HEARING GOD SPEAK
Have you ever been frustrated over not hearing God’s voice or knowing what His will is? Does your heart cry out, “God, what is your will?” For many of us, there is nothing we desire more to know.
For many years, I thought that the few Christians who had “cracked the code” to hearing God speak must be the luckiest people in the universe! Knowing the Lord’s will, hearing His voice– it must be the greatest privilege a believer could experience! Unfortunately, this was not something I had experienced for myself. In fact, I was uncertain as to whether I sensed it at all when the Lord spoke. So I thought I was left to just find my own way, making decisions to the best of my own ability.
One of your many privileges as a child of God is that you get to experience how your heavenly Father speaks to you! The Bible is crystal clear about this fact. Being led by His Spirit is for all His children! (See Isaiah 30:21, Jeremiah 33:3, John 10:3, John 14, 16:3 and Romans 8:14.) Just as with all other truths in God’s Word, this is something you need to embrace in your heart and receive in faith. The Lord desires to give you a new expectancy that your day-to-day life can be filled with hearing the voice of God, and for you to allow yourself to be led by Him.
God speaks to us, but we don’t always comprehend it.
In 1 Samuel chapter 3 we read about when Samuel, the first prophet of Israel, heard the voice of God for the first time. It happened while he was sleeping in the temple. The fact that Samuel was sleeping in the temple in the first place clearly shows us that he had a fundamental desire in his heart to stay close to the Lord and do His will. If you read the whole chapter you will see something interesting happen: God spoke to Samuel, and Samuel heard God’s voice, but Samuel didn’t understand that it was the Lord who spoke! Instead, Samuel thought that it was the voice of a person that he heard. Finally, when Eli helped Samuel understand that it was the Lord who spoke, a whole new world opened up for Samuel, and he experienced how the Lord would keep coming to him with new words and revelations.
Just as it was with Samuel, so can it be for you and me. It can take time to learn how to discern God’s voice. Dare to believe, step out in faith and test what you think could be the Holy Spirit’s inner guidance. Over time you will gain more experience, which makes you more secure in God’s personal leading.
The Holy Spirit who lives in you helps you to hear the voice of God.
We as believers have received a wonderful, sharp and well-functioning instrument that that actually enables all of us to hear God’s voice! The Holy Spirit dwells in you and bears witness to what God’s will is.
1 Corinthians 2:9-12 “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
God has let his own Spirit dwell within you, so that you will know what is found in Him, and what He has given you! To put it into other words: the spiritual realities you long to experience, such as hearing God’s voice and receiving His advice, wisdom and leading, are available to you through the Holy Spirit who lives in you!
Throughout the entire book of Acts we see how the believers lived their lives in close interaction with the Holy Spirit— and knew God’s will as a result. We read, for example, that the Holy Spirit “hindered them” or “did not allow them” (16:6), “spoke to them” (4:25 and 13:2), and “testified” of the future (20:23). You and I get to experience the same thing today! The Holy Spirit who lives in you will lead you, speak to you and reveal God’s will for you.
God speaks to us all in different ways.
But how does the Lord speak to us? Jesus said himself, when He described himself as the good shepherd, that His sheep would hear and recognize His voice (John 10:4, 14). The list can go on, but let’s look at just four ways in which we hear the Lord’s voice:
We experience God’s voice and His leading through an inner certainty, and are filled with a conviction as to what God’s will is. There is a strong inner witness, without there having been a heavenly vision come down, or an audible voice from Heaven, and you just know deep down that the Lord has spoken. This inner conviction is not the result of a long, logical thought process, but the inner assurance comes as a direct and intuitive thought. It is, of course, always in unity with, and never in opposition of, what is written in God’s Word.
Romans 8:16, the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit…
1 Corinthians 2:12, What we have received… the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
We see and experience how God’s message comes through pictures, dreams and visions. The picture the Lord gives serves as a strong and supernatural encouragement, which we must hold fast to in faith, until the answer to the prayer has come and the vision becomes reality.
Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
Acts 16:9 “During the night Paul had a vision…”
Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Then the Lord replied:‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it;…’”
We hear God speak in the form of actual words in an inner or outer audible voice. These words can be shared and repeated, and are a powerful evidence of what God says to us that we can stand on no matter what the situation looks like. In the Bible we see examples of people who experienced God speaking to them through such words.
Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
1 Samuel 3:10 “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’
God communicates through feelings. There is within us a deep capacity to experience God’s feelings in different situations, which we are to take to Him in prayer.
John 11:33 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”
Luke 19:41 “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”
Luke 10:21 “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”
As a child of God, you are fully qualified to hear His voice and tune in to what He is saying. Open your heart to embrace the truth, and believe in Jesus’ Words, “My sheep hear my voice”. The Lord loves you, and He has paid a high price for His Spirit to live in you so that you can hear His voice inside you.
Let’s pray together:
Lord, I thank you for being the good shepherd. I believe that you speak to me, and I believe in my heart that I can hear your voice. I want to follow you, and I desire to listen to you and obey you with my whole heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Author/ Christina Andersen