Want to know how to recognize and hear God’s voice?
We must start with this simple truth.
With his very breath, he spoke our world into existence. His words breathed life into us, and his words continue to breathe life into us now. So why can it be so difficult to know and hear God’s voice?
In John 10:27, Jesus says, “my sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” This image of a shepherd and his sheep is used many times over to help us know what it is like to follow Jesus. You see, sheep know and trust the voice of their shepherd, and here Jesus is saying that those who choose to follow him, will know his voice.
God speaks to us more than we are listening.
Did you get that? I’ll say it again, God speaks to us more than we are listening! So the scriptures tells us we can know and hear God’s voice, but how do we actually hear God’s voice? It is so easy to miss God’s voice because we aren’t listening for it or just don’t know how to tell if it’s him.
So get ready, because we are going to tune our ears to Heaven and I’m going to show you some simple ways to learn how to hear and know God’s voice in your life.
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How do I recognize God’s voice?
Have you ever wonder how to tell if it is God talking to you or the enemy? They aren’t the only voices we hear, and I’m going to show you four voices that speak to you, and how to you can discern which voice you might be hearing. Ruling out what voices aren’t God is a helpful place to start when trying to discerning which voice is God.
As you go through these four voices, notice the distinct difference between the beautiful, tender and authoritative, voice of God and other voices we might hear.
The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. Psalm 29:3-4
The more you know someone, the more you recognise their voice.
It is the same with God. The more you know him, the more you recognise his voice.
But how do you know when God is speaking to you?
God only speaks words that align with his Word and his character. As you get to know God through his word and by spending time with him, you will be able to better discern the voice of God.
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God’s voice aligns with scripture
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
The scriptures reveal who God is. Each book of the Bible, each chapter, each pages, reveals the beauty and splendor of who God is. We get to know God more by reading his Word.
You see the way he loves and guides people through out the Bible. You aren’t going to find the answer to what new job you should take or whether you should move house, but you will discover what aligns with the heart of God and what doesn’t.
He has given us his Holy Spirit to help know and understand his word. As you bring your questions and decisions to God, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of the scriptures as you search and wait for answers.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26
God’s voice aligns with his character
We learn about God’s character through spending time with him and reading his Word. The Bible constantly speaks about the beauty of who God is and what a relationship with him looks like. As you read the scriptures, ask God to reveal more of his character to you. Learn what he is like as a friend and as a sovereign king, and then you will be able to better hear and know the voice of God.
Hear are some example in the Bible that tell us who God is:
- God is love (1 John 4:16)
- God is kind (Titus 3:4)
- God is merciful (Psalm 145:8-12)
- God is just ( Deuteronomy 32:4)
- God is with us (Hebrews 13:5)
- God is Holy (Leviticus 11:44)
- God is for you (Romans 8:31)
Finally, as you learn to recognise God’s voice in your life, remember Jesus’ words (John 10:10), that he came to we may have life and have it to the full. God’s voice is life bringing!
The Enemy’s Voice
The enemies voice, on the other hand, never intends to bring you life, he comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). His voice is deceptive and, unfortunately, often convincing. He knows how to speak to our insecurities, and catch our weak spots. But there more we know God, and the way he speaks to us, the easier it is to catch the enemy in his web of lies.
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
His native language is lies. He cannot speak truth, and only lies cascade from his lips. With his words, he has only one intention – to draw us away from God. He intends to disrupt our relationship with God and distract us from boldly pursuing the plans and purposes the God had for us.
The Enemy is also known as the accuser (Revelations 12:10). His words bring doubt, confusion, fear and shame. Have you ever felt like this before?
Let’s look at some examples.
You aren’t good enough.
Nobody cares about you.
Your sin is too great.
Do these words align with God’s character? No. Do these words align with God’s Word? No. Do they bring life? No. Are these words the Father would say to his child? No. Do they accuse? Yes.
To recap, the enemy’s voice does not bring life, his native tongue is lies, he accuses and his voice intends to draw us away from God and his plans and purposes for us.
The World’s Voice
The voice of other people can be quite loud in our lives, even when we aren’t actively listening.
There are the obvious voices, like when a friend praises you or when a parent corrects you. Or there are the voices like when you’re listening to a sermon or someone gives you a encouraging, prophetic word. The voice of others can be easy to discern what is true, and other times it can be really confusing, especially if untrue things are coming from someone you admire or respect.
God can use other people to speak to us (Luke 12:12). But we still need to make sure that what we hear aligns with the character and Word of God.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Finally, the voice you hear most often, is of course your own voice. God has given us the freedom to think and act on our own accord.
Our own thoughts reveal what we believe and who’s voice we are listening too. I am loved, I am chosen, I can do all things through Christ are all thought patterns that clearly come from the Father. I am unloved, I am unworthy, I am not good enough, are thoughts that come from the enemy. These lines that start with ‘I’ reveal that it is no longer words being spoken to you, but words you believe about yourself.
I wonder if the thoughts in your mind reveal words of the enemy or words of the Father?
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Don’t be disheartened, because God wants to speak truth over you! He wants you to know his voice and listen to true words he speaks over you.
So as you reflect and begin to listen more attentively for God’s voice, I hope God’s voice becomes a familiar voice to you. Remember, he is speaking more than we are listening.