I have heard other Christians say this to me: “Why does God speak to others but not to me?” And the reality is that it’s simply not true.
God actually does want to speak to you and is speaking to you. He has so many things to say and reveal about his thoughts toward you that they are as many as the grains of sand on the beach (Ps. 139:17–18). So if God has that many things to say about you, then maybe we should figure out how to tune in.
I have made it a personal mission to try to hear God. The closer you get to God, the better you can hear him. The more you know God, the more you know yourself. The opposite is true, as well! The less you know God, the less you know about yourself. Any time someone who loves you more than you can ever imagine wants to speak to you, you want to hear what they have to say.
Here’s what we know about God’s voice:
- God has a voice. We know this because of the third verse of the Bible, when God spoke light into darkness (Gen. 1:3).
- You can hear his voice if you are a follower of Jesus. Jesus said these powerful words: “I am the good shepherd and I know My own and My own know Me. My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me” (John 10:14, 27).
- You hear by the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth, to speak these truths loud and clear (John 14:26; 16:13–15).
- Hearing God is prophetic. Prophecy is Jesus, about Jesus and restoring people back to Jesus (Rev. 19:10)
I want to be a Christian who is with Jesus so that I can hear him and be with him. Out of that intimacy comes a revelation of who he is, who I am and what I am made to do. If we can cultivate that kind of closeness with God, it allows us to see and hear things that will overflow out of us.
The love of God leads me to have a prophetic lifestyle, or in other words, a lifestyle that lives from hearing God speak and following him. That’s why Paul says, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy” (1 Cor. 14:1).
That’s what prophetic words and ministry can do for you. That’s what hearing God’s voice can do for you. It helps you become who you were always meant to be. When God speaks to you, he connects you to your designed purpose, what you were created to be and do. It’s catching a glimpse of the you that you were always meant to be.
Jesus choose his disciples for their occupations, the personalities, their shortcomings, their dysfunctions, their lack of education—because he saw who they could be and would be. He not only saw them, but he called it out of them.
Living out the life of Jesus as Christians should demand from all of us a prophetic eye to see the “what could be” with those we are discipling. When we are loved like that by Jesus and by those who follow Jesus, it transcends our limitations, and we start to live like we always were intended to live. That’s why having an ear to hear God is important to you, your family and your leadership.
So, how do we hear God’s voice? Here are five truths that will help you to hear God more clearly in your life.
1. God speaks to everyone.
We live in a noisy culture. We have a God who speaks regularly. This is the tension we face as creations of God. He is either speaking, “Come to me,” to those who don’t yet know him; and to those who do know him, he is revealing who he is and who they are supposed to be (see Rom. 10:17 and 5:8).
So be still and know him (Ps. 46:10). The Hebrew word for “know” means “be intimately acquainted with.” So stop just praying on your car ride to work, and start spending a few minutes every morning simply listening.
My friend Eric Samuel Timm says this in his book The Static Jedi: “Battling the noise is creating a space for God and acknowledging the space he occupies, which is all of it. Invite God into all 24 hours of your day.” God speaks to everyone. He is speaking to you. So invite him in and hear what he has to say.
2. God’s voice is characterized by love.
God’s voice sounds like love (Gal. 5:6). There is no condemnation in Christ, but there is grace and mercy. Grace and mercy are strong indicators that what you are hearing is actually God’s voice. Grace is acceptance by God—you cannot earn—and mercy is forgiveness that you don’t deserve but have received in Christ. It’s faith expressing itself with love.
3. God’s purpose for speaking to you and to others is to primarily reveal his love.
Jesus longed for the disciples to experience the love of the Father. That same love of the Father that was essential for Jesus to live by is the same love that Jesus wants us to experience and that is available for us (John 17:24–25). Jesus didn’t do anything without the Father’s permission. What if we lived the same way?
4. God reveals his thoughts to you so that you have his thoughts.
You become transformed when your mind is renewed by God’s thoughts (Rom. 12:2). You hear God by the Holy Spirit. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Through the Spirit, God allows us to see and know his will, purpose and plans (1 Cor. 2:9).
5. God’s voice makes you complete.
The heart of the disciples who experienced the presence and life-giving words of Jesus was to bring that same experience to others. Experiencing the voice of the Father makes you complete not only relationally, but spiritually (1 John 1:1–4).
How have you heard God’s voice lately?
Alan Pastian is a campus pastor at River Valley Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota (an Outreach 100 church, No. 23 Fastest-Growing and No. 46 Largest). For more: AlanPastian.com