I was 15 years old. My heart was on fire and my brain was almost boiling. As the pressure increased, tears started to run down my cheeks. It was a stuffy summer night and I was pacing the dusty streets of Kharkov, Ukraine. I was frustrated with people. Not just any people. It was the people who would say “God told me this…” and “God told me that…”
“Do they really hear God?” I thought. Or are people just audaciously faking it?
I was desperate to hear God’s voice. I wanted it more than anything else in the world!
Have you ever had thoughts like that?
This really proved to be my first breakthrough in hearing the voice of God. Here I share 7 components of what I believe to be one of the most practical ways to hear God’s voice. Something I learned from a pastor by the name of Mark Virkler.
Mark Virkler was a pastor, but struggled with not hearing God’s voice for many years. He was a very analytical thinker and not a mystical type of person. He just couldn’t understand how to hear Gods voice.
God took him on a journey that we can now all benefit from. A journey where in his frustration he got down to some of the “science” of hearing Gods voice.
1. Spontaneous thoughts.
One of the ways God speaks to us is through spontaneous thoughts. A spontaneous thought is one that just pops in your head, and you’re not sure where it came from.
2. Understand how your brain works.
When God speaks to us, and we experience Him it isn’t just an abstract mystical experience. There is a science to it.
The left side of your brain is responsible for logic. This could be solving mathematical problems, communicating in a particular language, writing, reading etc.
The right side of your brain is the creative side. When you get inspiration, a new idea, or imagine something, that’s your right brain being activated. For example our right brain makes it possible for us to perceive three dimensional.
When you see a square on paper, you know it’s a square. However, if you see a cube on paper, it’s not really a cube. It appears to be a cube. However if your right brain wasn’t working you wouldn’t perceive it as a cube. You would just think it was a jumble of lines on paper.
3. Spontaneous thoughts come through our Right brain.
When God is speaking to us in a “still small voice” it often comes as a spontaneous thought or picture in our minds. Thus it comes through our RIGHT brain.
Our right brain is like the Research and Development (R&D) department of our being.
Our Left brain could be compared to the Quality Control (QC) department.
For example, say I’m writing a poem for my wife. As my right brain comes up with romantic prose for the poem, my left brain analyzes it and critiques it and makes sure it’s written down and spelled right.
4. The marriage of Research & Development and Quality Control: Journaling and writing.
There is a sort of synergy that happens when you journal and write down what you think God is saying.
Here’s the challenge.
Your nonconformist R&D department, that is your Right brain, typically doesn’t get along very well with the hard-boiled QC department of your left brain.
So, often the second you think perhaps you caught a thought by the tail that might be from the Lord, your left brain pounces on it, and starts to analyze it.
Unfortunately, typically the thought gets analyzed to death.
So… The solution?
5. Make sure both departments have a job. Keep them busy.
You write. Journaling to hear the voice of God is much like brainstorming. You ask God to speak to you and you write. You write down absolutely everything you think. Every spontaneous thought, no matter how weird, profound, or confusing it may be. You intentionally shut down your Left brain so you can really get your antennas up on your right brain.
Now, the reason why you write is not simply for recording what you hear.
Writing keeps your Left brain busy. Because as your Right brain is getting downloads, your left brain is busy thinking about how to write them down in a logical, comprehensible way.
This is brilliant, because keeping your Left brain busy keeps it from interfering with the initial process of hearing from God.
6. Unleash the Quality Control department
Now that you’ve given plenty of time for your Right brain to hear, see, and catch spontaneous thoughts, you go back and let your QC department do its thing.
Review everything you wrote down, and use scripture as your guideline.
And of course if it’s something important, you get someone you trust in the Lord to weigh in on whether they feel like it’s from God.
7. Pray in tongues to get your right brain warmed up.
When you want to hear from God, start by praying in tongues. When we pray in tongues it activates our Right brain. This get’s you in the flow of being sensitive to what God is saying.
Scientific experiment with praying in tongues
This experiment drives it home for me.
Mark Virkler and some friends had a question. If we use our Left brain primarily for language, then what about speaking in tongues? What part of our brains is used for that?
Well, they put some equipment on a volunteer Holy Spirit tongues speaker. They had him pray in tongues as they watched to see what part of his brain was being activated.
His Right brain was being activated.
When you speak in tongues in the Spirit, you don’t understand what you’re saying because it’s coming from the Spirit. And so it’s functioning through your Right brain.
So, what helps you know whether or not it’s God speaking to you? Feel free to comment below.
Image courtesy of my beautiful daughter and wife. :)