In part one of how to hear from God, we talked about the importance of recognizing that God speaks, and that He speaks to you. Once you settle that, it’s important to know what His voice sounds like. I’ve been teaching people how to hear God’s voice for many years, and this is the thing that trips Christians up the most: They hear God’s voice, they just don’t recognize that it’s Him speaking.
In John chapter 10, Jesus says He is the Shepherd, and His sheep hear His voice.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
This is a definitive statement. Jesus didn’t say you might hear His voice. You do hear because hearing is something His sheep do. And you follow because His is a familiar voice. In fact, His voice is so familiar that you may confuse it for your own thoughts.
How do you know if it’s God speaking?
How do you know whether the voice you hear is God’s? I urge you to try something new. The next time you hear what you think might be God, ask yourself, “Would I tell myself this?”
For instance, when God said to me, “Start a blog.” I might have assumed it was my own imagination. But why would I tell myself this? My thoughts were quite the opposite: “But I don’t know how to create a blog!” and “What if nobody wants to read it?” So it couldn’t have been me. And certainly the enemy wouldn’t suggest sharing biblical truths. That leaves only God.
Take a chance that it is God
Instead of dismissing what you hear, take a chance that it is God. Write it down. Nobody has to see it. For many years, I’ve been writing what God speaks to me. This blog is the fruit of those conversations. But I didn’t wake up one morning writing volumes. For months, the first thing I wrote on every page was, “I’m not sure this is You God, but . . . ”
Writing helped because I could take what I thought I heard, measure it against God’s Word, and pray about it. I could also read it later. When I did, I saw that much of what I thought was just me actually was God speaking. And my confidence grew.
God doesn’t lead by shouting. When God spoke to Elijah, His voice wasn’t in the in mighty wind, the rumbling earthquake, or the hot fire. It was a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Some translations call it a “soft whisper of a voice” or “the voice of a gentle breeze.” That soft whisper isn’t in your head. Listen for where the voice is coming from. His affirming, life-giving, lovely voice resonates in your spirit, deep within your heart. You may almost sense it in your belly.
It may seem barely audible at first. But if you’ll let go of your fears, accept that you’re hearing from God, and act on what you hear (write it, pray on it, measure it against Gods Word) you’ll hear more clearly and more frequently.
He [Jesus] went on to say, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and even more will be added to you.”
There is so much more to say about hearing God’s voice. Next time, we’ll look more deeply into the kind of things God likes to talk about.