Being close to anyone requires communication back and forth. The same is true of our spiritual life.

In order to be close to God, we must be in relationship with him, expressing what is on our hearts and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. Typically, it is not the speaking part that we have trouble with - it is the hearing and understanding what God is speaking to us that causes so much trouble and confusion.

Many people complain about not being able to hear the voice of God or the ability to distinguish God’s voice from their own, or the devil’s. Knowing the voice of God cannot be passed through intellectual learning or Bible knowledge alone. We cannot read stories about others who have heard the voice of God, whether in the Bible or not, and expect that we too would then know and understand his voice when he speaks. To be sure, there are principles that we can follow to help us along the way, but we must try the principle (test the hypothesis) in order to understand. Experience is essential, it is why Jesus didn’t sit and give his disciples seminary style instruction for three years, then release them. They had to experience the reality of what he was saying and teaching while he was teaching it.

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