There is nothing better than hearing the voice of the One who loves you the most. It brings comfort, direction, encouragement, hope, and peace among other things. But more than that, hearing the voice of God is necessary in order to live out a successful Christian life. Although many times we do not hear an audible voice from God, it does not mean that He does not actively speak to us. God uses other ways to communicate that require us to be tuned in. If you are open to hearing Him speak and obeying His words, He will take you on the most exciting journey of a lifetime.
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How Do We Hear The Voice of God?
First of all, in order to hear God’s voice, we need to be born-again Christians. Jesus says in John 10:27 that his sheep hear his voice and follow him. Without salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, we are not able to hear God’s voice because the only way to God is through His Son. Once we have established this personal relationship with God, then we are able to recognize and hear Him.
In the Old Testament, only certain people had direct communication with God, and everyone else had to hear God from these chosen people, or “prophets.” But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of those who believe. This Spirit of God is the one who gives us direct access to the Heavenly Father.
And although this is joyous news to us, we still wonder: How do we hear the voice of God?! Here are five ways He can speak to us:
Hear The Voice of God Through His Written Word – The Bible
This is the main way He speaks to us. Why do you think the Bible is one of the best-selling books of all time? Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s Word is living and active. They are not just words on a page, self-help advice, or a love story. These words have power! They have the power to transform and the power to fight demonic powers. Getting the Word deep into your heart every day is the main way that you will hear God’s voice.
Hear The Voice of God Through The Holy Spirit
We hear God’s voice through the Holy Spirit that lives in us. The Holy Spirit knows the deep things of God and communicates these things with us. This is how we are able to obtain an understanding of the Scriptures as well as daily personal revelation and direction. Sometimes we feel the “sensing” of the Spirit or a deep “knowing” or “directing.” Some people describe it as having a sense of intuition. But it is the Word and the works of the Spirit that come together in order to lead us in God’s path. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Word and he connects, confirms, and convicts us.
Hear The Voice of God Through External Sources
Another way God speaks to us is through outward circumstances. This can be through an event that takes place, through people in our lives, or through anything that is created (like nature, a book, artwork, music, etc.). These things are markers or confirmation to support what God has already spoken to us through His Word and Holy Spirit. Sometimes if we are unsure God has spoken or if we continually disobey His message to us, He will use these outside sources to get our attention or to confirm it is His voice.
Hear The Voice of God Through Special Revelation
In the Bible, we see examples of God speaking to people through special revelation. Special revelations are things like visions and dreams. God gave His chosen people Jacob and Joseph dreams, and he also gave those who did not worship Him (like Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker), dreams as well. God spoke to Abraham through a vision to restate the Abrahamic covenant and nearly the entire book of Revelation was written by a vision from John. I have even heard numerous modern-day stories of people being saved from a God-given dream. God can speak to us in special ways both when we are awake and when we are asleep.
Hear The Voice of God Through Prayer
The simplest way to define prayer is a conversation with God. It can include thanksgiving, requests, inquiries, or petitions. But in addition to talking with God, it needs to also include a time of hearing from Him. After Joshua was commissioned as the new leader to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, he would constantly consult the Lord on whether or not he should go to war with different territories. If the Lord answered him with a “yes,” then Joshua would bravely go into battle. We can hear God’s voice through prayer if we seek Him with all our hearts.
So although the primary way God speaks to us has changed before Jesus came and then after Jesus ascended, the goal is the same: for His children to hear His voice. He loves us so much that He desires to communicate His will for our lives so that we may prosper in all that we do.
How Do We Recognize The Voice of God?
Hearing God’s voice can be tricky because there are other voices competing for our attention. Besides His voice, we could be hearing our own voice, the world’s voice, or our enemy, Satan’s voice. Being able to distinguish if a voice is from God is called “discernment.” And God has already told us how to discern His voice in Romans 12:2. It says that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When we are, then we will be able to know the perfect will of God.
The renewing of our minds comes when we meditate on the Word of God. Again, hearing God’s voice brings us back to the Bible. It is imperative that we are able to rightly discern the Word of Truth so that we can know if it truly is God speaking to us. If we say we want to hear from God, but rarely pick up the Bible, then we really do not want to hear from Him at all.
Let us look at some examples of how God spoke to people in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the angel of the LORD came down and spoke directly to Gideon. Although he did not realize it at first, Gideon eventually recognized it was of the Lord after the angel consumed the food with fire and then vanished. After speaking in fear that he would die from witnessing the angel, the LORD spoke again to him to comfort him. In the New Testament, God spoke to Peter through a vision while he was in a trance. During that vision, God spoke to him twice. The first time was to instruct Peter on what to do and the second time was to teach him the meaning of the vision.
God will never speak to us about something that goes against His nature or character. So although learning to discern and listen to His voice is a lifelong journey, one thing is clear: the more you know God, the more clearly you can hear Him.
Benefits of Hearing The Voice of God
Can we all agree that without God speaking to us, our lives would be a hopeless wreck? Not only does God know all things, but Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He has good plans for us that will give us a future and a hope. So with His knowledge, He wants to use it for our benefit. Even if the path He leads us to has suffering in it, there will still be beauty in the ashes. There is still purpose in the pain. Hearing His voice gives us the direction and hope that we so desperately need and helps us to live godly and pleasing lives that will honor Him and bless others.
Hearing and obeying His voice also leads us to a place of protection and power. David was saved many times from the assassination attempts by Saul. But because David listened to God, God spared his life and raised him up as king. Psalm 23 tells us that God leads us to quiet waters and restores our souls. It gives us a sense of deep satisfaction knowing that we are in His will for our lives. We can achieve a level of success and favor that is not attained by our own strength or efforts as we see in the lives of Joshua and Joseph. We are able to be a part of the Kingdom of God on this Earth and witness miracles and people turning to Jesus. But the most significant“ benefit of hearing the voice of God is to be able to know Him more and more.
Hearing the Voice of God Scriptures
Here are 12 scriptures about hearing the voice of God, the verses have all been taken from the King James Version. Consider also using a website like Bible Gateway to look up the passages in different translations.
“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
One of the ways we show that we love God is to obey His voice when He speaks.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
God is relational in His communication with us. If we call on Him, He will respond.
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
If we listen to Jesus, then we listen to God. God speaks through His Son so we will all have unity in the body of Christ.
“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
Israel suffered in the wilderness because they refused to believe in God. God still continues to speak and we must soften our hearts to hear Him speak.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
God speaks to us through instructing, teaching, and counseling. He cares about the path we take and wants to direct us.
“ I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”
God speaks different things to those who are His. One of these things He speaks are words of peace.
“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters.”
God who spoke the Earth and everything in it into creation continue to speak through nature.
“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
God loves giving wisdom. Knowledge and understanding can only come from Him, the source of it all.
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”
We must always go back to what God has spoken to us originally and truthfully and not divert from it.
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
If you are a child of God, you will be able to hear and receive His messages.
“And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
God speaking here was a specific sign to fulfill a prophecy and identify who the Messiah was.
“ Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
God speaks through His Son, Jesus. If we are willing to listen, He is willing to have fellowship with us.
Scripture on Hearing the Voice of God
Here are 10 scriptures about hearing the voice of God through His Word (the Bible), and the Holy Spirit:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
God’s words speak to us by guiding us in the way that we should go.
“ But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”
The Holy Spirit not only speaks to us, but he even speaks through us when we are in a time of need.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
God’s Spirit speaks to us by teaching us all that we have been taught by Jesus.
“ Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
The Holy Spirit living in a believer will speak and guide them according to what he hears from the Lord.
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
The Holy Spirit speaks to us when we need to make important decisions.
2 Timothy 3:16
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
The Bible is an extension of God’s will and speaks to our consciences on how to live a godly life. It also gives us more knowledge of who God is.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,”
The Holy Spirit speaks on behalf of God and brings to remembrance things we have learned or heard.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God’s Word has the power to speak to us so strongly that it reveals our innermost motives.
2 Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Prophets speak on behalf of God and are led by the Holy Spirit who tells them what to say.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
The Spirit spoke to the different churches on their strengths and weaknesses. God’s Spirit continues to encourage and edify churches around the world.
Hearing the Voice of God
God has spoken and continues to speak to those who are willing to listen. We can hear the voice of God mainly through His written word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit. But He can also choose to speak to us through His creation, people, things, events, dreams, visions, and prayer.
His plans and purposes are unique to each individual and so we need to be directed daily by the One who loves us and wants a personal relationship with each of His children. When it comes to hearing the voice of God, may you be grounded in the Word and led by the Spirit so that you may live a victorious Christian life.