Children hear so easily from the Lord. They’re not inhibited by doubt, fear, pride, or any of the other walls most adults have built between God. They have no trouble believing He speaks to us. After all, nothing is impossible for God; the Bible tells us so. Proverbs 3:5-6; John 10:27; Matthew 19:26.
So, take advantage of this time while your children are young to learn together with them how to listen to God.
If you yourself have trouble believing God speaks to you, remember that everything we think, believe, and act upon must agree with what God says in order for it to be true. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, John 8:42-47. There just is no verse that says He stopped speaking when the canon was closed. So, let’s look at some of the many ways the Bible says God speaks:
- The Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Circumstances (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Psalm 40:1-3)
- Others (1 Corinthians 2:4-13)
- His still small voice in your mind and heart (Psalm 42:8)
- Dreams and visions (Acts 2:17)
- Impressions or urgings (Acts 15:28)
- A sense of peace (Acts 2:17-21)
- Signs and wonders (Acts 2:17-21)
- Nature (Psalm 125; 19:1-4)
- and many more!!!!
His voice might be loud and earth-shattering (Psalm 29), or soft and whispered (1 Kings 19:11-13), but God most certainly speaks!
So, how will you and your children know His voice, when so many other voices (like your own, others’, the enemy’s, and the world’s) are vying for attention?
The Three-Fold Sieve
Everything God says
- Agrees with His Word — all of it, not just a portion
- Agrees with His character, especially His love
- Draws us closer to Himself
So, let’s try that now. Run the sentence, “God speaks to others, but not to me,” through the Three-Fold Sieve. Does it make it through?
Sometimes the reason we think we can’t hear God is because He’s not answering us in the way we expect or want Him to.
The best way to “hear” the Lord is to surrender. Lay all of your opinions, ideas, hopes, desires, etc., down at His feet and ask Him for His.
There’s more on listening to God in the devotional Bible study workbook, Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volume 1, and Volume 2. But in this post, I’d like to encourage you to lead your children to listen to the Lord. They will need that belt of truth sooner than you think. Ephesians 6:14, Psalm 8:2.
Now is the time to train your children (and yourself!) to grab hold of what Truth says so the father of lies won’t take you captive.
John 8:42-47, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
This is one of the methods the Lord led us to do:
- Snuggle up together in bed at night with the lights out.
- Pray for Him to push out any distractions and enemy interference.
- Ask God to lead us in our time together and speak to our hearts.
- Then ask Him a question.
Here are a few of our favorite questions to ask Him:
- Lord, what do You want to say to my heart right now? Take me anywhere You want to take me. Show me anything You want to show me. Say anything You want to say.
- Lord, when You look at me, what do You see?
- Lord, what’s on Your mind? What makes You happy? What makes You sad?
- Lord, show me where You were throughout my day today and what You were doing.
- Lord, show me where You’ll be tomorrow and what You want to do with me.
Our kids were so excited to share what God was saying to their hearts that we had to make a rule to keep silent while others were still listening, and then put a hand on my arm when we’d heard from God. When all the hands were in place, we’d share with each other what He said.
Because we asked the Lord to protect that time together and to lead us, and because we asked God to speak, not the enemy or ourselves, we trusted Him to answer, and He did. That time was also extra-protected because we could run what He said through the Three-Fold Sieve together.
Just to give you an idea of how God speaks to children, the first time we did this together we asked, “Lord, when You look at me, what do You see?” Both our kids immediately saw pictures.
“I’m a mighty warrior, with so much armor from head to toe that you can only see my eyes,” said our son.
And our daughter giggled, “I’m a warrior princess in a white dress, carrying a plate of fruit to Jesus.”
Growing up in a dark corner of the world where spiritual warfare is at crazy levels, our son has fought countless battles ever so bravely for the Lord. And our daughter lives out all the fruit the Spirit has given her, but she so joyfully offers it all back to Jesus. (See Ephesians 6:10-20, Galatians 5:22-23).
As if that wasn’t evidence enough that the pictures were from the Lord, a few days later we received a book in the mail from a friend: Children, Can You Hear Me? by Brad Jersak (which I highly recommend, by the way.) The kids and I flipped through the pages together and found that very same question we had asked Jesus. Next to it was a drawing of a brother and sister looking in the mirror; and in their reflection, he was armored from head to toe and she was wearing a white princess dress.
Indeed God speaks in mysterious and wonderful ways!
(For more information on equipping your children to triumph over lies, see Out You Go, Fear! children’s book for ages 4-8; in the back are tips for parents to help kids listen to God and walk in freedom from fear and other strongholds.)