Tom Pounder and I have been friends for (gasp!) over 15 years. We met as volunteer leaders for Young Life, where on our drives to and from the high school where we worked, Tom would teach me his own language which involved punches on the arm for not responding quickly enough and key words like “Yeti!” Now, Tom works full-time in ministry, and since I have been working on hearing more from God, I thought you guys might also like to read his thoughts on this topic. A wise man, Tom is. . . . Yeti!!

Romans 8:5-8; 13 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God…13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

So if living according to the spirit leads to life, how do you go about doing that? How do we live a life according to the Spirit’s leading and direction? The first thing you need to do is to practice hearing the voice of God. You have to practice hearing where the Spirit is leading. The way to do that is to set aside some time to listen. When you listen you may hear a ton of things. The way to judge whether or not it is God speaking to you and leading you is to ask “Is this (what I am hearing) Biblical?”. If it is, then I would suggest you throw what you are hearing to some a mature follower of Christ. Share with them what you are hearing and see what they have to say about it.

Ultimately, I believe that the more in tune we can be into God by reading the Bible and spending time listening, the more in tune with the Spirit we will be. Then, we will begin to know and understand when it is the Spirit is leading and we will hear more often from it. That way, when a decision needs to be made, you will be able to test and know if it is the Spirit leading you in that direction or not. If we can discern that, then I believe that we truly will have a life worth living for.

Tom Pounder has been sharing Jesus Christ with teenagers and their parents for nearly 15 years. Currently Tom serves as the Family Ministry Director at New Life Christian Church in Centreville, VA. He oversees the development of the children, youth and sportsplex programs. Tom is married to his beautiful wife, Anne, and has 4 amazing daughters. He also blogs regularly at, inspiring youth, children and family ministers with practical tools to effectively build a ministry that lasts.

Tom Pounder