In Mark Batterson’s book, Whisper, How to Hear the Voice of God, he writes that reading the Bible is only the first step to hearing the voice of God. And, he concludes, “unfortunately, that’s where most people stop.”
Once we read the Word of God, we need to take time to think about it. He calls it meditating, thinking about what we have read, but to me it is also suggests slowing down enough to escape worldly distractions and give God’s Word the time to sink in.
A critical component of hearing the Word of God, Batterson writes, is prayer. Listening to God invites conversation. Prayer is how we converse with God. It is the language by which we may speak directly to our Creator. The Word of God is the key to changes within us when we engage it through prayer.
But hearing the word of God requires more than listening. It requires action on our part: G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting as it has been found difficult and left untried.” Just as prayer and contemplation of Scripture provide an “on/off” switch in our communications with God, action provides the connection.
In other words, we cannot simply read the Bible, meditate on it, pray through it, and contemplate the Word of God. We must also act on it. Otherwise, Batterson writes, we’ve simply been enlightened beyond our level of obedience.