Are you tired of hearing your own voice, impulsively acting on it, and making mistakes? Wouldn’t it be nice to receive simple instructions and directions when you don’t know what to do? When we hear the voice of God, it could prevent us from making rash decisions (if we recognize and listen to God’s voice). So, how do you know God is speaking to you?

Challenges, choices, and opportunities come our way every day; the responsibility to make accurate and timely decisions lays in our hands. However, we won’t make 100% accurate decisions on every single occasion without first taking the time to listen to what God says about it. When we first listen to God’s voice, we would know what to do.

Can we, human beings, hear God speak to us directly? How do you recognize God’s voice? Based on God’s Word, it is possible to hear God talking to you.

“he who is of God hears God’s words.”

John 8:47a (NKJV)

That is straightforward, isn’t it?

The only requirement to hearing God’s voice is that you should ‘be of God’. When you are His child, you will hear His voice. We must learn to recognize God’s voice and to know the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Hearing God’s voice

We find the word hear 347 times in the Bible; implicating hearing is crucial to God. Hearing is not a one-way but a two-way communication channel. God listens to you (to your voice) and you listen to God (to God’s voice): God hears you and we hear God.

Before we can know what the signs are God is speaking to you, we must first know what hearing is. Hearing is to notice by the ear, to gain knowledge of by hearing, and to listen to with attention. Hearing is not passive, it is active: it requires attentive listening. All the three features of hearing apply to hearing God’s voice. You will get information and will gain knowledge by hearing God’s voice, and you must attentively listen to hear God’s voice.

Benefits of hearing the voice of God

God enabled us, His children, to hear His voice. Why is it so important to God that you hear His voice? He wants us to recognize when He speaks to us, and understand Him when we hear His voice, because hearing His voice has benefits.

These are the benefits of hearing the voice of God:

  1. Having a relationship with Him. He wants us to communicate with Him and in order to do that, we need to hear His voice. How could we communicate if we don’t hear His voice? It is similar between two humans: we can’t relate to someone if we don’t communicate.
  • Increasing our faith. Hearing God’s voice increases our faith in Him. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (NKJV).
  • Providing guidance and direction. Only when we hear God’s voice will He be able to guide and direct us. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’”. Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV).
  • Enabling us to do His will. When we hear God’s voice, He enables us to do His will; because He can then speak directly to us and through us and reach out through us. He wants to do His will through us in various ways:
    1. in our own lives.
    2. in the life of other Christians.
    3. in the life of unbelievers.
    4. to spread the Gospel, etc.

Can everyone hear God’s voice?   

Pondering whether you can hear God speak to you directly and whether you can hear the voice of God’s Spirit are not signs of weakness. Raising questions like these is not a sign of doubt, it is a sign of curiosity and wanting to know more of God. It shows that you want God to lead you by hearing His voice.

If we want to follow God, we must understand where He is leading us to. You can only do that by recognizing the signs that God is speaking to you. Hearing God’s voice is not something magic. Everyone can hear God’s voice, provided they:

  • are a child of God.
  • have a personal relationship with Him.
  • listen.

When you are born again, God’s Spirit is in you, and God speaks to you. You will hear God’s voice because that is what God says in His Word, and He does not lie nor trick you. You can, therefore, be sure that you can hear God’s voice.

Several scriptures on hearing God’s voice make that clear:

  • “He who is of God hears God’s words.” John 8:47 (NKJV).   
  • “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 (NKJV).
  • “‘Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.’” Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV).

In case you are not sure whether you are of God, He confirms that “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.Romans 8:16-17 NKJV. This means that even if you doubt yourself, the Holy Spirit will convince you that you are His child. The Holy Spirit will let you know His voice by confirming it deeply in your heart.

Should we do something to hear God’s voice?

Before we can recognize the signs God is talking to us, we must do two things: be available, and listen actively. When we do our part, God is faithful to do His part. He will let us hear His voice.

Being available is quite simple. All we need to do is say, “Lord, here I am”. Several scriptures on hearing God’s voice show men of God doing just that: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, etcetera. They declared their availability and God let them hear His voice (Genesis 22:1; Genesis 31:11; Exodus 3:4; 1 Samuel 3:16; Isaiah 6:8). So, if you want to hear from God, tell Him, “I am available Lord”.

Listening actively means we want to hear Him. If we don’t long to hear Him, we won’t hear God’s voice because we aren’t paying attention. Listening does not equal being quiet. We may be exceptionally quiet but still not hear God’s voice because other things occupy our minds. And vice versa, even when we are extremely busy, we can still hear God’s voice.

When you actively listen to Him and tune in to Him, you will hear His voice. God will speak. He has promised in His Word:

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’’

Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

Is it enough to just hear the sound of God’s voice?

After hearing God’s voice, we need to do something. Passively listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice is not enough. We must add action:

  1. Listen to what He says.
  2. Believe what He says.
  3. Do what He says.

Listening to what God says

Have you been conversing with a friend, and your mind drifted? You didn’t hear what she said, but that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t talking. She was talking to you, but you didn’t listen. Your own attitude caused you not hearing. The same could happen when God speaks to you; other things could occupy your mind, causing you not to hear His voice.

If we don’t listen, we may miss what He is telling us. Scripture says we should listen to what He says:

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

Matthew 13:9 (NKJV)

“My sheep listen to my voice…….”

John 10:27 (NKJV)

Believe what He says

We should also believe what God says. Hearing and listening alone is not enough. His word says:

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

Isaiah 53:1 (NKJV) 

Do what He says

When we hear God’s voice, listen to it, and believe it, there is still one more thing to do: do what He says. For example, God tells us to submit to our husbands, be kind to our neighbors, forgive those who hurt us, not let our anger stay till the next day, value others above ourselves, love, etcetera. When we don’t do what God tells us, we are only putting ourselves into trouble.

“But don’t just listen to the word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”

James 1:22 (NLT)

“Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Mathew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

How do you recognize God’s voice?

What if you make a mistake and cannot discern God’s voice? Well, we may indeed make a mistake when you start listening, but that is not the end. We can try again. We shouldn’t give up on hearing God’s voice, but ask God for guidance.

A baby falls and cries but wakes up and tries again until walking is mastered. God has put this perseverance in all of us. We can use the same perseverance to pursue God and to hear His voice. He is the one who promised we will hear Him and gave us the desire to hear His voice. He will therefore let us hear His voice.

So, don’t give up, try again, and keep testing the spirit behind the voice.

How do you start when you want to hear God’s voice?

We open ourselves to the voice of God and His Holy Spirit by:

  1. Praying.
  2. Meditating on God’s word.

We start with prayer because that is the way to start a conversation with God. It is the same as starting a conversation with someone. We don’t walk to someone and then just stand in front of her. No, we will have to start talking. We should do the same with God. We can go to Him and start talking. He will answer!

By reading and meditating on God’s Word, we get to know Him. If you want a real and an in-depth conversation with someone, you must know that person first. Without knowing that person, you can’t have an in-depth conversation or relationship with her. It is the same with God. You need a personal relationship with Him to have a quality conversation with Him.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’’

Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

Let’s pray:

Your Word tells me I can hear your voice and listen to you. I am your child, Lord, and I confess you are Lord. I acknowledge I can hear you. Speak, Lord, and I will listen and do what you tell me to do. Here I am. I will follow and obey you, even if it is not convenient for me.

I want to hear your voice. Help me, Lord, to tune my heart to you; to listen to you and obey you. Teach me. Lead me. Guide me. Open my ears so I can hear you. Open the ears of my understanding. Father, I am willing. Here I am. Thank You. Amen.