I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is literally nothing cooler than learning how to hear God’s voice- feeling like God is speaking directly to you. It’s what I long for every time I open the scriptures, that intimate connection and communication that marks healthy relationships. That’s what being a Christian entails, a personal relationship with the Living God.
Before I read my Bible, I often pray like Samuel did when he was a young man, just learning to listen to the Lord, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.” (1Samuel 3:10) That’s because I don’t want to read my Bible to mark it off my to-do list, or because I’m supposed to, or to get a verse for the day to keep the devil away.
When I have my quiet time, I am meeting with Jesus, and I desperately want to hear from Him. I need guidance from God and His grace, and I want to grow in my knowledge of Christ as I sit at His feet and soak up His word.
How about you? Maybe you have been praying about a new job opportunity, relationship, or some other big decision in life, and you want God’s answer before you move forward.
Or you are struggling with depression or anxiety and you need comfort and peace from the Lord, but He seems silent or distant. Here are a few things to consider if you want to know how to hear God’s voice.
How to hear God’s voice: First things first, are you His sheep?
In John 10:27, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”, so if you want to hear God’s voice, the first place to start is to be certain you are one of His sheep. In other words, you must be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to hear God’s voice. If you have never trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then start there.
Repent of your sin and believe the gospel, that Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave, securing eternal life for you, because He loves you. His finished work reconciles you to God the Father, who is holy and true. By faith in Jesus, you enter a personal relationship with Him and He wipes your slate clean. God forgives all your sins and gives you a fresh start, with a new heart, new life, and a new purpose to glorify God. Then you are His sheep and you can hear His voice and follow Him.
If you are certain you’re a believer, but still struggle to hear God’s voice, maybe there is something blocking the signal, so to speak.
John 8:47 KJV – He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
What hinders hearing the voice of God?
Are you longing for divine direction or confirmation? Well, God is always speaking, but we may not be listening or looking for His answers in the right place.
There are some things that can keep you from hearing from God, such as:
lack of fellowship with Him
and too much noise from other sources.
If you think that one of these hindrances is in your life, just repent and ask God for a fresh start. Turn off the TV and social media for a while. Spend more time reading your Bible and praying, and the lines of communication will be wide open and you’ll be able to hear God’s voice.
Isaiah 30:21 KJV – And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left
How to hear God’s voice
God primarily speaks through His word, so it’s a given that if you want to discover what God says about a problem in your life, or you need discernment, you must read your Bible consistently. Some other ways God speaks are through sermons, other saints, and through signs.
For example, about eight years ago, I was praying for God to reveal beyond any doubt that He wanted me to join my husband on a 10 day mission trip to India. It would involve arranging child care for our four kids, raising a hefty sum of money, and dealing with all the things related to being a first-time flyer on an overseas trip.
I was worried about leaving the kids, and just needed some assurance and peace from the Lord. So I was praying fervently for confirmation, and boy did God give it! I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but He blew me away with how clearly He spoke to my heart.
Here’s what happened. I had prayed for explicit confirmation that morning, and then I went to the store. When I came back, I turned the kitchen radio on to catch some sermons as I unloaded groceries. (Serial multi-tasker here.) The message was from a pastor in India who was sharing his testimony of salvation, and encouraging believers to go where God says to go, because you never know the impact your testimony or teaching or service will have on others.
This man had a thriving ministry that reached millions, and it all started when he heard a message from a traveling preacher on following the calling of God. He used the story of Ann Judson, who obeyed the Lord and went with her husband Adoniram to India in the 1800s as an example of faithful obedience. It just so happens that I was reading the biography of this amazing couple for an assignment in my Missions class I was taking!
When this pastor from India said over the radio, “if God is telling you to go and share Jesus, just go!” I knew I had my answer from the Lord. Then I sat down to write these things down in my journal and randomly opened my Bible to Genesis 2:18, which says, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
As plainly as if He was sitting at my kitchen table with me, God let me know I should definitely go on that trip with my husband. Not only that, but God also spoke to me through sermons at my church, other believers encouraging me to follow the Lord’s leading, and by providing all the funds and my passport just in the nick of time. I couldn’t deny that God wanted me to get out of my comfort zone, out of the country, and minister alongside my husband.
Hearing God’s voice gave me the peace to stop fretting and start packing!
Why we need to hear God’s voice
God is our loving Father who wants to have a deep relationship with us. He desires us to look to Him for our every need, including discernment and direction in decision-making. If we don’t seek His face, we send God the message that we don’t need Him, that we have it all figured out on our own.
It’s not until we find ourselves in a pit that we wake up and realize that, left to our own devices, we are miserable messes. Whether we want to admit it, we need God, and we need to hear God’s voice, so we can be in His will for our lives and not our own.
Psalm 95:7-9 KJV – For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
What is God saying to you today?
You don’t need a seminary degree or a public ministry to hear the voice of God.
You just need to be saved, be still, and be sanctified so nothing is interfering with you receiving the message the Lord is sending you. God speaks through the scriptures, sermons, other saints, and signs, so eliminate the noisy distractions and keep your eyes and ears open. And of course, you must have patience. In my experience, God likes to wait until the very last second before I lose my mind to answer me on certain things.
Make sure to write all the different answers to your prayers so that you can share your own amazing testimony of how God spoke to you!
A prayer to help you hear God’s voice
Father God, there is chaos and confusion all around me. Help me hear your still, small voice above the relentless roars of the enemy. Tune my ears to your truth and silence the lies of the devil. Give me discernment, discretion, and divine direction as I navigate this fallen world. In the mighty and matchless name of Christ, my King, Amen.
Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.Jeremiah 33:2-3 KJV .
How can you best learn how to hear God’s voice? Let us know below!
Annie McGuire is a Bible teacher, ministry leader, pastor’s wife, and mom of four. She is the writer behind the website Daily His Disciple. Her ministry goal is to encourage and equip women to know, live, and invest the word of God. Annie writes devotions, bible studies, and for other websites. To connect with Annie visit: www.dailyhisdisciple.com, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.