Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Generals are, “How do I know if it’s God speaking to me?” and “How can I hear His voice more clearly?”
Our hearts were made for relationship with God, so it’s no wonder the desire in us to know His voice is so strong.
But let’s be honest—forging this relationship can be frustrating too. After all, we can’t sit down with God face to face over a cup of coffee. We can’t call Him up on the phone. We can’t shake His hand or give Him a hug. How on earth are we supposed to be certain of His voice?
Think about someone in your life whom you once didn’t have a relationship with but now are extremely close to—someone like a spouse or a best friend. When you first met, there was probably a lot of uncertainty about what the other was thinking or feeling, how one of you might react to something, what you liked or disliked. When one of you called the other on the phone, you had to identify yourself and say, “Hi, this is so and so.” After all this time though, how many of those things are you still uncertain of?
You can pick up the phone and just start talking to the voice that answers because there is no question in your mind who it is. You can probably predict the other’s reactions before they happen. Even in the age of impersonal communication methods like texting and email, I might be uncertain of someone else’s tone, but if the text is from my husband, not only can I hear his voice saying it, but I can even picture his facial expression.
This is the kind of familiarity that comes with time, intentional effort, and even some mistakes along the way. Becoming intimately familiar with God’s voice is a very similar process that we are all invited to experience.
If you are looking for a formula or checklist, you won’t find it here. After all, even in Scripture, the ways God chose to speak were incredibly varied, including everything from donkeys to angelic visitations! There are, however, guidelines and principles that can help us distinguish God’s voice amidst the roar of other voices clamoring for our attention.
Not only does God want to speak to you, but He also wants to speak through you. The more confident you are in knowing your Father’s voice, the freer you will be to speak His love and hope into others. It is such an amazing experience to partner with God in bringing encouragement to someone’s life through prophetic words.
When it comes to knowing God’s voice, the most important truth to remember is this: however great your desire is to hear God’s voice, His desire to speak to you is even greater. He wants you to hear Him; He is not hiding from you or avoiding you. He may not always speak in the ways you thought He would, but as you grow in your ability to recognize Him, you will consistently hear from Him—even in unexpected places.
All of Scripture—from beginning to end—is the story of God’s heart and desire to communicate and connect with His people. Over and over again, we are reminded that when we look for Him, we will find Him (see Deut. 4:29; Jer. 29:13; Matt. 7:7).
Be expectant, be watching, and be listening. God is speaking all around you. His voice may come through the truths of Scripture, the beauty of nature, the encouragement of a friend, the lyrics of a song, among countless other ways. The more certain you become of His love for you and His desire to communicate with you, the more your heart will recognize Him like never before.
In order to navigate the craziness of life, change lives, and transform nations, it is vital to cultivate the ability to hear God and act upon what He says. If you want to learn how to hear God, let go of past hurts, and overcome obstacles, join with Cindy Jacobs in this online video-based study that takes a step-by-step, biblical approach to hearing God’s voice. Enroll in the online course today.