Many Christians struggle to hear God’s voice, or they miss the way He communicates and they end up feeling confused. Yet this is not the way it was supposed to be. God intended us all to have fellowship with Him and He longs for us to hear His voice with understanding and knowing.
God calls each of us into a relationship with Him and you know what He thinks we are pretty awesome! After all, He created us! God actually desires to spend time with us, to fellowship with us and to ‘love up’ on us – how awesome is that! But our relationship with God needs to be developed so we know how he speaks to us so we don’t miss Him.
Google’s definition of relationship is “the way in which two or more people or things are connected or the state of being connected.”
God wants to connect with us! He isn’t a distant God that sits high up in a cloud or only turns His head when He wants to – NO God desires to be connected to us; He desires to be in a relationship with us! God doesn’t do silent retreats on us – He’s waiting for us to listen.
John 10:3-4 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
This scripture in John makes it clear that WE DO hear His voice, not could do or may do but that WE DO hear His voice. So the problem isn’t that God’s not speaking it’s the receiving end that’s the problem – this is good news as we can do something about the receiver! We can learn to recognise the various ways He can speak to us.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
We need to desire God, there’s no point wanting to hear from God because you’re desperate for an answer but you’re too busy on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram to spend time with Him. You’ve got to desire spending time with Him, to fellowship with the author and finisher of our life, to sit at his feet as Mary did, not like Martha – who was worried and anxious. (Click here to see my post on spending time with God)
Some Christians wait until crisis hits and then petition God only to wind up frustrated and confused when they don’t hear from him. You need to develop your relationship with Him and you need to be ready to listen. Then when circumstances become challenging you already know how to hear from the author and finisher of your life.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart”
This scripture does not mean God will give us anything we want; it simply means that God will place or birth His desires in our heart as part of that relationship. The word delight actually comes from the Hebrew meaning ‘be pampered’ (Strongs Concordance) As you are ‘pampered’ by Him, delighting IN him, sitting at His feet – He can spoil you. God loves you to the place where naturally your desires are His.
Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”
Peace needs to be our umpire; if you don’t have peace or you just know that something isn’t quite right then you know that’s not God’s plans for you. God will give you clarity if he desires for you to do something and you’ll have a sense of peace or joy in your spirit. It could also be a timing issue and you know God has spoken to you to do something but you don’t feel as if it is lining up yet – wait for His peace before you make a move, you don’t want to cause yourself unnecessary problems because you didn’t have the patience to wait.
If in doubt wait it out. You cannot afford to make a move outside of God. When you don’t know what to do the Bible tells us to stand (Ephesians 6:13)
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
In the quiet is where we hear God’s ‘still small voice’ (1 Kings 19:20) not in the busyness of life, it won’t come with dramatic manifestations and it won’t necessarily be a big bang or thunderbolts and lightning. Although God has communicated through the elements in Revelation 4:5 we see thunder and lightning in Job 38:1 we see the whirlwind, an earthquake in Exodus 19:18 and thunder in 1 Samuel 2:10; Job 37:2; Psalm 104:7; John 12:29.
It’s mainly through intimacy that we will hear God but not if we are worried, anxious or full of the cares of the world because we will struggle to get into that place of intimacy. It’s so important to we have time to offload the troubles of each day and cast our cares upon the Lord. (See post on how to offload to God) and you need to listen – don’t just vent and offload then rush off – listen to Him, your answer, breakthrough or direction may just come whilst you are in His presence. Give Him the opportunity to answer you – He is ALWAYS speaking.
God will also communicate in:
A gentle whisper: God doesn’t always give theatrical shows to let us know who He is; God communicates to us “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” Zechariah 4:6 a whisper is just that – it’s the stillness.
An impression: This could be an idea, a thought, a sense, a notion or a picture of someone, something or a situation. This happens to me almost on a daily basis that I get the impression of a situation or when I’m in my prayer closet so I know how to pray.
A prompt: God may drop a revelation in your spirit about a particular situation or a particular person. He may want you to intercede or pray for someone else. Or He may prompt you to move over to a particular table so the other person can see you’re reading a spiritual book or the bible.
A thought: Your thoughts could be His thoughts; He may place a thought in you to call someone, to go somewhere or be at a certain place at a certain time. “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established” Prov 16:3
Dreams and Visions: “Young men will dream dreams and old men will have visions” Acts 2:17. God is speaking to people like never before in dreams and vision. I dream most nights and love the way God communicates with us – I am growing in understanding. My husband saw me in a dream 5 years before we actually met.
The Audible voice: Unfortunately this is not the not the most common way of communicating. Although many people have heard his audible voice and I have twice in the natural and once in my dream when he told me about my future husband.
Life, people and nature: God will communicate through everyday life, through other people and of course nature. He may speak to you through songs – the other morning I woke up with a song by Belinda Carlisle ‘Live your Life be free’ this was God speaking directly to me about my life and direction. He wants us to be free and live life through Him.
Also remembering that the way He speaks to us can vary depending on the season we are in; I went through a stage where God spoke to me so powerfully using signs and wording on lorries/vans as I was driving my car – at that time I was doing over 1200 miles a week – so that was the channel God chose to speak to me then. Other times it’s my conscious or that gut instinct when you know something’s not right. That’s God speaking to you.
A desire: Desires, ideas and directions are birthed into our heart through intimacy, but you’ll find that the very thing you desire to do (providing, of course, it isn’t anything illegal or sinful) is the very thing that God wants you to do. Many Christians think that as soon as they surrender to God He’s going to make them become a missionary or a nun in some far remote place. God wants what you want!
Ultimately God wants us to be in a surrendered place where we trust Him and where:
His thoughts are our thoughts
His will is our will (and probably the exact thing we want to do!)
His desires are our desires.
The Bible: God will speak to us through His Word, but we need to read this with our heart and not our head. This is the manual for life and will lead to understanding God even more. Sometimes this is the last place people look for clear communication with God – yet He wrote the good book!
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
As well as listening to God speak to us we need to also discern between the enemies broadcasts. He will bring doubt, unbelief and confusion. He is a liar and no truth operates in him. Jesus quoted scripture to the devil 3 times whilst he was in the wilderness and we need to do the same.
God will not tell you to do something that is contrary to His word so it’s important we know the Word of God to refute the lies and attacks because “That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8
Keep your eyes on Jesus and the beautiful Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth!
God loves you