God is always speaking! He’s also always speaking to you! We aren’t always aware of God’s voice, but we can grow in learning to recognize it. This isn’t something that we need to feel condemned about. Instead, we need to be encouraged that the reality is not that He isn’t speaking to us. That would be terrible! It’s simply, that we need to become more aware of how He is speaking to us!
Tuning In To God’s Voice
Hearing God’s voice is like tuning into a radio station. You have to be on the exact frequency to hear what is being broadcast clearly. When you get really close to the radio station’s frequency you can often hear it, but it’s fuzzy. This is a perfect example of our journey in hearing God’s voice.
The only way to actually tune into the radio station of God’s voice is to be His child. We do that by accepting Jesus Christ and making Him the Lord of our lives. Jesus then gives us access to the Father and the Holy Spirit and the ability to hear God’s voice.
As a believer, you have been given access to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is the only access you need in order to hear God’s voice. The rest of the journey is learning to “tune” your spirit to the frequency of His voice by learning how He speaks to you.
Understand How You Hear God’s Voice
God is speaking and speaks specifically to you, yes you, everyday. It’s not a question of if He is speaking to you. It is a question of how He is speaking to you! If you believe God doesn’t speak to you…it’s a lie!
So how does God speak? Let’s imagine that He wants to tell you that He is with you. He can express that thought to you through various mediums of communication. Here are a few examples of how God might communicate the same message in different ways:
- Through a worship song (Hearing)
- While reading the Bible (Seeing)
- Through the wind blow (Feeling)
- You get a gut feeling (Knowing)
- Through the sent of a familiar fragrance (Smelling)
- A hug from a friend (Touch)
And…these are just a few of the many, many ways God is speaking! The more we get to know Him, the more we begin to recognize His voice. Remember when Elijah was looking for God in the earthquake and the wind and the fire, but He was in the still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)
Iron Sharpens Iron
One of the ways we can grow in learning to hear God’s voice is by hearing the testimonies of others. You might feel the presence of God or receive messages from Him through feeling. While another person sees pictures and even movie type visions as God speaks to them.
There is no “right” way to hear God’s voice. The only important thing is understanding the way you hear God’s voice! It’s time to stop comparing ourselves with others and begin to see what’s possible and available. Every believer is a reflect of what’s possible for every believer! One sees, one hears, another knows…we can learn from one another.
Make a choice right now to stop comparing yourself. Stop being jealous of those who have learned to tune into the frequency of God’s voice. Choose to honor what God is speaking to them and let iron sharpen iron. It’s one of the easiest ways to grow in your own ability to hear from God as you learn from others.
Practical Key #1 For Hearing God – Get In The Word
In John 1:1 it says, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in verse 14 it says, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us.” Jesus is the Word. The Word of God is Jesus. Therefore, when you spend time reading your Bible you aren’t reading a book. You are spending time with a person…not just any person either! You’re actually spending time with Jesus when you read the Word of God.
It gets really easy from there because the more time you spend with a person the better you know them. Think about your best friend. If your best friend yelled your name in a crowd of 200 people you would easily recognize their voice. It’s the same with Jesus. The more time you spend getting to know Him, by reading the Word, the easier it will be for you to recognize His voice when He is speaking to you at other times!
Practical Key #2 For Hearing God – Ask Questions
We are given numerous promises all throughout the Bible to ask. Matthew 7:7 promises, “Ask, and you will receive.” Jeremiah 33:3 promises, “Call to Me, and I will answer you.” Matthew 21:22 promises, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Ephesians 3:20 promises that He will do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”
It’s time to start taking Him up on these promises. Start asking Him questions. Take time to hear Him answer you. Go ahead and start asking and imagining things with Him. He wants to speak to you. Treat your relationship with Him as an actual relationship. Talk to Him! Ask Him what’s on His heart and then take time to listen!
Practical Key #3 For Hearing God – Break The Boxes
Have you put God in a box? I know I totally did. When I first got saved I was meeting with an older woman who operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I asked her what the Holy Spirit felt like to her (Remember, iron sharpening iron?!). She described the way she experienced Holy Spirit using the verse in John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
That sounded amazing, but what did that look like practically? In an effort to connect with her experience that I knew was possible for me too, I related that description with an experience I had whitewater rafting. I determined in my heart that I would know I was experiencing God’s presence when I felt class 4 rapids flowing from my belly. Makes sense, right?
It’s Time To Hear God’s Voice
What I didn’t realize was that I was creating a box that would limit my experience and awareness of God’s voice and presence for the next few years. Every time I spent time with God – at church, in worship, during a quiet time – I was looking for the “streams-of-living-water-class-4-rapids-bursting-forth-from-my-belly” experience and it didn’t happen. Because it didn’t happen I started believing the lie that I wasn’t experiencing God. That He didn’t love me and that I needed to try hard to “get there” – where exactly I didn’t know!
In hindsight, I was looking for God’s voice and presence in the “earthquake” and missing all the “still small voice” moments that were actually happening! He had been speaking to me the WHOLE time! I would feel something on the palms of my hands, but it didn’t count because it wasn’t my belly and it wasn’t as intense as a class 4 whitewater rapid. I dismissed so many encounters as not God because I had put Him in a box.
What boxes have you put God in? Are you looking for Him in the earthquake? Do you dismiss the peace you feel or the knowing faith that comes over you because you want to hear an audible voice? We could go through thousands of scenarios that create the boxes we put God in, but it’s time to let Him out of the boxes we’ve put Him in!
Box Breaking Activation
Spend some time with the Lord in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Invite the Holy Spirit to come and use practical key #2 to ask Him to search your heart for any boxes you might have created in your attempt to hear God’s voice.
As He identifies boxes you may have, let go of the lies that created them and image the boxes blowing up in your mind using your imagination (Ephesians 3:20). Then practice tuning into the frequency of His voice, believing the promise of Jeremiah 33:3 that when you call to Him, He will answer you!