For many who claim to be followers of Jesus, the idea of hearing from God is foreign. They have no problem with petitioning God and expecting Him to hear them, but they have great difficulty in believing they can hear from Him.
Hearing from God has often been reduced to getting insight through verses from the Bible. The thought that God speaks directly to us as individuals seems somehow scary and kind of weird!
Yet hearing from God is Scriptural. Moses had a conversation with God at the burning bush where God gave him specific instructions as to how to rescue the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.
Gideon gained sufficient confidence to take on the Midianites when the Angel of the Lord called out his true identity and gave him the confirmation through the fleece to step up to his destiny. We’ve already spoken about Paul hearing Jesus’ voice on the road to Damascus and he was far from being Christian.
Peter also received instruction from Jesus regarding the clean and unclean animals (see Acts 10). In John 16:13 we see the Holy Spirit has been given to us to communicate the plans and desires of the Father. The Holy Spirit does this through visions, dreams, prophetic words, words of wisdom and words of knowledge (see 1 Corinthians 12).
It's easy to hear from God. Samuel heard from God even though he did not know it was God. Three times he went to Eli, the high priest, thinking he had called. In 2 Samuel 3:7 we’re told the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Finally Eli instructs Samuel how he should respond to the voice of the Lord, and when God spoke to him next Samuel was able to discern God’s voice.
In reality God is speaking to us more than we are discerning. Hearing is simpler than we imagine. You’ll be familiar with Isaiah 55:8 my thoughts are not your thoughts but that is an Old Covenant statement about rebellious Israel whom the prophet Isaiah was imploring to repent. To the obedient, to those born again Spirit filled followers of Jesus, perhaps the statement should read more like this: Our thoughts are His thoughts!
The Bible is most clear. It’s the unbeliever who has the depraved mind (see Romans 1:28) and that mind is hostile toward God (see Romans 8:7).
But the believer, the follower of Jesus, is commanded to be transformed by the renewing of their mind (see Romans 12:2).
Paul drives home the point I‘m trying to make when he says in 1 Corinthians 2:16; we have the mind of Christ.