Circumstance or Environment
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
Mental or Emotional State
Relationship with God
Prior Actions on Promptings
Knowledge of the Gospel
Willingness to Act
Desire to Believe
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yeah, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
God gives us the choice on earth whether to believe in Him. If we desire to not believe, we will be free to do so. This means that one of the first steps to gaining faith, and consequently a willingness to act on the promptings that God gives us, is desiring to believe.
When we seek out the Lord, He will provide us with ways to increase our faith in Him. Through these experiences we can increase our faith.
Exercise of Faith
In this life, it seems we can’t just stay still; at any moment, we either progress or digress. Some use the phrase “use it or lose it.” The same applies to faith. We must put our faith into practice to be able to maintain it.
This relates to the mental and emotional states talked about above. We need to be willing to accept what the Lord gives us, even if it’s not our desired answer.
Any type of risk detracts from our willingness to follow God’s communications. If we feel that a commandment from God may put us in harms way (such as Jonah felt when he was called on to go to Nineveh) we will be less likely to be willing to follow the prompting.
Risk to Ego
Following spiritual promptings seems strange sometimes. God often asks us to do things that we do not understand. This threatens our egos as we put our selves at risk of embarrassment, confusion, or simply being wrong. Humility is the antidote to this problem.
Need for Help
Loss, especially the loss of a loved one, often instills us with a need for divine guidance. When we truly need, and recognize our need for God, we are often willing to follow Him.
Fear or Uncertainty
Fear is the opposite of faith, but in the face of fear, we have the chance to choose one or the other. If fear can help us recognize our need for God’s help, we have a chance to put our faith in Him and receive His guidance.
Usually emotional, pain can and the desire for relief from pain can often help us recognize a need for God. Like the other needs, it’s a bit of a negative based motivation, but us as humans often tend to forget our God without reminders like that.
What Else has Helped You?
I do not think that this frame is complete, but it’s a good start. If you feel that you’ve been struggling to receive spiritual communication, you may start by looking at the framework, deciding where you’re weakest, and developing a plan on how to improve it.
But this is just my quick sketch. What else has helped you receive spiritual guidance that I might be able to add to the framework? Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org