The life of every great man and woman in the Bible was marked by the ability to hear and recognize the voice of God. As clearly as He spoke to these men, He has promised to speak to us as well.
God has not stopped talking and revealing Himself to His people. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” The Bible you hold in your hand is the primary instrument through which God will speak to you.
Let’s look at some practical ways in which you can begin to hear the voice of God.
- Put yourself in a position to hear God’s voice. Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me…” How do we do this? By waking up in the morning with the sole objective of hearing God’s voice. Isaiah 50:4 says, “He awakens me morning by morning to listen.” Start your day by deciding not to do anything until you have spent time listening to God.
- Listen consistently. Notice the words “morning by morning” in Isaiah 50:4. Each morning we should pray in the spirit, read encouraging scriptures and expect to hear the voice of God. Consistency is the key to anything in our lives. If you will consistently start your day listening to God, you will begin to recognize what He is saying to you all the time.
- Never listen to a voice that is contrary to the Word (2 Peter 1:19). God will never speak something contrary to the Bible. For example, some people have thought God was telling them they didn’t need to join a church. However, Psalm 92:13 and 1 Corinthians 12:18 show us that it is God’s will (therefore it is His voice) that we be planted in a church that will help us grow and flourish in God!
- Obey Him in the little things that you already know. Luke 16:10 says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” As we are faithful to carry out the simple voice of scripture such as: forgive, serve, tithe, love—then God’s voice will become clearer and clearer in areas of life that are more complicated and harder to figure out.
- Keep a soft heart. Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” Here are some simple steps to keep a soft heart:
- Be willing to do whatever He tells you (before He tells you!)
- Be thankful for what God has done. A thankful heart is a soft heart.
- Hold nothing against anyone, for any reason. This includes forgiving yourself. Jesus’ blood was shed for your sins, shortcomings and mistakes! He holds nothing against you! So treat yourself and others the way He treats you. You are forgiven!
God loves you so much that He never wants you to be alone! He will be with you wherever you go and speak to you in every situation in which you will listen with a humble heart. Problems increase in our lives when we don’t listen to God. Solutions come when we hear from God.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of hearing God’s voice.
- Rest. Isaiah 28:12 says, “To whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; but they would not hear (listen).’” Rest speaks of refreshing, and the fulfillment of God’s promises. Hebrews 3:7-19 shows us that God’s people did not enter into His rest because they did not listen to His voice. Therefore, the more we learn to listen to His voice, (with the intent to obey), the more rest, refreshing and fulfillment we will experience.
- Peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will hear what God, the Lord will speak. He will speak peace to His godly ones.” God promises peace to those who listen. The Hebrew word for peace, “shalom” means “nothing is missing and nothing is broken.” It means to be made whole, to be secure, to have confidence and triumph over opposition.
- Supernatural Deliverance. In 2 Samuel 5:17-23 David seeks for direction from God on what to do about the Philistine army. God then speaks to him and gives him a strategy that results in David’s victory and his enemy’s defeat. This is exactly what God will do for you when you listen for His voice. But keep in mind, His strategy will not always make sense to your “natural” mind. You must be “spiritually” minded (Romans 8:5-6).
- Favor! Proverbs 8:33-35 says, “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.”
- Forward Progress. Look at what God says in this amazing scripture in Jeremiah 7:23-24: “’…Hear My voice, and I will be your God. And you shall be My people…’ But they did not LISTEN, nor inclined their ears, but walked in the counsels and the imaginations of their evil heart; and WENT BACKWARD, NOT FORWARD.” Wow! How much clearer can God be? When we listen to His voice, we will go forward, make progress and grow. When we don’t listen, we will go backward, lose progress and fail. For the believer who desires to grow, there is absolutely nothing more important in this life than to hear His voice and follow it!
You may say, “But how can I really know if it’s God’s voice that I’m hearing or if it’s just me?” Well, fortunately, your spirit is made in the image of God, so sometimes, the voice you are hearing is the same voice. Your spirit often “echoes” what God is saying.
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit…” In other words, they sound very similar. But to give you some simple guidelines, you can know it God’s voice when:
It agrees with Scripture.
It agrees with love.
It brings that peace that “surpasses comprehension.”
It brings comfort, encouragement and confidence.
It agrees with the character, love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Expect God to speak to you today. Expectation is the key to manifestation. You CAN hear His voice. Make a decision to listen with a heart of expectation.
As you listen to the voice of God, (which is the highest form of wisdom) God will open doors for you that no man can close. He will surround you with favor as a shield. And, you will experience His provision, protection and promotion!