HOW TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD
One of the greatest benefits of our salvation has to be that of hearing God speak to us personally. There can be no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it.
One of the greatest benefits of our salvation has to be that of hearing God speak to us personally. There can be no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it. But, as easy as it is for us to speak to Him, the average Christian has a hard time hearing His voice. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be.
Learning to clearly distinguish God’s voice is invaluable. Instead of going through life blindly, we can have the wisdom of God guide and protect us. There isn’t a single person receiving this letter who couldn’t have their life radically transformed by hearing the voice of the Lord better. The worst marital problem is one word from the Lord away from a total turnaround. If you have sickness or disease, one living word from the Lord will instantly heal you. If you are in financial crisis, the Lord knows exactly how to turn your situation around. It’s just a matter of hearing His voice.
The Lord constantly speaks to us and gives us His direction. It’s never the Lord who is not speaking, but it’s us who are not hearing. Jesus made some radical statements about hearing His voice in John 10:3-5. He was speaking about Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and the only way to enter the sheepfold.
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
Notice that He said in verse 3, His sheep hear His voice. He didn’t say His sheep CAN hear His voice or SHOULD hear His voice. He made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice. Most Christians would question the accuracy of that statement since their experiences don’t line up. But it’s not what Jesus said that is wrong; all true believers can and do hear the voice of God; they just don’t recognize what they are hearing as being God’s voice.
Radio and television stations transmit twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; but we only hear them when we turn the receiver on and tune it in. Failure to hear the signal doesn’t mean the station isn’t transmitting. Likewise, God is constantly transmitting His voice to His sheep, but few are turned on and tuned in. Most Christians are busy pleading with God in prayer to transmit when the problem is with their receivers.
The first thing we need to do is fix our receivers — believe that God is already speaking and start listening. However, that takes time, effort, and focus. The average Christian’s lifestyle is so busy, it isn’t conducive to hearing God’s voice. For instance, what is your typical answer to the question, “How are you?” Many of you probably answer something about being very busy. I often say, “I’m busier than a one-arm paper hanger.” All of us seem to be busier than ever, and that’s one of the BIG reasons we don’t hear the voice of the Lord better. We’re just too busy.
Psalm 46:10 says,
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
It’s in stillness, not busyness, that we tune our spiritual ears to hear the voice of God. The Lord always speaks to us in that “STILL, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12, emphasis mine), but often it’s drowned out amid all the turmoil of our daily lives. H
Second, and this is very important, most often we mistake the voice of the Lord for our own thoughts. That’s right. I said the voice of the Lord comes to us in our own thoughts.
John 4:24 says,
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
This is saying that communication with God is Spirit to spirit, not brain to brain or mouth to ear, the way we communicate in the physical realm. The Lord speaks to our spirits, not in words, but in thoughts and impressions. Then our spirits speak to us in words like, “I think the Lord wants me to do this or that.” The Lord doesn’t typically say “You do this or that,” but He will impress your spirit to do something, and then your spirit says, “I think I should do . . .” Therefore, we often miss the leading of the Lord, thinking it’s our own thoughts.
Every one of us has done something stupid and afterward said, “I knew that was the wrong thing to do.” We didn’t feel right about our decision, but we followed logic or pressure only to find that our impression was actually the Lord