HOW TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD
(John 10:27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Is it possible to hear the voice of God? And how does this happen? Is it audible? Is it sensory? Is it some kind of spiritual experience? Moses heard from God, and a lot of other people in the Bible, but what about the rest of us? We love the Lord and want to be guided in His will, but sometimes it sure would be great if God would just speak to us and make things clear about our lives. Let’s examine the scriptures and be encouraged about hearing from God.
There is no doubt that God primarily speaks to us in New Testament times through His Son and through His Word. (Heb 1:1-2) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son . . . (John 1:14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (Heb 4:12) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. But we also believe that God may speak to our hearts by His Holy Spirit due to our current need.
My favorite scripture on this is the child Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. He thought the high priest Eli was calling for him, but Eli told him it was really the voice of the Lord. He said next time God speaks to you, say: “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” And that’s what Samuel did. And, man, did God have a message for him!
Elijah learned a lesson about the voice of God. When God passed by there was a great and strong wind, then an earthquake, and then a fire. But God was not in all of these. But after all that came a still small voice. Then God spoke to Elijah and gave him a message. (1 Kings 19:11-18) This reminds me of the verse: (Psa 46:10) Be still, and know that I am God . . .
Sometimes the Spirit may place an impression upon our hearts. It will be a gentle message to the inner ear of our spirit. (Mat 11:15) He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
There are times when I have needed to hear the voice of God and the Lord was faithful to speak and give me guidance. A significant time was when Cheryl and I were asked to stay in Holland after a summer of missionary service. I went for a prayer walk and God spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to go back to the States and be a pastor with a mission’s emphasis.” And that’s exactly what we did and precisely what happened over the course of time.
Are you needing to hear from God? Tell God you are listening for Him. Stay in His Word and prayer. God’s voice will be calm and the message brief and clear. (God never mumbles!) Then be obedient to what He tells you: (Acts 26:19) . . . I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.