How to Hear the Voice of God
To be successful in living the Christian life, it’s vital we understand how to hear the voice of God. People often have trouble with this because God typically doesn’t audibly speak to us! We often fear making mistakes in how to discern His voice. In this post, we are going to explore some principles in the Word of God to help us learn how to discern God’s voice.
Acknowledge Him in All Your Ways
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, ‘Trust in the LORD will all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’
The imperative in this verse is to acknowledge Him. When wondering which direction to go in our lives, ask Him for His input. By seeking God’s wisdom, the Bible says that He will direct us. That is a promise for how to know when God is leading you. In the first part of this verse, it also tells us not to go by what we see, feel, or think necessarily, but to believe in God.
This is because the Christian life is lived by faith and won’t always be understood in human terms. It takes a great deal of trust to follow Him when the road ahead seems uncertain. Sometimes baby steps are in order, as we may have just a small amount of faith at the start.
Tip: For encouragement and stronger trust in God, check out my 40-Day Devotional, Trust Without Borders here.
A Voice Behind You
Isaiah 30:21 says, “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.”
If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, His Spirit lives within you. As such, we can often sense nudges from the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
He is always there, leading us and guiding us into truth. Practically speaking, we will often feel unsettled about a particular decision when it does not line up with God’s will for us. Conversely, we can often sense a peace from God, especially while in prayer, when we are seeking Him and in His will.
When we are in-tuned with these prompts and nudges and follow them, this is what the Scripture calls, “keeping in step with the Spirit.”
Proverbs 13:10 says, ‘Wisdom is with those who receive counsel’.
God will often use other people to point you to His desires for your life, and this can happen in several ways. You may hear a sermon or a song at church, or you can read something in a book that speaks to you.
It is also important to have trustworthy friends, relatives, or associates who can be counted upon to give you advice. Choose people who have put God’s will in the preeminent place in their lives and who endeavor to live their lives by the words found in the Bible.
You Will Receive Confirmation
Jesus told His followers in Luke Chapter 19 to go to the village and find a colt no one had ever ridden before and bring it to Him. He said ‘If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ Sure enough, this happened.
God is good to give us little confirmations along the way as we obey and follow Him. Moses was also given signs to demonstrate, confirming God had sent him, and Gideon asked for God to let him know he had heard him correctly through the wetness or dryness of the fleece in Judges chapter six. Often, doors will open and opportunities to follow His nudgings will present themselves to us in accordance with godly counsel and agreement with scripture.
“Failure” is Okay
Listening to God is something we’re unsure about from time to time, but in any case, faith pleases God. We don’t need to have everything figured out perfectly to exercise our faith! In fact, that’s kind of the point of faith to begin with.
We’re also told that ‘though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.’ (Proverbs 24:16) James 1:15 says, ‘if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’. It’s okay if we mess up. The important thing is to not stay stuck and to keep exercising our faith.
God may even seem silent from time to time, as Job lamented in Job 23:8, ‘if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.’ Even so, we are told that He never leaves nor forsakes us and that He is also close by to each one of us.
These promises can help assure us He isn’t gone even when we can’t feel Him or know His will for sure. Always make sure to confess and repent of sin, as that will quench His spirit, and continue to trust He is ever guiding you in the paths of righteousness.
Hearing God’s still small voice is like a muscle that can grow stronger over time the more we learn to use it. The key is to have a relationship with God, and to stay in close, vibrant relationship with Him. As we do, we’ll learn even more keenly how He speaks to us and how to keep in step with His Spirit.