Hearing from God is not complicated! We often think the process of hearing God’s voice is more complex than it really is. We all can hear God, and God longs for you to hear him, and spend time with Him.
Learning to hear God’s voice is a lifelong process, yet it is simple enough that you can hear him very clearly when he speaks. The idea of hearing the voice of God is something I get asked about all the time.
Every Christian has a desire to hear from God every day. How can you know when God is speaking to you? What does He even sound like?
What if it seems like God is not speaking at all? How do I discern whether it is His voice speaking or just my own idea?
When you hear the voice of God, it drove you deeply into God’s presence, because you spend time in His presence.
Seek to know God as deeply as possible. Trust that he is real and that he speaks. Talk with him because you simply want to know him.
And rest in the fact that you will have conversation with your loving heavenly Father every day, and throughout eternity. May each and every day be marked by life-giving conversations you will have with the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you today, that he guide you into a fuller, yet deeper understanding of what it means to hear his voice on a daily basic, and grow in grace and confidence and listen to whatever it is God wants to say to you.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” JOHN 16:13
How To Hear from God Directly?
Once you begin to get in God’s Word daily, then, you can begin to hear His still small voice and see His hand in your everyday dealings. Every day, God speaks to us. He speaks to us through His Word. He speaks to us in prayer. He speaks to us in music. He speaks to us in dreams. He speaks to us through people. There is nothing difficult or hard discerning God’s voice.
I was excited when I first heard God’s voice. My life was never the same after that. As he continues to speak to me, the deeper my intimacy is with him.
God intended for us to hear His voice. To know His voice. And to follow His voice. How easy is it for you to hear a friends voice you know? Then to hear our heavenly Fathers voice is so easy.
God does not communicate with us the way we communicate with one another. He communicates from His Spirit to your spirit, and then your spirit communicates what you hear to your mind.
That is what we call an inward witness. It is like a thought or a prompting. It is very subtle and requires a closeness with God and regular practice to hear it more quickly and clearly.
We learn to recognize it the way we recognize voices of those close to us: by knowing Him. And when we know Him, we can tell if what we are feeling led to do is from Him or not.
Jesus was speaking in John 10:3-5. He was speaking about Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and the only way to enter the sheepfold.
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3-5)
With our busy schedules, and life challenges, all of us seem to be busier than ever, and that is one of the BIG reasons we do not hear the voice of the Lord better. We allow so many destructions and interruptions in our lives. When you are busy, you are too busy.
How Do You Know When God is Speaking to Your Heart?
There is a way to know for certain that you are hearing God voice and not your own? While it may be difficult at first, there are ways to distinguish his leading. Like any relationship, our relationship with God must be cultivated. It takes time to grow and flourish. The more time we spend with him every day, the more we learn to recognize when he is speaking to us. As we get to know him and spend time in his Word, we see the characteristics of his voice. He helps us discern when something is from him, and when we need to step away from distractions that seem good on a surface level. Here are some ways you will know when God is speaking to your heart:
Reading God’s Word Through Scripture
Scripture has always placed a premium on hearing God’s voice. The great command from God through Moses began with the words, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4 KJV). Proverbs 8:34 says, “Happy are those who listen to me.”
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27 (KJV)
This is the safest way to hear from God. The whole purpose of the Scriptures is so God can reveal his nature to us, as well as his thoughts together with any message. The Word of God is living (active) and therefore he can use it to communicate. If we have a question of whether it is okay to go in a certain direction or not, then the Scriptures are a good place to start. Most of us will admit we have prayed about something, and God answered by showing us a verse in the Bible that was perfectly appropriate for whatever we asked. However, most of us will also admit that sometimes you just cannot find it in the Bible. And that is why He provided other options.
Hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit
Hearing a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13). Usually comes when we least expect it but, in my experience, it is always God speaking. When you hear ‘something’ telling you to go ahead and act at a certain moment (and it does not contradict God’s Word) then listen to this voice, more often than not God is trying to communicate. You will find that sometimes he is asking you to do what may not make sense at that time because he knows much more than we do. That is why it is important to just obey, and you will find out afterwards. Do not overlook that whisper in your spirit.
Hearing God’s Voice Through Prayer
When you want to have a conversation with someone, how do you begin? You just begin to talk. Right. It is the same with God! He loves to hear us talk to Him, and it is in those moments that we prepare ourselves to hear the voice of God.
Day after day I am in conversations with friends where they are asking, “How do I really know God’s Voice.” If you are like me, there have been many of frustrating moments, when I was praying for clear direction — for a word — so I can know exactly what to do. And waiting, waiting, waiting for an answer.
Hearing God’s Voice with the Help of the Holy Spirit
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26).
The second chapter of Acts describes the events that occurred on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus ascended into Heaven. Verse three says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, the Counselor promised by Jesus. This unique aspect of God’s personality did not come to them as someone they could see and touch, but He came to live inside them. The Holy Spirit will prepare your heart to hear God’s voice. His Spirit, that still, small voice inside you, is the One who will remind you of what God said, and help you recognize God’s opportunities in your life.
Wait to Hear God speak (10-12 minutes)
Listen to what God is saying to you. What themes emerge? What becomes clear about God’s plan for you as you listen?
Write any Scripture, God gives you
One may receive a verse from Scripture. Often the Lord will give us one piece of the message, write it down, until he gives you the complete message.
Please be assured, God is speaking to you all the time. God has promised to lead us by His Spirit and enable us to know His voice. That means you can learn to know exactly what the Spirit of God is saying to you about every situation. You do not have to go through life blindly making decisions or relying on your own abilities.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit will teacher us how to hear God’s voice. When you learn to hear God’s voice, it will not be an occasional event but an everyday part of life. That is why, in the New Testament, Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Believers will listen to and recognize the voice of the Shepherd. They will also know that certain voices are not his and will flee from them.
Jesus urges us to listen like sheep. “The sheep recognize his voice. . .they follow because they’re familiar with the shepherd’s voice” (John 10:3-5).
If you want to get to a place where you do not have to wonder whose voice you are hearing—yours, the devil’s, or God’s—you need to spend a lot of time with the Lord. Spend time in His presence cultivating an intimate relationship with Him.
But, if you keep your mind and your heart full of the cares of this world, it will be difficult for you to differentiate between the Spirit of God and your own thoughts. That is the definition of a carnal mind—one that has not been renewed by the Word of God.
You can learn to hear God! The Most Common Questions I get from women on hearing God are:
1. Does what I am hearing line up with Scripture?
God will never speak to us or tell us to do something that is contrary to His Word. But unless we know Scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we hear is consistent or not with the Word. We know the will of God when we read and pray the Word of God. I encourage you to get a journal and start recording the verses you study and some of your individual experiences with the things you are learning as you read God’s Word.
2. Is what I am hearing consistent with God’s character?
God’s Word also provides rich information regarding His character. Just as God always speaks in accordance with His Word, He speaks in accordance with His character. God will not say anything inconsistent with who He is. The longer we know Him and the more we experience Him personally, the more we learn about His character.
3. Is what I am hearing confirmed With God’s Word?
When God speaks to me about a particular issue, I cannot escape it. Around every corner there is a sermon or Bible study lesson or speaker’s topic or conversation with a friend that is consistent with what I have been hearing from God in my time alone with Him. When we invest in spending time alone with God, He will speak to us. Listen for His voice, and then look for the message to be confirmed.
4. Is what I am hearing beyond me?
Sometimes God calls us to do something big that we cannot do in our own strength — either it is beyond our ability or beyond our natural human desire. It is not something we can strategize and manipulate into being in and of ourselves. It can only happen through God’s divine intervention. Do not look at your inabilities and dwell in insecurities. Look at the Almighty God. See this call as your opportunity to watch Him work in you and through you. If you answer “yes” to the question, is this beyond me? chances are, God is speaking.
5. Is what I am hearing pleasing to God?
It is easy to talk ourselves out of thinking we have heard from God. We use every excuse in the book to convince ourselves it is not God’s voice, so we do not need to act. If what you are doing pleases God, then even if what you thought you heard from Him was not His voice, you still please Him. We should always seek to please God.
In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
When you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him. I am so glad we serve a God that speaks to us every day.
What does the Scripture say about hearing the voice of God?
1. To hear God’s voice, you must be seeking Him. Being intentional, deliberate, and fervent about hearing from God means you must seek Him out in the same manner.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
2. How is your Bible Study Routine? Discerning the voice of God requires the Word of God. Your time in the Bible should be number one priority at all times but especially when you need to hear the voice of God.
So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
3. God has already spoken. Often, we want to turn God is “no” into a “yes.” It is not the fact that God has not spoken to you, it is because you want a different answer.
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
4. As a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit is always speaking to you. The fact that you want to hear from God is an urging of the Holy Spirit. If you do not hear God, follow Him and you will find your way to His voice.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
5. To hear the voice of God, you must take active steps to renew your mind. The world is cluttered with so many distractions and mis-directions that we cannot hear from Him. Make it your daily practice to renew, replenish and refine your mind with the Word of God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
6. God does not yell or scream at you for attention. His whisper…still, small voice – is the way He speaks to you. Eliminate any internal mind clutter and external noise so that you can discern the voice of God.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
7. You will hear God’s Word giving your directions and instructions, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
8. The Holy Spirit is Spirit and life. That is the Word of God living in you, giving you life.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
9. Our confidence is in Jesus Christ. If we ask Him anything according to His Word which is His Will, He hears us.
1 John 5:14
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
10. You shall walk after the Lord, (follow Him) and keep his commandments, obey his voice, serve him, and hold fast to him.
You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
11. Today, when you hear his voice, do not allow your hearts be harden.
As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
12. Today, the Holy Spirit is speaking. Hear his voice.
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice.”
13. The word of God is living in you, so powerful, active, energizing, shaper than any two-edge sword.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
God has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And that He will hear when we call. Another way to know whether the Holy Spirit is speaking to us is to ask ourselves whether the voice is consistent with God’s Word.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and I will sup with him and he with me” Revelation 3:20
There are so many powerful benefits of Hearing the Voice of God.
- A personal intimacy comes when we learn to hear God better. When we share ourselves with God and He with us, there is a deep connection that comes. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8-9).
- We develop a passion that comes with obeying God. God works from the inside out and refreshes us. He gives us an earnestness to get up and get moving to do what He wants. He increases our zeal and enthusiasm.
- When we learn to hear his voice, we fall deeply in love with him. His word impowers us. And leads us to him.
- Being led by his Holy Spirit, who is our guide.
Finally, listening to God promotes listening to others. When God talked to the boy Samuel, it took the more experienced Eli to help teach him how to recognize and respond to God’s voice (1 Samuel 3:8-9).
With wonderful benefits like these, who would not want to spend time listening to God? What better use of time is there than communicating with the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
How Do I Know If the Holy Spirit is Speaking to me?
As we all know, it can be a challenge to be sure we are hearing God, so we know the Holy Spirit truly is speaking to you.
When the Holy Spirit Is Speaking to You, He Will Focus on Producing the Fruits of the Spirit in You
As we all know through spending lots of time in conversations with friends and family, every individual has certain areas of interest that they seem to always focus on.
The same thing is true of the Holy Spirit. God will speak with you about anything you bring to him in prayer, but when it is time for God to mention the topic of conversation, you can be sure that he will very often come back to the fruits of the Spirit with you repeatedly. In Galatians 5:22-25 it states:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
So, the Spirit may be talking to you about dating, about your career, or about some other desire you have, but when the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about any topic like these, he will bring the conversation back around to the fruits of Spirit as well. He will show you how to have love, joy, peace, and all these other godly qualities in the specific area of your life you are talking about with him.
When You Receive an Inner Peace Paired with a Biblical Plan, This Is Usually the Holy Spirit Speaking to You
There are two ways God leads his children through storms of life. He either gives them a wise plan on how to change the circumstances in their life or he gives them a supernatural peace to help them get through this trial even though the circumstances will remain the same.
Usually, God gives us a hybrid of both. He might not tell us how the next 50 years will go, but when you seek the Lord, he will give you a wise plan on how to proceed forward in a way that honors him. And in the midst of all the unknowns, when the Holy Spirit is speaking, you will gain an inner peace that only God can produce. Notice what Jesus said in John 14:26-27 about giving us wisdom and giving us peace. He states:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
So, if you are receiving a wise biblical plan along with an inner peace, this is a sign the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.
Follow the Holy Spirit’s Leading
So, the first way to be sure that you have heard the voice of the Lord is to check what you believe you have heard with Scripture. Does it agree with the words, with the Spirit, and with the principles of Scripture? If not, be sure it was not God’s voice that you heard. We must be careful to reject all Satan’s counterfeits. Satan has many counterfeits for the voice of the Lord.
There is a passage in Isaiah 8:19-22 which really says it so clearly in a way that is so appropriate for our culture and our situation today.
This is what Isaiah says: The Holy Spirit is God—a divine Being with a mind, emotions, and will. He is always with us (Psalm 139:7–8). His purposes include interceding for us (Romans 8:26–27) and giving gifts to benefit the church (1 Corinthians 12:7–11).
Remember, God wants to show us the right path to take. He is not in the business of hiding His will from those who seek Him.
God does not want us to fail. The more we listen to God, the better we will be at distinguishing His voice from the other noises in our heads. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gives His promise: “He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:4). Others may speak, “but the sheep [do] not listen to them” (verse 8). The better we know our Shepherd, the less we have to worry about heeding the wrong voice.
If you are listening for directions from the Holy Spirit and you are longing to hearing from God, pray this prayer to hear God’s voice in your life.
Father God, thank You for reminding me that You are not hiding from me or trying to frustrate me. You still speak to me. And when it does feel hard to hear You, I trust the Holy spirit leading. I can know that Your Word is You speaking to me in Your word – always available, and never silent. Help me live with a heart that is quick to lean into You, ears that are always listening for You and feet that are ready and willing to follow You. You say, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27). I am your sheep. You are my Shephard. I want to hear Your voice. Reveal Yourself to me. Make Your voice loud and clear, and I will follow. Show me the way, and I will walk with You. In Jesus Name. Amen!
Hearing From God: Daily Bible Reading Plan
I pray that this is a place where you can gain encouragement in your prayer life and in your relationship with God! Here you will find a free printable, “Hearing From God: Daily Bible Reading Plan” that you can download by clicking on the highlighted links.
You are welcome to use this printable for personal use or in small group Bible studies.
Have a wonderful day! Enjoy!