The Basics of How to Listen When God Speaks with the Listen When He Speaks Scripture reading AND writing plan
What is Listen When He Speaks?
Listen When He Speaks is a Scripture reading and writing plan inspired by Evelyn Christensen’s Read Until He Speaks devotional Bible-reading method described in her book, Lord, Change Me, and various Scripture-writing plans found on many blogs.
It’s a tool to help readers establish, reestablish, or continue a daily time reading Scripture, and take the time to listen to what God says each day through His Word. Regular time in God’s Word is vital for the life of the believer.
Where do I start?
Are you signed up? If not, sign up here! Then check your email, and confirm your subscription… then check your email again for your password to access this year’s lists. You’ll receive 1-2 emails from me per month, and one of them will be to let you know the next list is ready to download. Don’t worry, I won’t flood your inbox or share your info.
Daily readings are posted monthly. Each month has a theme. Reading on a particular theme for the month is good, but don’t let it distract you from letting God speak to you in whatever area you need to hear.
Always start the day’s reading with prayer. Ask for a mind clear of preconceived ideas, an open heart to hear, and humility to listen.
What do I need?
A Bible. Digital or paper, in your choice of translation. I enjoy my comparative study Bible; it contains the KJV, Amplified, NASB, and NIV side-by-side. I had one with the NLT, too, but I gave it to a friend. Sometimes it’s helpful to compare translations. The most literal translations, word-for-word, include the King James Version and the New American Standard Bible. The most thought-for-thought I’ll usually go is the New Living Translation.
A notebook or journal. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like. I’m using a Top Flight one-subject, spiral-bound, college-ruled notebook I picked up at a dollar store.
What do I write?
You know those moments when you’re reading the Bible, and something – a passage, verse, phrase, or even sometimes a word – jumps out and grabs you. That! That’s what we want to write.
Unlike typical Scripture-writing plans, Listen When He Speaks doesn’t give you a passage to write, it gives a passage to read. Our daily readings are typically longer than passages meant to be written out in one sitting. They’re usually about one chapter long.
Some days I’m struck by so much, I end up writing an entire page full of Scripture and ellipses. Other days… not so much. We’ll get to that in a moment.
What are the Four Cs of Listen When He Speaks?
When God speaks to us through His Word, it’s often in one or more of four areas:
Character: He reveals more of Who He Is. Wow.
Comfort: He breathes healing into an ache or emptiness. Ahhh.
Confirmation: He lets us know we’re on the right track. Yes!
Conviction: He points out where we’re going wrong and need to yield. Ouch.
Check out The Four Cs of Listening When God Speaks for more details on the Four Cs.
What if nothing jumps out?
When a passage stops us in our tracks, we need to stay. Not just jump back in, full-steam ahead. But that doesn’t always happen.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is His message to us. If He doesn’t stop us as you go through a day’s reading, it doesn’t mean He’s not speaking. It can mean we’re not listening. It can also mean He wants us to read further. If you feel Him drawing you on, follow.
If your mind is too busy with to-do lists or the roaring waves of your circumstances, take some time to pray, and reenter the day’s reading.
What if we feel like the passage is done with us for the moment, that we’ve listened and learned, but didn’t have a stopped-in-our-tracks moment?
Start writing about the passage. Is there a theme that resonates?
How does the passage speak to one or more the Four Cs?
Character: What does the passage say about who God is?
Comfort: Did I sigh in relief, or cry, or laugh, as God’s words were a balm?
Confirmation: Was I infused with joy, a sense of purpose, or renewed energy for a task or role or ministry?
Conviction: Was I confronted by a sin or stronghold in my life?
As you write about what the passage says, you’ll likely find verses that sum up the message; write them.
What if I want to learn more about the passage?
Yay! There are various tools to dig deeper into Scripture study. Start by finding out what else the Bible has to say on the subject. Most of us don’t have a really good concordance, but using an online Bible website like BibleGateway works! If you’re reading in the New Testament, you can even check out the Greek in the Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament. I love my old-school Strong’s. Check out more of my favorites in Bible Study Resources: Learn, Meditate, Memorize.
Why is there a suggested verse to memorize?
When we don’t know God’s Word, we can’t recognize when it’s being misused, or twisted to deceive us. When Satan tempted Jesus, he used Scripture; Jesus countered with Scripture. When struggling in our thought life, it’s helpful to have Scripture to beat back the lies that repeat, repeat, repeat; and to replace the images. In time we need guidance or comfort, the Holy Spirit brings back to mind the Words of God we have hidden in our heart.
Each month’s suggested memory passage is typically longer than one verse, but manageable over the weeks we have to learn it.
Read more about The Importance of Memorizing Scripture.
What is the difference between devotional Bible reading and Bible study?
Devotional Bible reading is good and necessary. But it will only get us so far. It’s like the ultimate healthy snack. Good for us, but, sooner or later, we need to sit down to a hearty meal. If you rely on a reading plan like this, or daily devotionals, memorizing isolated passages of Scripture, or even simply reading through the Bible, there will be gaps in your understanding. Our interpretation and application of God’s Truth in our lives should be informed by all of Scripture.
Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry. It’s a lifelong process. I’ll write more about it as we go.