Have you ever heard God speak? Maybe it wasn’t an audible voice but you had a conviction that was unshakable because you heard from God.
If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger me to develop the discipline of knowing God’s voice. This is one of the glorious benefits of knowing God! If we slow down, we can develop the ability to hear God.
More than at any other time, there are a lot of voices vying for your attention. Whoever has your attention will influence your direction in life. This is why the Bible says, “…Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
You would think that a voice like God’s would be undeniably distinguishable. Some people have a uniquely identifiable voice.
For example, James Earl Jones and pop singer Adele have identifiable voices. All it takes is a single note or word, and you know who is speaking or singing. But arguably, it’s not so with God.
In 1 Samuel 3, 12-year-old Samuel is a minister in training. He is ministering to the LORD and attending to Eli, the priest, who is advanced in years. This placed Samuel in proximity to God.
The Hebrew word for ministering is sharath which means to serve. This is an important detail. Serving places us in the most apt position to hear from God.
- Galatians 5:13 says to use your freedom in Christ to serve one another.
- Mark 10:45 informs us that Jesus did not come to be served but serve.
- Mark 9:35 teaches, if anyone would be first, he must be last and servant of all.
- Matthew 23:11 says the greatest among you shall be your servant.
Could this be why many Christians do not hear God’s voice regularly because they would rather be served and not serve?
In 1 Samuel 3, God calls Samuel by name three times. Each time Samuel hears his name, he goes to Eli to find out what he needs. So the first detail we learn aboutGod’s voice is that He sound’s familiar.
Our minds will automatically interpret the unknown with what is known. But how can we discern between God’s voice and others? Or our own? God’s voice will always align with His written Word.
When God’s Word does not speak on specific matters, discernment should guide our understanding. Singular supernatural events are often analogous to a deeper meaning.
In my life, I’ve experienced God speaking to me in a few different ways.
I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I have listened to God impart thoughts to me that are undeniably from Him. His voice invokes a crystal clear, confident conviction, where I know God has spoken to me. This unmistakable encounter has been a critical encounter that has aided my endurance through the hardships of ministry.
#2 God will speak to us through others.
This requires incredible discernment when others attempt to give you a message from God. God will speak to others only to confirm what He has already said to you. God isn’t going to tell someone else something about you that He doesn’t first say to you.
#3 Through the Bible.
The Bible is God’s authorized word to us. His voice can be heard through every page and every word. The Bible contains everything we need to know God and how to become like Him. It is the standard by which every message or word we feel God speaking is measured.
So how can we fine-tune our ability to hear God speak to us?
#1 Seek God with all your heart.
Your pursuit and proximity to the omnipresent God will enhance your hearing. However, we also need to make sure our heart is in the right place. A divided heart will struggle to hear God. So put God first in everything you do.
#2 Study the scriptures.
The more we know His Word, the more we will hear Him speaking. We will be able to discern those thoughts that sound like our own voice but is God speaking to us.
Obedience to God removes the static that can distract you from hearing God. Obedience is the posture of a person who hears from God.
Which of these areas mentioned do you need to work on fine-tuning to hear God’s voice? Knowing God’s voice is a crucial discipline to develop. His voice will enable you to operate with confidence and great faith because you know God has spoken!