Listening to God
Most of us, even seminary trained folk, have not had any teaching on listening to God outside of our morning quiet times. I think North Americans translate John 10 (my sheep know me, listen to my voice and follow me) as this:
Jesus, as Shepherd, gathers his sheep in the morning - because of course that is the sanctified time of day to meet with Jesus. He gives some principles and instructions, "You can go here, don't go there. Do this, and don't do that. And... remember, I am with you always - and I'll see you tomorrow morning."
We know in Biblical times, that Shepherds were even with their sheep at night. The night of Jesus' own birth the angels appeared to the shepherds "watching their flocks by night." (Luke 2:8)
So, why do we doubt we can hear him? What are we most afraid of? Do we think God only speaks to tell us to do something that makes us feel way outside our comfort zones? Do we fear He only speaks to point out how we're screwing up? Do we believe, as the hymn writer penned, that God has "echoes of mercy, whispers of love" for us?
The first step to hearing is desire. Do you want to hear? Do you want to hear the voice of Love call you Beloved? Do you need to hear the voice of Love calling you Beloved? Have you ever sat with someone who doesn't really want to listen to you? I know when I am with someone like that, I stop talking. I don't compete with whatever else is distracting him/her. God is not in a hurry nor will He compete with a person not desirous of hearing His voice.
Like young Samuel, simply pray: "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
Then, as God prompts your heart...obey. Step out trusting He wants to reveal Himself to you.
Let me know how it goes.