August 20, 2014

Freedom from Fear: Hearing God’s Voice

Freedom from Fear - Hearing God's voiceThere has been one thing that has consistently moved me down the path of freedom: hearing God. The more I tune into his tender voice, the more freedom I experience in every area of my life. First, I want to share with you some scriptures so you can know that God wants to speak to you. Then, I want to share some practical ways that can help you learn to hear God’s voice.

Psalms 85:8 gives us a very good reason for wanting to hear God’s voice: I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones.

God is constantly speaking peace over you. For anyone struggling with fear, anxiety, panic attacks or depression, God is speaking peace over you right this very moment. Like an old radio, we must learn to tune into God’s peace-speaking voice.

Here’s another wonderful scripture that should encourage us to want to hear God’s voice: “If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5, 6).

In every area of our life, we need wisdom. Wisdom is what gives us a God-directed strategy that will never fail.  Never.  And, wisdom is essential if we want to find freedom from fear.  James encourages us to simply ask for it, and when we ask, God will “gladly” tell us.

Throughout the Bible, there are numerous scriptures and examples about hearing God. It’s God’s desire to speak to us and guide us. In Psalms 32:8, the LORD says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

As a father myself, I know how important it is for me to consistently communicate to my son, for him to hear my voice. How could I expect to educate him, train him, discipline him, and guide him if he can’t hear me?

What’s like to hear God’s voice?

One of the most confusing things about hearing God’s voice is that we don’t “hear” anything. It’s not like an audible voice, as if talking to a friend on the phone. God is spirit (John 4:24), so he most often uses a spiritual voice to speak to us.

So, what does a spiritual voice sound like?  When I hear God, it comes in the form of my own thoughts, but different than my personal thoughts. I often exercise my spiritual ears in my morning journaling time.  Using my computer to journal, I type black letters when I’m praying, asking, or just talking to God.  And, when I want to hear God, I change the font color to red and just start writing what comes to my mind. What happens often is that I end up writing something that I know is not birthed out of my own thoughts.  God has spoken.

Let me give you an example from a journal entry a few days ago:

Father, when I start to feel this anxiousness arise in me, can you let me know how I should respond, or what I should do? I don’t want to just numb it, or cover it, or distract it. I want to know what you think I should do when it comes over me.

Seek first the Kingdom, and all the things you need will be given you. Son, don’t seek peace, seek Christ because he is Peace. Don’t seek freedom, seek the Lord because he is Truth and the Truth sets you free.

I try to journal like this daily, because I want to hear God, and I know he wants to speak to me.  And, by doing this on a regular basis, I can tune my spiritual ears more and more to hear God’s voice.

Here’s the most wonderful part—he desires to speak to all of you. I’m not special. I simply believe that Christ is now our High Priest (Hebrews 2-4) and that he’s has made a way for us to come boldly to God’s throne of grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).  And, if you are in Christ, you can hear God too.

When you starting listening for God’s voice, you must remember that he will never speak anything contrary to what he has revealed in his Word. The Bible should be your filter when hearing God. In my journal example above, the first and last sentences God spoke to me were scripture. God always uses scripture as a foundation for his voice. Always. That’s why it’s important for you to have a regular Bible reading plan.  The more you know the Bible, the easier it is to know his voice.

Prayer: “Father, help me hear your voice more clearly. Teach me how to discern your voice in the midst of a busy world.  Help me be still so that I can know you are God.”

About Russ Pond

For most of my life, I battled crippling anxiety and panic attacks. For the longest time, I had no hope. My world was closing in all around me. Today, I am free and living a life full of peace and abundance. Freedom is real. You can be totally set free for the bondage of fear.

  • Dameon Trammel

    Well God has been trying to talk to me for as long as I can remember. I would always shut Him every now and then. When ever I make my mind up to do what He desires by surrendering my all to Him, I”m stopped by the devil grabbing a hold to either my head or it feels like something wants to come out of me. Like yesterday during before service was over in church (benediction), I was praying along with the congregation strongly and something came over me and stopped me. I hated that, thats why I give into the devils control but not all the way though because I love God. Prayerfully you can help me. Thank you

    • http://www.season.org Russ

      Thanks for sharing. It’s great that you are surrendering everything to God. Keep it up!

      Also, keep in mind that in Christ, we have authority of the devil and all his demons. They must bow to the name and authority of Jesus Christ.

      • Jocelyn

        Thank you very much for these teachings

  • Nicksmom77

    Thanks for your blog. I have went through 10 years (one and off) of anxiety and depression. It was orginally started by a very poor diet, candida, thyroid and adrenals. I just realized that at  the root of this is fear…fear of not sleeping, etc. which adds to the anxiety and stress. Some things have helped: yoga, tapping (EFT) and praying/Word. I believe God gave me a book called the Healing Codes – written by two christians – that use prayer and scriptures for healing. God Bless you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/russpond Russ Pond

      Thanks for sharing your story. It’s wonderful to hear how you have been able to make great progress.

  • Doris Lowe

    Russ, I found your website today while seeking info on Fear, and panic attacks. I am a Bible Teacher and have had panic attacks severly at one time in my life. Like you, prayer, changing my eating habits, praying scriptures, renewing my mind to God’s ways and word finally delivered me from those horrible attacks. But, now I am trying to teach some of my students about how God’s word can heal them too.  I very much
    enjoyed every word of every article you have written. I encourage you to keep up
    this work. It is needed so much I don’t think you will ever know. I teach a lady that is like a caged animal from these attacks.  May God continue to bless you and yours.
    Always with You.

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Thank you, Doris. I appreciate the kind comments. I’m glad the messages are helpful and encouraging.

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Thank you, Doris. I appreciate your kind comments.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HPGWZIFM3OUDRCQTM3DZDNJ2RY David

        dear Russ i am a 18 year old christian. ive been walking with God for over three years. about three months ago i started struggling with panic attacks. i felt like i was’nt good enough for GOD.  I was managing to defeat the attacks till about a weak ago i started having intrusive thoughts and that started to make me feel like i lost my salvation and could not get it back. Fighting for peace at the moment and hearing GODS voice can be so difficult in this time. But when reading this article im started to remember GODS grace and that i just need to focus on him and not the problem. Thank you for allowing God to use you. this article has been a real help.

        • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

          Thanks for sharing, David! I say you had a great victory in realizing that God’s love is so strong and so unconditional, that he loves us no matter what. He is not mad at you nor upset with you. He’s madly, passionately in love with you.

          I think one of the enemy’s most effective tactics is to lie to us that God is mad at us. It keeps us from going “boldly the throne of grace in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

  • Nick

    Hey Russ, 

    thank you for taking the time to write this article, it actually is almost identical to how I believe I have started to press into to hearing God’s Voice.

    The problem I am having is that although I find allot of peace when I start doing things this way I also get very worried that this is all my imagination and maybe I am not really hearing him but just creating my own God.

    About 4 years ago I was really struggling to believe that God was still for me after continued defeat with sin, shame and guilt… I read a verse in the Bible that really started me down an almost unbearable path of thinking I lost my salvation. Part of me fears that I am reprobate and unable to fully repent since I have not been able to fully escape the cycle of sin… I fear that it keeps hardening me.

    What I am getting at however is that now it is very difficult for me to enjoy reading the bible as you might imagine. I am just very fearful and the way I process things God says in Bible actually just makes me feel more condemned?

    I just don’t know what to do because you methods certainly work for me but I don’t want to rely on what I think is God’s voice and just be deceiving myself.

    Feel free to reply in anyway you see fit!

    Thanks again,

    -Nick

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Nick, I can relate to what you’re saying. For the longest time, I struggled with God’s view of me especially after being continually defeated by sin. But recently, I have started learning more and more about grace, and how sin was taken care of the cross. God no longer looks upon us as sinners, but as his children in Christ. Even when we sin, God still loves us, pursues us and lives with us. There is now no condemnation, no shame, no guilt, no separation from God. We, however, often carry these things and pull away from God, but it’s never God pulling away from us. We need to “repent” or in the Greek “metanoeo” which means “change the way we think”. We must renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We must tear down these patterns of thinking that say God is mad at us, that God is displeased with us when we sin. It’s just not true. God is for us, always and forever. He is wooing us and pursuing us. His love is so great!

  • jessica

    HI, Iam Jessica and what nick said i feel the same way at times i have three bibles and im a youth of christ, child and believe god the lord to be my first father. i can relate so much to what you are writing nick… i also got that feeling… then recently stopped reading my bible which i feel so terrible about i thought also that it was all in my head and a big misunderstanding but my goodness after reading some of these comments Our god does exist and there is no denying it… at a time in my life not so long ago i was reading a verse saying something about being a guide to the blind saying so after reading that i knew that it was a message to be recieved… as only a couple or so days before that i helped a old blind fella at the ATM machine, i could have been anyone but i helped him get his money out and his docket and off he went with a thank you child, also another thing before i go people in this world are very nasty and in a rush to get places that their never going to get if that do not believe in the truth.. on my way to work one day or on lunch break, this poor old frail man with a walker of some sort was stuck lying on the ground i could see from a far that something was not right as i watched people walk straight by him almost stepping on him and basiclly staring at him like he was nothing, as soon as i got closer to him i helped him up made sure he was stable and ok and didn’t need to call anyone he then said thank you i had been lying on the ground for ages and no bodies even bothered to stop and help until you walked by, but knowing that their are other people out that can hear is a great relief.

    thank you

    &
     
    god bless

  • Nick

    Hello Russ, I hope you are doing well… I wanted to pass along a resource for your readers. “The Grace Walk” by Steve Mcvey, A book directly in line with the advice you gave me over a year ago, here is a link to for those interested to get a better idea of the book. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rPO3e0gUtU

    Thanks again, for this initial blog and your follow up advice… Wow, the things that have happened in terms of identity over this last year!

    Sincerely appreciate your heart!

    -Nick

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Looks good. I’ll check it out.

  • Kiki Irikidzai Mkushi

    Thank you soo much…this really spoke to me, and was very well written. You have a gift. Thank you friend.

    A co-worker in Christ.

  • A.N.

    Hi, I’m Adrianna. I never experienced anxiety and panic attacks until a few month ago. It came out of nowhere. At first I didn’t even know what was happening to me, blaming it on physical illness. After many tests for vertigo, epilepsy, MRIs and numerous blood tests, we realized I was having severe panic attacks that mimicked heart attacks. I was not in a point in my life where I was experiencing turmoil or stress. Actually, I felt I was in a good place in my life, when these panic attacks began. They started mostly in the middle of the night, a few times a week, and then progressed to almost every night. Eventually, they began happening in the middle of the day when I was at my job, feeling embarrassed and helpless. I felt I was being tortured and punished. I felt God didn’t hear my prayers. I always began to think about my past sins and how, maybe, I wasn’t worthy enough for help from God. These attacks just made no sense to me. I still have them, but I am learning to find peace in the Lord. It is still hard for me to totally surrender to God, especially when I’m filled with panic and anxiety during the attacks. However, as I pray for my guidance from the Lord, I know I’m on the right path towards total faith in Him. Thanks so much for this site. It has helped me tremendously. You have put in words what I have been experiencing. God has used you as an instrument of peace for others like me. Thanks again

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Sorry to hear about your experience. I want to encourage you to keep praying, keep listening to God and let him speak his peace over you. I know you can find freedom from this.