If you have a relationship with someone, that usually means you’ve spoken with them long enough to get to know them. When I call close friends and family members on the phone, I don’t always have to say who I am. They can recognize my voice because they know me. They know how I act. They know what to expect from me.
Someone who seeks God by reading the Bible will get to know God and the way He does things. If you learn enough about God to know what to expect from Him, you’ll recognize His voice when He speaks.
A close relationship is one that has moved beyond small talk. You’re ready to discuss things that really matter. You can communicate and entire messages in one small sentence.
When a husband and wife accept a dinner invitation in the afternoon, the wife gets off the cell phone and says to her husband, “The kids.” He responds, “I’ve already called the neighbors. They’re getting them out of the pool right now. We can get them cleaned up in time for dinner.” She said only two words, but their relationship was close enough that he knew what she was thinking.
In Hosea 2:16, we read, “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’.”
One of the main differences between a spouse and a servant is the degree of intimacy. The relationship that allows intimacy is a safe place to share the deep secrets of the heart. Intimacy in your relationship lets you share things that you don’t share with a stranger.
Getting to know God gives you opportunities to hear from Him as a master, or as a friend, or as an intimate lover. God lets you get as close to Him as you want to be. If you only seek God as a servant seeks his Master, then expect the messages you hear to be directed to a faithful servant. If you seek God as a child seeks his father, you’re only looking for messages that would be directed to a son or daughter. If you want to get deeper with God, then share the deep things of your heart with Him and pay attention when He speaks.
Step two of hearing from God is knowing Him well enough to recognize Him when He speaks.