Over on Quora, someone asked me a great question: "How do I actually listen to God?"
The following couple of posts are my answer, but there's a lot more to say and I hope to come back to this topic again in the future.
In fact, there is no limit on what you can say to God, or when you can say it, or how you can speak (although clearly, if you want to get results there are some basic etiquette rules to follow when addressing the Creator of the world.)
Listening to God is much harder than talking to God
But listening to God is much, much harder, and being able to successful pick up and decipher the messages, direction and advice He’s giving every single one of us is usually an art learned, tweaked and perfected over many long decades.
(Before I continue, a caveat: I talk to God every single day, and I do my best to listen to the clues He’s sending me all the time, and to act and react to them appropriately. That said, I’m still a work in progress myself, so I’m not claiming to have all the answers. What follows is what’s helped me, profoundly, in my own life, and what I’ve read about in many books by spiritual mentors and guides I respect immensely who are on a much higher level than me, like Shalom Arush, for example.)
So with that out the way, here’s four broad rules of thumb that will hopefully help you to successfully listen to God:
- Listening to God Rule 1: God is running the whole world, even the bit of it called ‘our life’. What this means practically is that every tiny little thing that happens to us has been tailor-made by God, and is purposeful.
That cold you got is not just because someone sneezed on you on the bus – God sent it to you as a message, or clue, maybe that you need to slow down, or look after yourself better, or take a break.
That horrible jerk who had a go at you at work – God was behind it. Why’d He decide to send you such a big challenge? That’s the whole question, and working out the answer will give you some profound insights into what you are down here to do and fix.
But the main point is to remember that every single thing that we experience, hear and that happens to us is a message from God. Just we have to learn how to tune in properly to decipher it.