One thing that I hear often from others is that they don’t know how to hear from God. I remember when I first came to Christ I would pray and get no response. I would ask Him for direction, and get no peace one way or another. Everyone wants to do the right thing, and hearing from God would help them know what the right thing is! I think that we give up sometimes when we don’t hear something right away; and then we just assume that He won’t answer us anyway, so we stop trying. A.W. Tozer said, “A person who does not believe that God speaks will discount it when He does speak, every time.” The Bible makes it very clear that God wants to speak to us; in fact, God IS speaking to us.
The most repeated phrase spoken by Jesus was, “He who has ears, let him hear.” This was a cry for those who truly desired to know the depths of His mysteries: If you really want to hear, then listen to my voice. Jesus reiterates and expounds on this in John 10:27, when He says, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.” Those who truly follow Him hear His voice, meaning they shut out all of the other voices and listen only for Him. This is a level of relationship that doesn’t come quickly and easily. If you were in a room with fifty other people, and your child or your spouse said your name, you would hone in on it. You would drown out the other voices in the room, and seek out the source. We recognize and know the voices of those we are in close relationship with.
God still speaks to us in many ways; through the Bible, which is the living word; through the Holy Spirit prompting our minds; and through trusted counsel. God speaks with both His voice and His actions. Throughout the Bible, the miracles and providence that God showed to His people backed up the things that He had said He would do. They weren’t just words on parchment, they were confirmed by actions in order to reinforce the faith of His people.
When God speaks, it produces something. There are nine times in the book of Genesis that say, “God spoke”; and nine times, it follows with “God saw.” In Isaiah 55:11 God says, “My word which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me void, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
The first thing that God spoke into existence was light; before He spoke, everything was formless and void and covered in darkness. Likewise, when you hear His word, it produces light and illumination in you, where there once was darkness. God’s word produces change from the inside.
How do I hear God’s voice?
Intimacy. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27
The Greek word for ‘know’ here (ginosko) means intimacy.
Discipleship (follow him daily). The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Matthew 13:10-11. Why did the disciples have the secrets? Because they followed Him daily and knew Him.
Clear the Clutter (spiritually). Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:21
Reposition yourself. Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” You cannot gain intimacy when you are not alone with God. Find a quiet place and time to meet with Him and listen.
Listen. “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Slow down. When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? Jeremiah 2:25
“Other gods” can be television, sports, work, or just business in general. SLOW DOWN and listen.
Scripture. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Because God’s Word is alive, He can reveal new to things to you each time you read it.
The Holy Spirit speaks to you heart (some people call it conscience). I speak the truth in Christ–I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit. Romans 9:1
Godly counsel. Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
Confirmation. Judges 6:36-40, When Gideon was unsure whether he was hearing from God, he asked for confirmation. He continued to doubt and ask for more proof, but God was patient and provided it. We can ask God for external confirmation, and He sometimes sends us confirmation through others or through circumstances. At some point, it takes faith to stop asking for proof and just take the step.
Through the peace of God. Let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Through circumstances and timing. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
Remember that these things will take time. We have to approach hearing from God as a form of discipline, done daily. He has an answer before we ever ask the question. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
Have you ever felt that you have “heard” from God on something in your life?
Do you ever struggle with doubts about whether God really speaks to us?
Find a place and time this week to begin having a quiet time with God. The Bible refers, over and over, to a place that people go in order to pray and meditate on the Word. This would be a place you can go around the same time each day to just be quiet. This can be your car, your shower, your bedroom once the kids are asleep, whatever works for you.
by Lili Morris