Hearing from Heaven
How It's Done
A Get Activated book
By Rafael Holding
Contrary to a popular misconception, God does not expect you to sort out your own problems and fend for yourself without any help. He has a very personal interest in you, and wants to speak to you personally and directly. He will answer your questions, help you solve your problems, give you wisdom when you’re bewildered, lead the way when you feel lost, lift your spirits when you’re low, make you a source of strength and encouragement to others, and love you from here to eternity.
Would you like to know how you can hear God speak to you personally? Follow the simple step-by-step guidelines on these pages and discover the wonders of Hearing from Heaven!
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures marked KJV are from the King James Version (Authorized Version).
Quotations credited to D.B.B. are taken from the writings of David Brandt Berg (1919-1994).
Where quotations are not attributed, authorship could not be ascertained.
© 2010, Aurora Production AG, Switzerland.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 April 2013 18:38
God Still Speaks!
God isn’t dead! He’s alive and well, and still ready, willing, and able to speak to His children in this modern day and age—and He wants to speak to you!
How can that be? In order to comprehend the answer to that—how the great God and Creator of the universe could communicate directly with you, or why He would even want to—you must first understand how much God loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins so that you could be forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life in heaven, simply by believing in Jesus and receiving Him as your Savior. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but He would have died for you alone. He and His Father love you that much!
In His love, God also gave you the Bible, through which He tells you how to live in love and harmony with Him and others. God’s Words in the Bible are an endless source of faith, comfort, encouragement, instruction, wisdom, and strength of spirit. They can unlock for you some of His greatest mysteries, and set His love and power to work in your busy and sometimes stressful life.
But God didn’t stop there. He loves you so much that He not only wants to communicate with you through His written Word, but also directly! He takes a loving personal interest in you, and wants to be involved in your life. He knows that you have questions and problems, and He wants to give you the answers and solutions. He also wants to speak words of love and encouragement to you, to boost your faith and reassure you during those rough times. He wants you to know how to be happy. And so He created a means of two-way communication, a channel between Him and you, so that you can talk to Him in prayer and in reply hear words He gives specially for you.
But what if you don’t consider yourself very “spiritual” or close to God? Well, you’ll be happy to know that God will speak to anyone—and He wants to speak to you, to give you a chance to experience His infinite wisdom and boundless love. He wants to lead you step by step into a closer relationship with Him and a greater understanding of His will and ways. “Call unto Me,” He says, “and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not.”1
God may speak to you in a number of ways: As you read the Bible, He may cause a particular passage to stand out to you and show you how it applies to your situation or how it answers a question you may have. He may not even use words—He may just give you an impression or inner conviction, a sort of intuitive knowledge about a particular situation. He may speak to you through vivid dreams or visions. He may speak through others—counselors whose wisdom and experience you can benefit from. Another wonderful way that God is able to speak to you is through prophecy, by which God can give valuable and practical guidance for your personal life.
Did you know that the dictionary defines the word “prophecy” both as “a prediction” and as “a divinely inspired utterance”? In other words, prophecy is receiving a message directly from God. Whenever you hear words in your mind that you believe are from God and you say or record them somehow, you are prophesying. (Of course you may also hear God’s voice at other times, when you don’t speak or write down what you receive, but for the sake of keeping things clear and simple, when the word “prophecy” is used throughout this book, it refers to messages from heaven that are either spoken or recorded.)There are many benefits to having and using the gift of prophecy: You can get to know God better, and better understand His love and plan. He can give you answers to problems. He can comfort and encourage you when you’re sick or feeling low. He can help you show others His love, and show you how you can help them with their problems. There is really no end to the list of good things prophecy can bring your way.
You can hear from heaven. Put God to the test. See if He will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings on you—the treasures of His words for you personally—that you will not be able to contain them all.
God is like a broadcasting station, broadcasting all the time. Just like the radio waves which are unseen in the air all around you this very minute, God’s Spirit is ever present, waiting for you to make contact. And much the same as a simple little transistor radio, you have been designed by your Creator to receive those signals. God’s power is always on. The message is always there. But in order to receive it, you must turn on and tune in to His frequency.
Compared to the tremendous power and complex operations of the broadcasting station, you, the operator of the receiver, need not have much power and only the simplest of skills. Prayer is the hand of faith that flips the switch and turns on what little power you have. And then the hand of hope tunes with expectancy, feeling for the frequency upon which God is broadcasting, and suddenly His great broadcasting station tunes in.—D.B.B.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”2 Just as He spoke to men of old, His prophets of the past, so He speaks to us today. He is still alive, thank God!—D.B.B.
1. Jeremiah 33:3
2. Hebrews 13:8
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:59
As with anything else, getting started isn’t al- ways easy, and the hardest part for most people is learning to let go. You have to be willing to let go of any preconceived ideas you may have and to open your mind and heart to the Lord’s thoughts and the ways of His Spirit, which are different from your own.
Hearing from the Lord requires putting your natural senses and your own thoughts on hold. The first step is believing that there is a spiritual realm, and that someone there wants to communicate with you. The second is being willing to put aside what your natural senses tell you, and sometimes even what “common sense” tells you, in favor of what God wants to tell you.
Once you take those first two steps, you’re ready to begin in earnest. Start by finding a quiet place and taking a few minutes to talk to the Lord. Tell Him what’s on your heart. Tell Him how much He means to you. Thank Him for His love. Thank Him for all the good things He has done in your life. Count your blessings. God loves for you to praise Him. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”1
Perhaps you have a specific question you’d like to ask Jesus. Go ahead and ask Him. Specific prayers get specific answers. Or perhaps you don’t have anything in particular on your mind, but are curious to find out what He might have to say to you. Either way, once you’ve told Him why you want to hear from Him, be still and focus your mind on the Lord. Closing your eyes can help you shut out the sights around you, which can be distracting.
Now do your best to concentrate and listen with your spirit. Getting still and waiting is a manifestation of your faith. It shows that you believe your Creator loves you and will answer you. It’s during this time of quiet, as you wait before the Lord in reverence, quietness, humility, and patience, that He can speak to you.
Sometimes God may speak by bringing to mind a verse or passage from the Bible that you have read or memorized before. This verse, when applied to the particular situation or decision you are faced with, can be the clear and simple answer that you seek.
At other times, the Lord may speak a new message that you’ve never heard before—words that He’s never spoken exactly that way to anyone else. The wording of the message may sound rather formal, or it may be in casual, everyday language. The Lord can express Himself any way He likes on any subject, but He usually speaks to us each in the way that we will have the easiest time receiving and relating to.
So take in whatever comes to your heart, mind, or ears, and accept that as the Lord’s message for you. It’s sort of like interpreting: you “hear” one phrase or sentence at a time. As you speak or write down that first bit, the Lord will give you more until the message is complete. Each time you repeat what He has told you, it shows you believe that message was from the Lord. It’s a demonstration of your faith, which pleases Him.
It’s easy to dismiss this little inner voice as being your own thoughts, especially when you are first starting to hear from the Lord, but it’s important that you accept that this is Him speaking to you. When you’ve sincerely asked the Lord to speak, He will. And when He does, you must accept what He says as being from Him. “Ask and it will be given you.”2 God fills the spiritually hungry with good things.3 This is where faith is so important, because faith helps you believe God’s promises that when you call out to Him, you will receive an answer.
Try not to think about, analyze, scrutinize, or judge the message as it is coming; just accept it and thank God for it.
You may feel any one of a number of emotions while receiving a message from the Lord. Some people feel a surge of excitement or euphoria, some feel nervous, some break down and cry, some burst out laughing—but many feel nothing unusual at all. Some may feel something one time, and nothing at other times. Whether you feel some- thing or not doesn’t make the message you receive more or less valid. “We walk by faith, and not by sight”4—and certainly not by feelings!
Don’t necessarily expect to receive a long, eloquent message from God the very first time you get quiet and ask Him to speak, although that can happen. Usually with time and experience, as you exercise your gift of prophecy, the messages you receive from the Lord will be more detailed and more complete. So keep practicing. Don’t give up!
Don’t be discouraged if you start out with a “baby” gift of prophecy and only get a phrase or two, or a Bible verse, when you were hoping for something longer. Don’t let that stop you! Be encouraged that you did hear some- thing. As you keep trying, you’ll most likely receive more. Practice makes perfect.
Remember also that a message from heaven doesn’t have to be lengthy to be good. There are times that the Lord can give you the answer you are seeking in just one sentence. Of course it’s good to wait and see if He has any more to say before going about your business, but if you feel that He has finished talking, then thank Him and trust that those words contain the answer you were seeking, or at least as much as God wants to tell you at the moment.
Or perhaps you were too distracted by other thoughts while praying to hear anything at all. Don’t worry. It’s tough to concentrate sometimes, and the Lord under- stands our human frailties and weaknesses. This is new to you, and the simple fact that you’re trying is a sign of progress. Keep it up!
Try to take a few minutes each day to pray and praise the Lord. Follow this with your “question of the day” and a few moments of listening for His voice. As you get in the habit of exercising your gift, it will become easier and easier to receive the Lord’s words.
If you continue to strengthen your faith by reading God’s written Word, and if you continue to earnestly desire this gift of His Spirit, the Lord won’t fail you. God has promised to speak to you, and He won’t let you down as long as you are doing your part.
It’s easy to get answers from the Lord: you just have to have faith. When you ask the Lord for an answer, expect an answer. If you really believe and ask the Lord, and you want to hear or see, you won’t be disappointed. That thing you see or hear with the eyes or ears of your spirit, that’s the Lord. Just open up your heart and let the sunshine in! “This is the problem, Lord! What are we going to do about it?” If you’re desperate and ask Him, He’ll answer!—D.B.B.
Shutting your eyes helps you to see in the spirit and to become unconscious of the things and people around you. It helps you get your mind on the Lord and in a relaxed position, where nothing distracts you.—D.B.B.
He’s a living God, a speaking God!—One who still loves His children, who still speaks to them. You can hear from God every day. Every day should be a new experience, a new listening to the voice of the Lord.—D.B.B.
It’s important to be specific with the Lord when you ask Him for guidance, and you should expect specific answers. Being specific is a sign of your faith. It shows you really expect a specific answer, or you wouldn’t be so specific.—D.B.B.
A baby is such an illustration of faith and hearing from God. When he’s crying for his mother, you wouldn’t think of refusing him. That little baby has more faith than you do sometimes, ‘cause when the baby cries, he expects someone to hear him. Because he knows—God put it in him to know— that if he calls, you’ll answer. He expects the answer and he gets it!
After the nipple is in the baby’s mouth, he automatically starts nursing. When you cry out to God for something, He pushes it in your mouth; but if you don’t start sucking, you’ll never get it. You have to have the faith to begin to pull. A lot of times he has to suck for a couple of minutes before he gets something. His sucking is like the action of faith.
What is it that brings the milk out of the breast? It’s a vacuum! The baby deliberately, when he sucks, creates a vacuum inside his mouth, which pulls the milk out. You have to create a vacuum inside your heart: “Lord, here is this empty space—You fill it!”
Do you know what really fills that vacuum? It’s not actually the child. All the child does is create the vacuum by reducing the pressure inside his mouth, and so the milk flows out from the mother’s breast into his mouth. In prayer, you create a vacuum. There’s a space that needs filling; you seek the Lord’s help. You create the vacuum, and it is the Lord’s pressure that fills it. The power really comes from outside, not from inside. All you did was create the vacuum, but that vacuum drew the power.—D.B.B.
1. Psalm 100:4
2. Matthew 7:7
3. Luke 1:53
4. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 18:03
Once you’re open to the idea that God can speak to you, what next? Well, the first thing you need to do is learn the basic ground rules.
1. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
If you’ve received Jesus as your Savior, you’ve already met the first and most important requirement. When you opened your heart to Jesus, you began an intimate relationship with Him as not only your Savior, but as your friend, teacher, and counselor.
If you haven’t yet received Jesus, you can right now by praying a simple prayer like the following:
Dear Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and that You died for me. I now open the door of my heart and I ask You, Jesus, to please come into my life and give me Your gift of eternal life. Amen.
2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Jesus told His disciples shortly before He was crucified that after He was gone, He would send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, to teach them all things and guide them into all truth.1
Everyone who receives Jesus as their Savior receives a measure of the Holy Spirit, but being filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit—what the Bible calls the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit2—is usually a separate experience that happens later.
If you haven’t already been filled with the Holy Spirit, you can be. You do it the same way you received salvation, by praying and asking God for it. “If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”3
(For more on what it means to receive salvation [accept Jesus as your Savior] and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to appreciate the wonderful change that these experiences can bring about in your life forever, don’t miss God’s Gifts from this series.)
3. Pray for the gift
At the time someone receives the Holy Spirit, they often receive the gift of prophecy—the ability to hear God’s words directly—or one or more of the other gifts of the Spirit like speaking in tongues or healing, even though they may not realize it or understand it yet.4 The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of prophecy, and sometimes we receive it automatically when we pray for the Holy Spirit; other times we don’t, and we have to ask for it specifically. So if you didn’t receive the gift of prophecy when you prayed for the Holy Spirit, or you aren’t sure, then you should pray and specifically ask the Lord for the gift of prophecy. Jesus promises that “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”5 He’s more than willing to give you whatever gifts of the Spirit you ask for, including the gift of hearing His voice.
4. Talk to Jesus
Prayer is not complicated or formal as a lot of people think. It’s not meant to be a religious ritual, but a living relationship. Jesus wants to speak to you as openly and freely as a best friend or spouse would, but it’s a two-way street. It may be awkward at first if you aren’t used to speaking to Him personally, but it gets easier once you begin to do it regularly.
You may have difficulty praying, because you feel the things you have to say to Jesus won’t be acceptable to Him, or that He won’t understand. But remember that the Bible says that when Jesus was on earth, He was tempted, or tested, in all the very same things we are.6 So you can rest assured that He’s heard and seen everything. He understands and loves you as no other can. He wants you to tell Him your deepest thoughts, your innermost feelings, and your secret dreams and longings.
5. Jesus or God?
One question that might come to your mind is when you pray or try to hear from heaven, should you pray to God, or to Jesus, or both? Does it make any difference? In the Bible, Jesus said, “I and My Father are One,”7 but at the same time they are Father and Son. This is one of the mysteries of the spirit that we can’t quite grasp or comprehend with our mortal minds. But since they are one in spirit, you can talk to either one, and your prayers are sure to be heard and answered.
Since Jesus came to earth and lived as one of us, He is closer to us in some ways. He understands us better, having experienced being a human on earth. In reference to Jesus, the Bible tells us that “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are.”8 He has stood where you’re standing.
The Bible describes Jesus as our intercessor before God: “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”9 What this means is you can talk to God, in the name of Jesus, or you can talk directly to Jesus. You can also hear from either one in prophecy, although experience has shown that it is generally more common for those with the gift of prophecy to hear from Jesus than from God the Father.
6. Read God’s Word
In order to correctly apply the words that Jesus speaks to you in prophecy, you need a certain understanding of God’s already-recorded Word. The Bible is your foundation.10
7. Have faith
This one may seem a bit more abstract or difficult than the others, but it’s really not so hard. What is faith? The Bible tells us that faith is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it right now.11 It is believing in God and His power, even though you can’t actually see them. How do you get faith? Simple: faith comes from read the Word of God. Reading about all the times God has spoken to His children in the past, as well as becoming familiar with His many promises to speak directly to you, will strengthen your faith that you can hear from heaven. In fact, it will strengthen your faith for anything God wants you to do.
This may seem pretty obvious, but in order to receive something in prophecy from the Lord, you first usually have to ask Him to speak to you. Knowing that He can speak to you should increase your faith that when you ask, you will receive His answer loud and clear. He has promised, “Call on Me, and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”12 So place your call and get His reply!
9. Be humble
Your bearing—your mindset, your attitude of heart, your motives—helps determine how clearly you will be able to hear from heaven. One of the Lord’s prerequisites for receiving His words is that you come humbly before Him. You need to realize that you are weak in yourself, that you don’t have the answers and therefore need Him. The Bible says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels”— lowly clay pots—“that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”13 You have to be willing to consider yourself as not knowing much at all, like an empty pot waiting to be filled. And after He speaks, you must remember to give Him all the credit and all the praise. It’s His power, His gift, not yours.
10. Ask God to overcome or overrule your own will and thoughts while hearing from Him
To receive God’s messages, you need to be receptive. You need to have an open mind and heart. You need to be ready to accept what He gives, even if it’s not what you were expecting, not completely to your liking, or you don’t understand it.
If you’re asking Him for the answer to a problem, but already have a set opinion or know what you want, God can still get His message through clearly if you’re willing to put your own desires aside in order to hear what He has to say. It’s only natural to have personal opinions and desires, but you must ask the Lord to block them out for the time being and clear your mind of your preconceived ideas, in order to get His opinion and find out what He wants.
Once you have asked the Lord to do that, you can have faith that what you receive is from Him. If it supports your previous position, you’ll be encouraged that you were on the right track and can proceed with His blessing. If it’s different, you’ll soon find out that His wisdom in the matter is vastly superior to your own. Your idea may have been good, but His will prove better.
Pray for the gift of prophecy. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God spoke to lead, guide, comfort, encourage, and correct His children. You, too, can hear His voice every day! The apostle Paul said, “I would that you all prophesied.”14—D.B.B.
“Stir up the gift of God which is in you.”15 “Do not neglect the gift that is in you.”16 You have to exercise your gift, you have to use it. Like any exercise, it takes effort on your part. It takes something out of you, but it’s always worth it!—D.B.B.
We know what is true or false by the standards of God’s Word. The [written] Word is our foundation, our guide, our standard, and the rod of measurement whereby we measure all things, even the words that God gives us today [through prophecy]. It’s the Bureau of Standards by which we measure all truth and all error.—D.B.B.
1. John 16:7,13-14
2. Mark 1:7-8
3. Luke 11:13
4. 1 Corinthians 12
5. Mark 11:24
6. Hebrews 4:15
7. John 10:30
8. Hebrews 4:15
9. Hebrews 7:25
10. For more on God’s Word and prayer, you’ll find Understanding God’s Word and Prayer Power, in this series, to be a great help.
11. Hebrews 11:1
12. Jeremiah 33:3
13. 2 Corinthians 4:7
14. 1 Corinthians 14:5
15. 2 Timothy 1:6
16. 1 Timothy 4:14
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 18:02
Some people say, “There are no practical uses for prophecy in this day and age.” Fortunately for us, they’re wrong! Their lack of faith causes them to miss out on the spiritual treasures God would like to give them if they’d only believe. That’s sad, but that doesn’t mean you need to miss out too. All He requires is that you ask of Him in faith. “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”1
The practical uses for prophecy are endless. The Lord can fill any need, answer any question, provide any solution, untangle any mess, resolve any conflict. You just need to give Him a chance. If you sincerely try to do what He tells you to do, if you carry out His advice, you can be assured it will work. You’ll never regret having listened to Him. Granted, you may not see perfect results immediately, and sometimes you may never know exactly how a certain situation was helped by your listening to the Lord. However, if you let Him lead in your life, you can’t go wrong. You can trust that He will stick to His Word. He will give you just what you need and what He knows will help you most in the long run.
The Lord wants us to involve Him in every area of our lives, and to let Him help us make choices and decisions, big and small. Consider this example:
Jan and Bill are married. Jan is visiting her aunt and uncle in a town several hours from where she and Bill live. It’s Friday, and she’s already been there for a week.
She calls Bill to see how things are going at home, and Bill assures her that everything is just great. Jan mentions that her aunt has invited her to stay for two more days, and Bill says he and the kids can manage for a couple more days, no problem. Jan hangs up, but before making her final decision and telling her aunt that she will stay longer, she goes to her room and asks Jesus to confirm this plan.
In a gentle voice, the Lord tells Jan, “It would be better if you returned home now. Though Bill and the children seem to be doing fine and Bill said they could manage for a few more days, they’re going to need you there on the weekend.”
Jan has only recently developed the habit of asking for the Lord’s counsel regarding her personal decisions, so she’s a little shaky. She asks the Lord for more, and He brings a Scripture to mind. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”2 Since that is exactly what she has just done in asking Him about her plans, this verse gives her faith that the first answer she got about returning now was indeed the Lord’s voice.
So she ends her visit as she had originally planned, and returns home that night. Saturday begins as usual. Bill mows the lawn and Jan does a little spring cleaning while the kids play. Jan wonders momentarily if she made a mistake in returning home when she did, as it seems that Bill and the kids and the house would have survived the weekend without her. She reminds herself that her decision to return was based on God’s leading, and continues her chores.
After lunch the telephone rings. It’s Bill’s employer. A crisis has arisen that requires Bill’s immediate attention. Five minutes after he receives the news, Bill kisses Jan and the kids goodbye as he hurries out the door.
Now it all becomes clear: If Jan had been at her aunt and uncle’s, several hours away, Bill would have been in quite a fix. Their neighbors are all away, so there would have been no one to look after the kids. Jan thanks God for His loving, wise guidance. He hadn’t told her what emergency would arise, but He had showed her which would be the better of two seemingly equal choices.
Divine guidance can make a difference in almost any situation, big or small, that you might face in life. Without the Lord, you might get it right part of the time or most of the time, but He can get it right every time. Prophecy will be an invaluable tool when you’re faced with major questions or complex problems, but you’ll also find that He can help you in seemingly small matters as well. He’s always around, and He’s always happy to help. Why not avail yourself of His words of wisdom—the best professional help available anywhere today?
Maybe your business is in trouble and you aren’t sure what move to make next. Maybe you’re having trouble getting along with your boss or your employees. Maybe you’re having marriage or relationship problems. Maybe your work and personal relationships are going fine, but you just don’t see where your life is taking you or what your priorities and goals should be.
If you have children, there will always be plenty of things you don’t understand and need heavenly insight about. One of your children might be slow in learning to read, one might have a bed-wetting problem, one might not make friends easily. Maybe your oldest has just entered adolescence and suddenly you two can’t seem to communicate anymore. There are plenty of books that could be of some help at these times, and you can always turn to more experienced parents, teachers, or counselors for advice, but why not also ask the one who created your children and knows their needs better than anyone?
Perhaps you’re going on a business trip, and there are several alternatives for arranging your itinerary. Maybe you’re planning a move to another city, or considering a career change. Maybe you’re not sure when would be the best time to take your vacation, or where to go. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, take them as opportunities to tap into the wisdom of your all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful God. He knows what’s ahead, and what will be the best for you and make you happiest. He can also protect you from accidents and harm by steering you clear of them, if you check your plans with Him ahead of time and follow His directions.
It may feel a little awkward at first, putting the Lord smack in the center of your daily life, with all its joys, sorrows, difficulties, and hard choices, but that’s exactly where He belongs and wants to be. Pretty soon you’ll wonder how you ever made a decision without Him.
1. John 16:24
2. Proverbs 3:6
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 18:13