I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to lead a Bible study at my church recently. Our topic is learning to discern the voice of God. One of the key principles we’re learning is that we must train our ears to hear Him.

You may be wondering exactly what it means to train your ear. Think of it this way: When my daughter was born, I became attentive to her cry. I paid attention, trying to figure out what was wrong. (And boy, did I have a lot of opportunity to practice listening!) Eventually, I could pick her cry out from a room of other babies.

Or, think about music. As an alto, I have had to train my ear to hear the right notes over all the other noise in the room. Usually, the sopranos can’t hear my part because their ears haven’t been trained to pick up those notes.

Maybe you work in an office, like I do. Part of my job is answering the phone, and I can hear that ring from almost any part of the office, even when others can’t.

The common factor here is concentrating practice. It’s important that I hear those sounds regardless of the distractions around me. When we train our spiritual ears to hear the Spirit’s voice, we have to spend time in the word, in worship, and in prayer. Eventually, it will become clear what He is saying to us.

It all boils down to how willing we are to listen.