“Whoever is of God hears the words of God…” – John 8:47
Hearing God’s voice happened in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean it happens today. If we were to hear someone say they “hear from God” or “have conversations with God”, we might smile outwardly but wonder if they had all of their faculties. Prayer, for the vast majority of us, is a one-way conversation where we submit a request to God in hopes that He hears us and answers it with a yes.
The truth is, our Heavenly Father loves to speak to His children. We see this throughout the Bible. Psalm 85:8 says, “I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people…” Jeremiah 33:3 adds, “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” The reality is that God is always there, available and welcoming, to guide, reveal, comfort, and speak the truth. The question then becomes, how do we hear His voice?
The first step is to believe that God speaks and that His voice is for everyone. The enemy wants us to believe God is distant, that He is too busy to talk to us, that hearing from God is reserved for just a few. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is always present and is delighted when His children seek Him and enter into conversation with Him.
Not only does God want to guide us specifically, He wants to communicate with us directly. He desires to speak into our hearts; encouraging us, shaping us, convicting us, inspiring us. The question is are we listening? The first step in hearing God speak is to be still and listen. We need to create margin in our lives to simply be still and quiet before God, listening for His voice speaking into our hearts. We strengthen our connection with God by spending time in fellowship with Him.
We must train our hearts to hear our Father’s voice, just as a child can discern their parent’s voice out of a crowd of other voices. (John 10:3-4) God speaks to us internally through his Holy Spirit; using a feeling, an impression, an image, a prompting, a single word or thought. God can speak through many sources. God can be attempting to communicate with us in every part of the day and through a variety of means. He may speak through a song, through a conversation with a friend, a counseling session, through scripture, in a sermon, through “coincidences”, an advertisement, through someone in your small group, etc. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13) The more you seek God’s voice, the more easily you will recognize it when He speaks.
If we get close enough to the Lord, we will hear Him speak to us. God is speaking…are we listening?
- What is the biggest challenge to hearing God’s voice?
- What can we do this week to overcome that challenge?