“Why can’t I hear from God?”
I can not even begin to count how many times I have been in conversation with a friend and spoken these words. Hearing the voice of God, discerning His voice, and desiring Old testament like direction would be so useful in this time of information overload. It is quite exhausting when everywhere you turn there is a new avenue to get connected to others and to outside voices. There is advice on every topic. A how-to about nearly everything under the sun.
And yet, we still have a longing in our core to have a direct connection to the ultimate information source and hear the voice of God. We speak to God often, with requests, questions, and fears adding to those external voices we hear. Our prayers are full of us speaking, but we fail to hear God, because our prayer time often ends when we run out of words.
If you are serious about hearing the voice of God actively in your life and getting his direction as you continue to grow your faith then keep reading for what the bible says about God speaking to you.
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What does it mean to hear God’s voice?
When you hear from God, you are listening to him. Now I know that is a very “duh” explanation but hear me out. Oftentimes as Christians both new and old, we go through situations that leave us wondering if God hears our prayers.
It can be hard to distinguish his voice from the noise around us and we question whether He is listening.
Hearing from God requires us to be listening. Listening means we are actively making our quiet time with him a dialogue instead of a monologue. It’s a dynamic conversation between a loving God and his doted on child.
If this sort of communication with God seems foreign you may be asking “How is prayer a conversation? I’ve been asking God for answers, help, direction, and it seems like all I am getting is a busy tone.”
I used to feel exactly that way.
I know what it is like to be sure of God’s existence, to know what things should be like, but to doubt your connection to God because you can’t hear God clearly. I know what it means to feel like he is ignoring you.
This. Is. Not. True.
He is not ignoring us, in fact God speaks to us constantly, we just have to expect his voice at all times. His voice is similar to when you get in the car and your favorite radio station immediately begins playing because it has been programmed. You do not have to worry about hunting down the station, it just plays.
That is what it is like when we hear God speak to us. When we are tuned into his frequency, and if we have programmed his voice, then whenever God communicates with us, we are ready.
What does the bible say about hearing the voice of God?
Hearing the voice of God implies two different actions have to happen. The first of those is God has to be speaking. We serve a living God who is always speaking to us, through creation, through his holy bible, through his spirit.
Hearing his voice requires, first, that he is speaking to us and second that we are listening. There are several bible verses about hearing God speak that encourage us that we need not worry about whether he is talking to us.
Hearing the voice of God scriptures
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 (NASB)
This scripture from the book of John is an encouragement to us. It tells us that hearing the voice of God will be a distinguishing factor to those who consider themselves his sheep and under his care. Now this should not make you worry, instead it is letting you know that you CAN hear his voice. Hearing God speak is a blessing we receive as his children!
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. Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)
This bible verse about hearing God reminds us that the voice of God will give us direction. When he speaks, we will receive an answer to something we have asked, or a request we didn’t even know we needed. When God speaks to us, we will gain clarity.
The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. John 16:13 (CEV)
This this scripture about God’s voice, Jesus was encouraging the disciples prior to his final accension. He was letting them know about the gift that would be given to them during Pentecost, a helper we know as the Holy spirit. In order for the spirit to speak in our lives, God has to have given Him words to say. So the feeling of the holy spirit speaking to you, that is GOD!
Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don’t know and can’t find out. Jeremiah 33:3 (CEV)
So many times we believe God is not speaking because we have yet to hear his answer. This scripture tells us just the opposite. It is a promise from the Lord. He is saying that when you ask him, he will answer. Now, it may not be the answer you were wanting to hear, or may not be in the form you were expecting, but he will answer!
In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. Hebrews 1:1-5 (NIV)
Here we see a history of the voice of the Lord in the lives of his people. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gave us access to the father. We no longer needed priests and prophets to be an intercessor for us for God to speak to us, instead we could encounter God for ourselves.
Through Jesus we can hear God and see God in our lives actively and audibly, if we only listen for him.
These hearing God’s voice scriptures are just one half of the equation for attuning our ears to be more focused on God’s voice. We must also look at scriptures about listening to God’s voice.
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Bible verses about Listening for the voice of God
Now the second thing that is required to hear God’s voice is that we are listening. Hearing the voice of God is effectively the second half of our prayer routine. So often we pray to God, like a genie or diary. We list our needs and share our hurts. We ask rhetorical questions and then check prayer off of our to do list.
We walk away, and stay still long enough to hear God respond. The following bible verses about listening to God can be a gut check!
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God. John 8:47 (NLT)
OUCH! This first verse is hard to hear, but it is truth, and knowing truth is the first step to making changes. If we want to hear the voice of God, we have to be listening. And that could be figuratively, but also actually listening. Like, are you actually listening to the things that God has already told you in his word?
But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 (NKJV)
Again, this bible verse about listening to God hits a space somewhere between our pride and our ego and splits them open. This verse blesses the people who not only hear the word of God, but follow it. Can we take a moment here and just sit with this thought.
Are you keeping the Lord’s commandments? Have you taken the step towards freedom and healing that he has already given you? Or are you simply praying to lay your burdens down, just to pick them back up from the alter when you are done talking?
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
I always remind my son that there is a distinct difference between hearing me and listening to me. When you hear, you simply acknowledge that the person talking is speaking. But listening is an active word. It implies that you are taking in the words, processing them and acting on them. Perhaps, we do not hear the voice of God because we are not prepared to act upon the words that he might say?
Why is it important to listen for voice of God?
So what are the benefits of hearing the voice of God?
It is vitally important that we first seek the voice of God and then that we hear the voice of God. He is key to our existence and the success of our life. God is our creator. Before we were conceived he know us, loved us, prepared for us.
He is constantly speaking to us and guiding us in the way that we should go, if only we listen to him. Hearing his voice requires us to tune in to him and his word. It requires us to press in to what he is saying. We can’t however distinguish his voice from the countless voices of others if we do not consistently focus on intentional time in his presence.
Time in his presence allows us to know without a doubt what he sounds like so that we can experience the benefits of hearing the voice of God which include:
- Get His guidance in the decisions we make
- Learn about His purpose for us
- Readily hear His warnings when we get off track
- Feel His comfort when we are in distress
- Be used by Him to encourage others
- Experience his love as He speaks over us
The benefits and importance of hearing the voice of God are endless. The bottom line is this, our survival and success are 100% dependent on our hearing God’s voice.
How do you recognize God’s voice?
Knowing his voice and distinguishing it from the voices around you is key to closeness with God and growing your relationship with him. \
Staying in the word of God through Bible reading, worship and prayer with time for quiet meditation all help you tune into God’s voice and discern his words from that of others.
Remember that the voice of God will not contradict His word in the Bible. His voice will not cause you to sin. If the answer you come up with purposefully leaves others hurting. That is not God. His voice and his answer to your prayer will follows a Corinthians 13 model of love.
Additional ways that you can seek his voice include:
- Invite him into your everyday moments
- Make praise a lifestyle
- Surround yourself with faith-filled friends
- Be intentional about quiet time with God
- Follow God’s laws
- Be obedient in the direction God gives you
- Seek God in everything
- Ask God to see his hand active in your life
A prayer to hear gods voice
If you are seeking guidance and direction and you are longing to hear the voice of God, pray this prayer to hear God’s voice in your life.
Heavenly Father, I ask now; as I walk in boldness seeking you, as I prepare to take these steps, as I grab Your hand and lean into Your plans for me, that You would cover me in Your peace, still my restless and human heart, remind me of Your word through Your holy spirit, do not be far from me, but reach down from heaven and let Your presence be ever near me.
I choose You because You first chose me, You pursued me with a relentless love, a love I cannot begin to fathom, a love that I know I do not desire, and yet Your love is unshakable. Lord I ask that you show me what my next step is. I long to hear your voice Lord, Light my path and my way and guide me in the ways you would have me go! I look to you, and follow your footsteps! I praise You name for Your goodness! Amen
Seek God with all your heart and listen for his voice
Hearing God’s voice can be tough if you aren’t prepared to receive the message. My prayer for each of us is that we would be constantly positioned to be wrapped in the Lords words for us! Try these techniques and let me know how they work for you!
And remember as always, he’s provided the grace you need to grow in this practice! Be bold in that grace!