Many people wonder whether God actually speaks today. Some think that probably He did so in the olden days but not anymore. Others, on the other hand, tell of tales of how God speaks to them in one way or another.
Ever been in one of those situations you go like “So, how did you hear from God? What does his voice sound like? How did you even know it was God? How can you be sure?” A common answer received is “When He speaks you will just know it.”
For one who is used to hearing God’s voice, this may be obvious, however, to a mind that is not familiar with God’s voice is left wondering“How do I hear God’s voice and better in what ways can I hear God’s voice?” Today we explore the 12 proven ways to hear God’s voice clearly! That way, you’ll have a better understanding on how to hear God’s voice for yourself.
Through a relationship with God
If I came to your house today and asked to enter, the first thing you’d say is “Hold up, who are you?” If I kept insisting on being let in, you’d pick your phone and probably call the police because you did not know me.
So it is with our relationship with God. Not the ‘calling of the police’ part, of course, but the ‘I don’t know you’ part.
John 14:6 New Living Translation (NLT) “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
For us therefore to have a relationship with our Father in heaven, we are to give our lives to Jesus Christ as our personal savior by accepting His love and sacrifice on the cross for us. (Romans 8:8-10).
Once we do, we become part of His family and this means that we have an opportunity to know our Father and hear Him speak to us. Jesus put’s it beautifully in
John 10:27New Living Translation (NLT) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Through Walking in obedience and holiness
A few years back while in the new believers’ class, our teacher explained God’s character of Holiness in a simple way! She drew two circles, a big and small one. In the big one, she wrote God and the small one she wrote ‘you’.
She went ahead and explained that God’s character is about holiness and He cannot come out of that circle as it restricts him (to mean God will never compromise His character).He wants to be near you and be part of your life however you are out of His circle and even if He were to talk to you, you’d not hear Him.
She then drew another big circle and within it a small circle.This time the big circle was God and the small one was us all living within His will in obedience.
John 14:23New Living Translation (NLT) Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
When we are living in sin, we limit God because He cannot step out of His Holiness character. Sin acts like a communication barrier. Once we confess our sins and repent, we are restored back to Him and are able to hear Him clearly because we are on the same “radio” frequency.
The communication channel and hearing God’s voice remains open as long as we continue living in obedience to His Word and walk in Holiness.
Through the Holy Spirit
They say the best day in a person’s life is the day they give their life to Jesus Christ and the second best day is the day a believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit of God. It is not in vain that as believers we wait eagerly for this promise.
John 16:13New Living Translation (NLT) explains why “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.”
Through the Bible
One of the most common ways of hearing God’s voice is through scripture. How can God speak to me through scripture?
Well, one of the questions that most of us ask ourselves is “What is the will of God for my life? ”The next question we ask is “How can I know the will of God for my life?”
The Word of God provides us with instructions and answers to a variety of questions that we may have pertaining to our lives.
2 Timothy 3:16-17New Living Translation (NLT) “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equips his people to do every good work.”
Through a flowing thought
How many thoughts do you have in a day? Did you know that among the many thoughts that you have in a day, you have probably heard from God?
Dr. Mark Virkler in his book 4 Keys to Hearing God’s voice starts out by explaining that God’s voice in our minds is like a flowing thought.
John 7:38New Living Translation (NLT) “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.”
Amos 4:13New Living Translation (NLT) “For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind…”
A flowing thought in our minds, therefore, is a thought that comes out of our mind without us thinking it, it’s not in line with our normal thoughts or thought pattern but most importantly is in line with scripture.
When I learned this I had one of those, uh-huh moments where you go like “So that’s what it was? I had no idea!”
Through other people
Other times God may have a word for you and pass this word to you through a Spirit-led person, a good example is a prophet.
Romans 12:6 New Living Translation (NLT)“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you…”
We are, however, cautioned to be discerning of any message we receive by not believing everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. We are asked to test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. (1 John 4:1 NLT)
Through the Audible voice of God
This is one of the rare ways to hear God’s voice.
In1 Samuel 3New Living Translation (NLT) we see God speak to Samuel in an audible voice three times before Eli, his Spiritual Father discerns and recognizes it is God calling Samuel.
In Acts 9while Saul was on his way to Damascus, he was stopped by a shining light and the Lord God in the beginning of that chapter in verse 4 speaks to Saul identifying Himself as Jesus.
Joel 2:28 New Living Translation (NLT) “…Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy.Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
A vision as defined by the online dictionary is stated to be ‘an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition.’It would then mean that a vision is similar to a dream the only difference is it happens while you are awake and this is also another way on how to hear God’s voice.
In Revelation 1:9-18New Living Translation (NLT) we read of the account of John a disciple of Jesus Christ, who in one waking moment had a vision of the Son of Man.
Many of us, if not all have had a dream. In fact, it is said that all of us dream! Sometimes we just don’t remember.In the night as our physical body rests, our spiritual man remains awake and in this quiet moments, we have dreams that most of the time have a message from God.
A good example is Joseph in the scriptures.In Genesis 37:1-11New Living Translation (NLT) we see Joseph have dreams and enthusiastically share them with His brothers and father.
In another part of scripture Daniel 7:1 New Living Translation (NLT) we read of Daniel’s dream of the four beasts which he wrote down once he woke up.
One of the fascinating ways on how to hear God’s voice is when God sends an angel to deliver His message to someone personally.
Luke 1:26-38New Living Translation (NLT)“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you…”
11.Through extraordinary means
One of the best attributes I have come to learn about God is His infinite ways of reaching anyone.He is not limited by anything and can speak to a person in the most unusual way, take for example the story of Balaam in Numbers 22:21-39New Living Translation (NLT).In verse 28 it is written “Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
Romans 1:20New Living Translation (NLT) further reveals to us that God has spoken to us through His creation from the beginning of time, so none of us can have an excuse for not knowing God.
Priscilla C.Sirer in her book discerning the voice of God: How to recognize when God is speaking, explains that whenever we are in our spiritual walk, God finds a way to speak to us in a way we will understand.
This then gives us hope! That, if we have not heard from God in the common ways, it’s assured He can use any method to speak to us. He Probably has already! A realization that may come to some people as they read this proven way on how to hear God’s voice.
Through quiet times
“I still cannot hear God, what am I missing?” can be a question in someone’s mind as we wind up this article.
Imagine being in your garden at home with your headphones on listening to your favorite tune. As you do, you see your mum or dad wave at you and say something. You obviously would answer back by saying “I can’t hear you, mum.”
Hearing God’s voice requires a deliberate part on our side to create a conducive environment to hear His voice. We see Jesus in the scripture many times go to a quiet place to speak to God in prayer (Mark 1:35.Matthew 14:23)
Henry T.Blackaby tells us in his book Hearing God’s voice that hearing of God’s voice is for those who are ready to listen! Once you are, you are able to hear God’s voice in various ways that we hear God speak.
As we learn how to hear from God, it is important to note that any message we receive be it through a thought, another person, a dream or others, should be in line with scripture, bring about an inner conviction (not condemnation), be confirmed by 2 or three fellow Christian witnesses of its truth (Matthew 18:16) and be full of peace.