One of the essential Biblical truths we highly value at GLI is that God speaks to us, and we can hear Him when He does. That’s why we teach this to people in our counseling, coaching, and training. Yet, other than hearing God through Scripture, the idea that we can listen to God otherwise seems suspect to some. I believe people struggle with this because they haven’t been taught this reality from Scripture, haven’t been taught practically how to hear, and haven’t practiced listening to God.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could hear our Father speak to us every day? Wouldn’t it be great if we could hear His voice when we are struggling? Each of those is possible when we learn how.
Jesus said this in John 10 about hearing His voice. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. Jesus was telling the Pharisees, the Old Testament legalists of His day, that people can hear His voice and can be saved only through Him. So, if we can hear His voice in order to be saved, wouldn’t it make sense that we can hear His voice after we are saved, especially because He lives in us? Then how do we hear His voice?
First and foremost, He speaks to us through Scripture, whether read, studied, heard, or taught. For example, when we read through Hebrews, we hear God’s voice by understanding how Jesus and His New Covenant are superior to Moses and the Old Covenant. We can also hear God for specific situations in the Scriptures. At age 19, I would get on my knees day after day and ask God what He wanted to do with my life. I was reading through John 6 one morning when I came across this verse. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. I immediately sensed in my spirit that the Lord was telling me to give my life for the gospel ministry and no other types of work.
One of the other main ways to hear the Lord speaking to us is through words He puts in our minds. When we teach people this at GLI, they often have good questions. Here are some examples: How do I know this isn’t my own voice? God’s voice is very specific and is usually accompanied by His peace. How do I tell the difference between Satan’s voice and God’s? Satan’s voice in our minds will be condemning regarding our identity and can produce fear. Also, please keep in mind that God’s voice will never contradict Scripture.
Here’s the question I want you to stop and ask God right now, “Lord, what do you think of me?” As you ask Him, suspend what you already know and pay attention to anything that comes to mind as you remember the guidelines above.
I encourage you to ask God often to speak to you about anything you want to ask Him, but especially about things that trouble you. As you practice this more and more, you will become much more familiar with His voice.