and trust in everything and conform to the world that does not see the
supernatural as possible.

I had taken my question to God and he answered me with a response that I


wouldn’t have imagined. The doubts I held about my ability because of age
were cleared and any misconstrued views or fears previously held were put to
rest. God uses all people young and old.

Imagination

When I bought my wife a Mercedes CLS 350 we were so excited about this
purchase of the latest Mercedes Benz range. It was the latest on the market in
our part of the world. As I spoke to the car dealer he told me that Mercedes
Benz, had already got the new design and concept for 2020. They already had
the shape in their books but this would be revealed just a year before it would
be released.

As I drove home God showed me something. He showed me the power of


imagination. Mercedes Benz had paid someone to imagine the future. You
see this is what architects are paid to do, they are paid to imagine the future.
Governments and different organisations and companies are paying people to
imagine the future.
You go to an architect with an idea of what you want to build. You share
your vision, they draw it on paper not because they have seen it in the
physical but because they tapped into your imagination and used their
imagination to put a blue-print or plan together. When you are shown this
design on paper you could even redesign the architects designs if they don’t
fit your imagined ideas. You even have the audacity to say this is not where I
saw the staircase it was a little to the left and not so much in the middle. Now
the all-important question to ask is where did you see this staircase if not in
the realm of imagination? Indeed, imagination is a powerful tool that many
Christians seem to have neglected with regards hearing from God and
sharpening your ability to interpret God’s voice.

The bible says God in the book of Genesis chapter 1 vs 1-2 “in the beginning
God created the heaven and earth. And the earth was without form, and void:
and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved
upon the face of the waters.

Notice that this was pre-utterance, thus, the heavens and the earth were
initially a creation in God’s imagination. There were not as yet created by
words. It is only in verse 3 that God speaks “And God said, let there be light:
and there was light…”

The point I am labouring is that there is power in imagination and indeed,


there is ample evidence to suggest that God is the master and creator of
imagination.

Imagination is for everyone

The bible says we are created in the image of God. That to me means we
possess a creative gene, a God gene in our DNA. We possess a power, a
supernatural power, a piece of God.
I observed that all human beings have the power to imagine and we also
possess a power inherited from God himself that gives us dominion over all
other creations and all matter and substance. It is that power that makes all
other creations and all matter to reverence us as human beings.

Have you ever noticed how the houses we live in respond to our presence?
When we live in a house it positively responds to our presence. Some of you
would have noticed that when you leave a house unoccupied for a while and
there is no human presence in that house for a prolonged period the house
starts to fall apart or into disrepair. The house responds to human absence,
wall start to crack the paint peels off, the ceiling curves in, almost as if the
house is dying.

You would have noted that even the areas that have tight security people will
lock up their houses if they are going away for a long while and will call on a
friend or relative to check on the house. What the house needs is human
presence. Thus, the house responds to human presence. We carry with us a
power to subdue and have dominion over all things on this earth we have
God’s DNA and even houses respond to our presence. All humans carry this
power regardless of colour creed or religion. So never doubt your power or
ability to hear from God, you can hear God.

Samson

The story of Samson, the legendary Israelite warrior and judge, renowned for
the prodigious strength that many believed he derived from his uncut hair.
The illustration and images that we were fed from as early as we could
comprehend images in Sunday school books depicted a muscular man with
rippling biceps and washing board like six-pack, he was the epitome of
human physic.
However, having studied the text and read the bible for myself, a different
picture was revealed to me. I now believe that the image of a muscle laden
Samson is a misconception. I put it to you that Samson was a normal looking
man with no bulging muscles at all. I can confidently say Samson’s power
was not physical but was sourced from his imagination. I evidence this by the
enquiry made by the Philistines. If he was physically and visibly bulging with
muscle they would have no need to hire Delilah to try to figure out the source
of his strength. They would have simple joined the gym he went to or
imitated his workout routine.

But because of Samson’s amazing strength, the Philistines were left


dumbfounded. The bible says Samson would march up the mountain (people
who compete in the World’s Strongest Men competition as fit as they look
with all that solid muscle would struggle to march up a mountain). My point
is that the strength that Samson demonstrated was not down to muscle, it was
more to do with his powerful imagination. He could use his imagination to
reduce something that weighed tones to make it weightless. He could through
his imagination make a 5tone gate with its foundations just but 5grams and
uproot it with relative ease much to the astonishment of all those who saw
these demonstrations of power.

How does one explain the strength or muscles required to gather three
hundred foxes and tie them tail-to-tail (Judges 15:4). Samson did not use
plain physically strength to do this. The bible says “And Samson went and
caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrand in the midst between two
tails.” Samson used foxes as a tool, a weapon to destroy the standing grain of
the Philistines. I put it to you that Samson used the power of imagination to
summon all these foxes to one location and use them as weapons (missiles
launched into the enemy’s fields to destroy standing grain). I would even
hazard the thought that Samson through his imagination telepathically
summoned these foxes to where he was and like guided missiles he directed
them to the targets he intended to hit.

I put it to you that Samson’s hair directs us to the source of all the power is
mind. Like antennas each lock of hair points to the head of Samson. The
mind is indeed a powerful tool, the station of imagination.

A look at Judges chapter 14

Samson’s riddle is spiritually significant in many ways. There are so many


interpretations given with regards the lion, the bees and honey riddle
presented to Philistine guests at Samson’s wedding to a Philistine woman
who isn’t even named.

In the book of Judges, we learn that when Samson went down, and his father
and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and,
behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came
mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had
nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
(Judges 14: 5-6).

I put it to you that Samson used the power of imagination to reduce the size
of the lion and that was what made it possible to rent it as he would rent a
kid. My understanding of the word kid in this verse is not in reference to a
child but a baby goat.

And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the
carcase of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the
carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hand, and went on eating, and
came to his father and mother, and gave them, and they did eat: but he told
not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion (Judges
14:8-9).

Samson had a very powerful imagination and what he did was incredible, he
summoned bees to hive and produce honey in a rotting carcase which in itself
defies all logic anyone who knows anything about bees will know that they
are attracted to pretty flowers and pleasant smells not rotting flesh. Notice
that Samson does not tell his father or mother about where he got the honey
from nor did he tell them that he had killed a lion earlier. I argue that their
imagination was not at the level such as that of Samson.

Imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside the


mind.

Imagination gives the ability to look at any situation from a different point of
view and to mentally explore the past and the future.

This ability manifests in various forms, one of which is daydreaming. Though


too much idle daydreaming may make one impractical, a certain degree
daydreaming, while not being engaged in something that requires attention,
provides temporary happiness, calmness and relief from stress.

In your imagination, you can travel anywhere in the speed of light, without
any obstacles. It can make you feel free, though temporarily, and only in the
mind, from tasks, difficulties and unpleasant circumstances.

Imagination is not limited only to seeing pictures in the mind.

Imagination includes all the five senses and the feelings. One can imagine a
sound, taste, smell, a physical sensation or a feeling or emotion. For some
people it is easier to see mental pictures, others find it easier to imagine a
feeling, and some are more comfortable imagining the sensation of one of the
five senses. Training of the imagination gives the ability to combine all the
senses.

A developed and strong imagination does not make you a daydreamer and
impractical. On the contrary, it strengthens your creative abilities, and is a
great tool for recreating and remodelling your world and life. This is a
wonderful power that can change your whole life. It is used extensively in
magic, creative visualization and affirmations. It is the creator of
circumstances and events. When you know how to work with it, you can
make your heart’s desires come true.

Imagination has a great role and value in each one's life. It is much more than
just idle daydreaming. We all use it, whether consciously or unconsciously,
in most of our daily affairs. We use our imagination whenever we plan a
party, a trip, our work or a meeting. We use it when we describe an event,
explain how to arrive to a certain street, write, tell a story or bake a cake.

Imagination is a creative power that is necessary for inventing an instrument,


designing a dress or a house, painting a picture or writing a book. The
creative power of imagination has an important role in the achievement of
success in any field. What we imagine with faith and feelings comes into
being. It is the important ingredient of creative visualization, positive
thinking and affirmations.

Visualizing an object or a situation, and repeating often this mental image,


attracts the object or situation we visualize into our lives. This opens for us
new, vast and fascinating opportunities. This means that we should think
only in a positive manner about our desires, otherwise, we might attract into
our lives events, situations and people that we don't really want. This is
actually what most of us do, because we don't use the power of imagination
correctly.

If you do not recognize the importance of the power of the imagination, and
let it run riot, your life may not be as happy and successful as you would have
wanted it to be. Lack of understanding of the power of the imagination is
responsible for the suffering, incompetence, difficulties, failures and
unhappiness people experience. For some reason, most people are inclined to
think in a negative way. They do not expect success. They expect the worst,
and when they fail, they believe that fate is against them. This attitude can be
changed, and then life will improve accordingly.

As you pursue your God-given purpose, there will be plenty of problems to


solve. To effectively tackle them, you can use the same principles that I have
used in moments of crisis and in general.

First, pray and ask God to give you direction to do His will.

Second, define the problem.

Third, make a "What if?" list.

Then, allow your thoughts to chew on the problem for a period of time.

And don't forget to expose yourself to situations in which your mind is


relaxed or "at play."

If you know when you are the most creative, such as taking a walk or reading
a book, make arrangements for these situations to happen. And most
importantly, have a pen and paper handy for quick note taking. Before you
know it, God will have given you ideas on how to proceed through His gift of
imagination.

There's no doubt that God gave us an amazing gift when He gave us this gift.
I encourage you to ask Him to help you make the most of it to fulfil the
purpose He has for your life!
Chapter 7

Have you ever heard God's Voice?

On my recent trip to India where I had been invited to preach, as I sat on the
plane, the gentleman who sat next to me asked what business I was travelling
for to India for. I told him I was going to preach the word of God, I am a
Prophet and messenger of God, I said.

Stunned by what I had said, he asked if I had ever heard the audible voice of
God speaking directly to me? He continued “If so, then I want to know your
secret. Because every time someone tells a story about hearing God’s voice
loud and clear I get a pang of envy. I’m not proud of that reaction but I can’t
help wondering what I’m doing wrong. Why doesn’t he talk to me like that?”

The gentleman said something that fascinated me. He said, “I used to think
that God only spoke to the chosen few – so they could relay his messages to
the masses. That’s why only holy men tell stories of receiving direct
instruction from God. But what about the rest of us? How are we supposed to
feel when we listen for the booming voice from the heavens or the gentle
whisper of God only to discover empty silence?”

I said to him, I think maybe you are trying too hard. Seriously. I don’t think
any of these “holy” men sat on a rock by a waterfall in the forest fasting for
40 days in order to hear the voice of God. And sometimes that’s how hard I
think we’re making it on ourselves.
Rather, I think these men have something more obtainable that enables them
to hear the voice of God – a daily habit of conversing with him. Yep, I think
that’s all it is. After all, you can’t hear God’s voice if you don’t have a
personal conversation with him, right? This caused the man to reflect for a
very long while because he never spoke until we landed.

If you are speaking with God daily, then you might know that he places
thoughts in your mind all the time. Like a sudden urge to call a friend you
haven’t spoken to in years. Or a desire to support a ministry at church even
though you have absolutely no time to add something else to your plate.
Maybe even the idea to write a book, start a business or step up as a leader in
some way. A feeling that you need to tithe more. Or an awareness that an
important relationship needs your attention. Even an overwhelming sense of
peace. Those are all little whispers from God.

In fact, every positive thought filled with encouragement, creativity,


compassion and generosity, comes from God. So essentially, if you’re having
thoughts like this, you are hearing his voice. And you’re most likely
answering him – either by acting on those thoughts or ignoring them.

So how do you create a daily habit of conversing with God so that you too
can hear his voice? The same way you develop any habit – with practice.

Five Ways to Practice Hearing God’s Voice

1. Set aside time daily to immerse yourself in His word. If reading the
Bible is too daunting, then try a daily devotional or join a Bible
Study group. Anything that exposes you daily to God’s written word
so that you open the door for that conversation.

2. Be still. This is the most challenging step for me. In fact, I often
feel close to God when I’m in motion – running or hiking or biking.
Even driving in my car. So, the idea that I need to be still in order to
hear his voice is a bit frustrating. But let me explain. For me, stillness is
not a physical state. The kind of stillness I need to open my heart to
God is a stillness of the mind. So, whatever it takes for you to quiet
your mind, find a way to do it every day.

3. Stop demanding answers. Do you have an agenda every time you


speak with God? Maybe you show up with praise and gratitude
sometimes. Or you may go to him with a laundry list of things you need
his guidance on. I’m guilty of this. I always have a plan when I pray –
something specific I need from him. But my challenge to you is this:
show up with an open mind and a blank slate. What if we came to him
without telling or asking anything? Just letting him lead the
conversation? Knowing he will nourish us with whatever we need.

4. Expect to hear from him. If you tell yourself that you’re not the
kind of person who hears God’s voice, guess what? You’re probably
not going to hear him. But if you open up to the possibility that he
converses with you all day long, it’s more likely you will be paying
attention when he speaks to you.

5. Be on the lookout for his angels. Who says God has to speak
directly to you in his voice? The Bible tells us he sends messengers all
the time. I’m willing to bet he sends angels to speak with you and you
may not even recognize them. Who are the people in your life who
encourage you, inspire you, challenge you to live in Christ-like
character? Hmmmm….could they be angels placed in your path for a
specific purpose?
Be willing to learn new ways

Learning involves paradigm shifts. It means that we are not the centre of all
things. It means that God does not have to “play” according to our human
rules. It means that we accept some things by faith and that our reason is not
king. It means that we do not make rules in our own mind about what God
should be like and then use “study” to confirm what we already “knew”.

We must be open to learn. New insights may appear wrong simply because
the thought processes we have become accustomed to need looking at. This
makes education an exciting process, but also challenging. We have
developed a network of interdependent thoughts that can take time to
unravel.

If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you have probably already
been hearing from God, whether you have recognized His voice or not. He
speaks to us in many ways. The key is in becoming sensitive to Him, so that
we notice when He is speaking.

The absolutely best way to hear God is through His Word. Simple, but true.
We hear from Him in a general way as we read, and much wisdom can be
acquired just through being faithful to read the Bible daily. I am a firm
believer in reading all the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation – including the
genealogies. If you just visit the parts you like the best, you are going to miss
things that God wants you to know. I personally like to read in the Old and
the New Testaments simultaneously.

I also encourage myself daily in either Psalms or Proverbs. As we go through


the Bible continuously, we absorb the things we need in order to relate
properly to both God and our fellow man. Reading the Bible cleanses our
minds, especially if we meditate on (think on, or ponder) what we have taken
in. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you (John
15:3).
There is a second way that we hear from God in His Word. Have you ever
noticed that a certain verse seemed to have a deeper meaning to you at a
particular time in your life? Sometimes we say that the verse suddenly
“leaped off the page” at us. This is the Holy Spirit enlightening a part of
Scripture to us as a personal word. The verse speaks directly to our current
need and brings comfort, guidance, or conviction.

Hearing both generally and personally from the Scriptures is one of the most
reliable ways to receive revelation from God. This was the primary way that
Rees Howells, the famous Welsh intercessor during the World Wars, heard
from the Lord. God gave him specific direction about how to pray and even
revealed future events to him by enlightening a particular passage in the Bible
and then giving him understanding of how it applied to current
circumstances.

Still another way that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Bible is by
reminding us of a particular verse we have read in the past. He plants the
remembrance of it in our thoughts at any given moment, so that we can apply
it to whatever situation we are in.

Getting a solid foundation in ourselves by reading the Bible regularly is


necessary if we are going to hear God accurately. It will help us to discern
whether the revelation we receive through other means is really of the Lord
or not.

Hearing God's Voice - Are You Ready to Listen?

Hearing God's voice is something we all long for-but did you know that it's
not hard to do? In fact, God wants you to hear His voice! He doesn't speak to
us through a quiver in our liver or through vibes or mediums. Hearing the
voice of God is as natural as hearing your best friend talk to you. What's
more, we can hear Him every day and not just on special occasions or by
chanting special incantations. He speaks to us in the natural moments of life.
Do you want to hear God's voice? Then you must be ready to listen.

Hearing God's Voice - Why Do You Want to Hear Him?

Why do you want to hear God's voice? That may sound like a silly question,
but motives are important in anything we do. The Bible says this about God's
Word: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-
edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Do you want to hear God's voice? If you do, it's possible you're hearing Him
already, for He may be the one giving you the longing to hear Him.

Hearing God's Voice in the Bible

In his book Knowing God, J. I. Packer says, "God has spoken to man, and the
Bible is His Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation."

The Bible itself declares, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). In another place, we read: "All
Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and
training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16).

You may hear people say that the Bible is just a book written by men, but the
Bible itself claims to be God's Word! Can we rely on it? The evidence of
history, archaeology, fulfilled prophecy and personal testimony over
thousands of years is overwhelming that the Bible is, indeed, God's Word. Do
you want to hear God's voice? Then read the Bible. Find a good daily reading
plan, and stick to it.
Hearing God's Voice through Prayer

When you want to have a conversation with someone, how do you begin? Do
you stand in front of the person and hope they will talk to you? That might
work, if the other person is outgoing enough, but usually we begin a
conversation by opening our own mouths and talking, engaging the other
person's attention. It's the same with God! He loves to hear us talk to Him,
and it's in those moments that we prepare ourselves to hear the voice of God.
Prayer is like saying, "Hello, God, it's me. I believe You created me and that
You know way more about how I should live my life than I do. I'd like to get
to know You better. Here's what's going on in my life, and I'd sure like Your
thoughts on how to handle it. Would You please speak to me about this
today?"

In an ordinary conversation, we speak, then listen for the response of the


other person. It's the same with God! Once we've prepared our hearts to listen
through prayer, we're more likely to hear the voice of God. Does He speak to
us through an audible voice? Some claim He does, but usually that's not the
case. We may not actually "hear" the voice of God, but He speaks to us in
many ways.
Here are some of them:

• God speaks through His Word

• God speaks through our thoughts

• God speaks through conversations with others

• God speaks through circumstances


Hearing God's Voice through Jesus

The Bible also tells us that Jesus is God in the flesh. Therefore, if you want to
hear the voice of God, you must study and know the teachings of Jesus.
Here's how John describes Him: "That which was from the beginning, which
we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at
and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life"
(1 John 1:1). You must also have a personal relationship with Jesus. Have
you ever tried to carry on a conversation of any depth with a person you did
not know? It doesn't usually go very far.

Shortly before He was crucified, Jesus met with His disciples to reassure
them of what would happen after He was gone. He promised them a helper:
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with
you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it
neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and
will be in you" (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit, then, is the fulfilment of the
way we hear God's voice!

Hearing God's Voice with the Help of the Holy Spirit

"But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to
you." (John 14:26). The second chapter of Acts describes the events that
occurred on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus ascended into Heaven. Verse 3
says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor promised by
Jesus. This unique aspect of God's personality did not come to them as
someone they could see and touch, but rather He came to live inside them.
That same Spirit is available to you and me today. Are you a Christian? If so,
you already have the Holy Spirit available to you. Ask God for a fresh filling
every day, and He will prepare your heart to hear God's voice. His Spirit, that
still, small voice inside you, is the One who will remind you of what God
said, and help you recognize God's opportunities in your life.

Hearing God's Voice - Conclusion of the Matter

So, we have the Bible, prayer, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our own hearts to
help us in hearing God's voice. Do you want to hear God's voice? That is the
final question, for God responds to willing hearts. In the book of Revelation,
we read: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice
and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
(Revelation 3:20). God will never force you to obey Him, but waits for your
willing response to His call. Are you hearing His voice right now? Don't let
your final answer be the wrong one.
About Prophet Charles
Prophet Charles Ibrahim affectionately known as Prophet Charles was born
and bred in Zimbabwe and is a rooted and captivating preacher of the gospel
of Jesus Christ.

A progressive thinker and a man of radical faith in the move of the Holy
Spirit. Based in Johannesburg (South Africa), Prophet Charles is the founder,
Leader and Senior Pastor of Arena of Liberty Ministries International.

His deep-seated faith in the power of the Holy Spirit has enabled him to
touch, change and impact the lives of thousands of people around the world.

He has foregrounded 3 university campus ministries to date, namely at the


University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of Pretoria (UP) &
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in South Africa.

His desire to serve and minister has also resulted in him moving out from the
campus ministry expanding into the suburbs of South Africa and has now
birthed a church branch in Soweto at the Kopanong Community Hall in
Soweto.

He is uncompromising and undoubtedly dedicated to the to the righteous


ways of the Lord Jesus Christ and is determined to reach out to millions of
people not only through the mainstream church but also through charity
initiatives, street evangelism, prophetic conferences and many more
evangelism events that he has already setup to partake in the future.

He is firm in the truth and principles of the Lord Jesus Christ and has taken
on many youths to mentor and equip them to a strong essence of
righteousness, revelation and scriptural teaching.

Website: www.arenaoflibertyinternational.org