How to Hear God's Voice
Believers often mention hearing God's voice. We say "God told me to do this" or "God told me to give up that." But what does that mean exactly?
While the Bible records times when people audibly heard the voice of God (such as Abram in Genesis 15, Moses in Exodus 33, and Saul in Acts 9), most of us don't hear from God with our physical ears. So how can we hear from God? How can we make sure that we are hearing from Him and not listening to our own voice or the voices of others around us?
Jesus said, "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice" (John 10:3–4).
Later in that passage (vv. 11,14) Jesus explained that He is the good shepherd.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me."
This passage encourages us that it is possible to recognize the voice of Jesus, but that isn't always an easy process. Apart from physically hearing from God, the Bible teaches of at least three ways to hear His voice.
Through the Word
Have you ever been reading your Bible and a specific passage seemed to jump off the page at you? Can you think of a time when you came across a specific Bible verse just when you needed it? God often uses His Word to teach us about Him and guide us in all circumstances.
Lies Young Women Believe co-author Nancy Leigh DeMoss once said, "You will never have a greater relationship with God than the relationship you have with His Word."
If you want to learn to know God's voice, His Word is where to start.
Second Timothy 3:16–17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Hebrews 4:12 calls God's Word living and active. It is chocked full of messages from God. The more you read it, the more you will understand the character of God and recognize how He communicates.
Our circumstances often prompt us to want to hear God's voice. We may need to make a difficult decision and need God's help. We may face difficult circumstances that make us desperate for answers. These are the times when we are tempted to say "God, please answer me!" These are also great opportunities to hear from Him through His Word. God's Word has so much to say about so many topics. From parents to friendships to money to the future, it's all in there. He isn't likely to speak to you in some mystical way when the answers to your questions have already been inspired and written.