God spoke directly to Abraham, Isaac wrestled with the angel of the Lord, David’s prayers turned into prophecies, and Paul was “led by the spirit”. Since the beginning of time, God has been speaking to His creation, but have you ever wondered how to hear God’s voice?
One of my favorite stories is that of Elijah. After proclaiming a drought on the land because of Israel’s dedicated worship of Baal and then proving that Yahweh is God in a dramatic fire from heaven display of power, he runs from the wicked Queen Jezebel.
She is out to kill him because he slew all of her prophets of Baal.
The power of God was heavy on Elijah, much like what Moses experienced, and unlike most of scripture. Elijah is overwhelmed, afraid, and confused. He hides in a cave in the wilderness, exhausted.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
We often wish that God spoke to us in obvious ways such as earthquakes, fires, neon signs, and arrows telling us what to do. That is rarely the case. If you are wondering how to hear God’s voice, I encourage you to seek out the still small voice that brought Elijah to the entrance of the cave.
Today, many call it the prompting of the holy spirit and I believe prompting is a good word. God isn’t going to knock you over the head with His will. He isn’t going to shout in your ear, but He will gently guide, encourage, and lead.
He will also discourage your sin, and lead you away from wrong decisions. This brings us to our next question. How does God speak to us?
How to Hear From God: It’s All About Your Relationship
As I just mentioned, God rarely shouts in your face. We might think it would be easier that way, but man is stubborn and rarely do we respond well to yelling. Also, that would be frightening.
Satan, on the other hand, enjoys watching us become enveloped in fear and knowing how to combat spiritual attacks from him is a good study for another time. It is important to know that he is also trying to get your attention.
Now, this may seem confusing, but my point is, we need to train ourselves to recognize and follow God’s voice. Jesus says “my sheep know my voice”.
As you are seeking out how to hear God’s voice, I encourage you to ask God to help you be sensitive to His voice and help you recognize it amongst all of the noise vying for your attention.
However, the only sure fire way to hear from God is to have a relationship with Him. It is not unlike our relationships with each other, the closer we are, the more we communicate.
One other tip on how to hear from God that might hurt a little is be sure you are listening. I believe God speaks to us in a variety of ways, but unless you are “tuned in” you won’t understand Him.
4 Ways God Speaks to Us
How does God speak to us? God speaks to us in many ways, including that still small voice inside our hearts, but I want to focus on these four:
- God speaks to us through prayer
- God speaks to us through scripture
- God speaks to us through His creation
- God speaks to us through mature Christians
How to Hear God’s Voice through Prayer
Whenever I think of prayer, I think of David. Maybe because he was such an expressive prayer. Is prayer a word? In any case, he poured his heart out to the Lord, not with fancy speech or even a well thought out sentiment. His prayers were honest, emotional, and full of faith.
When you want to hear God’s voice, honesty is key. Do not pray what you think you should pray or try to make your prayers sound like someone else. Do not pray holding thoughts back (because God knows anyway!). Pour your heart out in all of its desperation and ugliness.
He hears us.
It is that honesty and humility that opens our hearts to hear His reply.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me. (Psalm 27:7-9)
Related posts you might enjoy 🙂
How to Hear God’s Voice through Scripture
Scripture is referred to as the living word of God because it is just as applicable to us today as it was 2,000 years ago. It is man’s guidebook and God’s love letter to His creation. If you are seeking to hear God’s voice, search His word.
Of course, if you are seeking to make a decision about what job to take, you aren’t going to find that staring you in the face in the book of Genesis, but you might find God leading you to a verse on not being afraid and providing you the courage to take a chance.
God will speak to us through scripture to help us remove sin from our lives. The Bible is our plumbline. It teaches us how to live and how to treat one another. The Bible shows us how to put God first and how everything falls into place when we follow Him with our whole hearts.
It helps us to understand what sin is and how to avoid it (and overcome it).
One time I was having a bad attitude about taking care of my family. I felt overworked and underappreciated. The bulk of this attitude was a result of the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. I do not like to cook, but with four growing boys, I was finding myself preparing food all day long. And I really wasn’t loving life.
I complained to God about it during my prayer/Bible reading time. I asked God to help me find a solution as well as change my attitude. This is the verse I read from Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman.
She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household.
Seriously, it is in scripture that my attitude about cooking was wrong. And you know what? I was so taken back by this that it has come to mind every time I start to grumble and my attitude has completely changed.
I now liken myself to this woman who was always unattainable to me when I am slaving away 😉
If you are trying to hear God’s voice, search the scriptures. Here are a few that might help you.
How to Hear God’s Voice through His Creation
Creation teaches us about God in so many ways. We see His creativity in elephants and giraffes, His sovereignty in the size of Jupiter and Saturn, and His consistency in the laws of science. God teaches me spiritual lessons all the time when I’m digging weeds in my garden or watching my animals.
Sometimes the best way to hear God’s voice is to get away from the busyness of life and observe God’s creation. Take a walk, go camping, or sit by a lake. Allow your mind to be still and open your heart as you observe God at work in the world around you.
I have shared my own lessons in these videos.
How to Hear God’s Voice through Mature Christians
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded (Titus 2:6)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
How do you know if you should listen to a Christian friend when seeking to hear God’s voice?
They will point you to scripture.
God tells us to instruct one another in the scriptures. Often times when we are trying to make a decision or can’t hear God’s voice, we are not the most objective. Having a mature Christian friend who is not emotionally swayed, pray for you and advise you can be invaluable.
I hope I have answered the question about how to hear God’s voice. What resonates with you? What would you add? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!