One of our greatest perplexities in the Christian lifestyle is being able to hear the voice of God. Knowing how to hear God's voice, that is how to "know" you are truly hearing God's voice, is the ultimate desire all people on earth would love to experience. There is no person that would not be radically transformed by actually hearing God talk to them and even more so, having a real conversations with the God of all creation.
The most difficult part of hearing God is the fact that it takes time to learn how to hear his voice. You do not have to be Moses or some prophet in order to hear God speaking. God speaks to all people, all the time. God wants to talk with us and have conversations with us. In Genesis 3:8 the Bible says, "They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden." Adam and Eve knew what it was like to walk with God and talk with him. They understood having conversations with the Creator in the cool of the day. This is what God wants with us. He wants us to hear him and he wants us to talk with him too. This is why Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and follow me" (John 10:27).
It would change the world for people everywhere to be talking with God. There would be no misunderstanding that God is real because you would be talking with him. There would be no misunderstanding concerning which book is his Word, who is his true Son, or how he wants us to fulfill his will in our lives. If people could truly hear the voice of God and know that it was his voice, no one would have an excuse to not follow him and do his commandments. We would be able to overcome all the things that oppress us and we could make a huge difference in the world. This is why we should learn to hear the voice of God. There is no one he will not talk with; you just have to learn to listen in ways He has chosen to be heard.
Start Hearing God by Listening to Truth
Jesus told Pilate in John 18:37, "Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." If you want to hear Jesus speaking to you or you want to hear God's voice, you must listen in truth. This means the way God wants, not how you think, or how religion has taught us. The only way to know truth is by using the Bible and following the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth (John 16:13). This is how God has revealed to us who he is and how we are to learn the truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). So if you want to hear God speaking, you have to start in truth.
There are many voices you can listen to in the world, but they are not necessarily voices of truth.
Laws or Government
Traditions and Customs
Education: schools, teachers, scholars, ology's
Society: philosophies, theories, trends, fads, peer pressure
Addictions: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, media games, pornography, social media
Journalism: writers, books, news publishers
Media: television, radio, internet, social media,
Devil: the Lie, evil, demonic
Yourself: ambition, dreams, desires, opportunity, heart, thoughts, feelings
Knowing what is Right or Wrong
The only things you can trust to be truth is what is from God. This would be Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, His Word which is the Scriptures, and his actual Voice. Everything else must be balanced to these four things in order to insure they are speaking truth.
Next Fix Your Ears to Listen
Before you can hear God's voice you must get yourself fixed to hear him. Psalm 46:10 says,
“Be still, and know that I am God.” It is necessary for you to be in a state to listen. Because God does not just sit down as a person and start talking to us, we have to place ourselves in a position where we can hear him. We best do this by becoming still. Life is so busy or in such turmoil people do not stop long enough to hear what God is saying. You can't hear God talking if you are busy at work or school, or you are so engulfed in some trauma in your life, or you are being pushed here and there by life experiences. We are so wrapped up with living we fail to stop and step back in an atmosphere that will allow us to hear what God is saying to us. It is in stillness not busyness that we tune into spiritual things long enough to hear God.
Good places for being still are church services, quiet rooms, private moments, and dedicated times. We have to make ourselves go to these places or we will never slow down enough to matter. You have to place yourself in conditions where the voice you hear the most is God's voice while you are being still. Take with you a bible, study material, writing material, worship music, and any other thing you need to help you be still enough or quiet enough to listen, and record what you hear. With all the noise, you have to have a way to distinguish between the many voices listed above, or the voice of God. Once you are still, you are ready, you have fixed your ears to listen, so what is God saying to you?
How to "Know" it is God's Voice
We use several things to hear God's voice. If you will practice using these things you will hear God speaking to you in time. These are the ways God has chosen to reveal himself to mankind.
Scripture: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).
Holy Spirit: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, 'know the Lord,' for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them" (Hebrews 8:10-11). Let the Holy Spirit speak to you through your heart. You hear God talking to you from inside you as the Holy spirit guides you in all truth.
Prophecy: "Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (1st Thessalonians 5:19-21). You hear what God is telling you through words of knowledge and words of wisdom as he speaks through the prophetic gifts. Prophecy can also direct you from a personal word you receive as someone speaks directly into your life.
Godly counsel: "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). Use people you trust and allow God to speak through them as you seek the sound council of these individuals.
Confirmation: "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed" (Matthew 18:16). There is always some voice of confirmations that helps you understand what you are hearing is from God. As you hear something that comes alive to you through the different things discussed in this study, something else will confirm what you heard is real and is of God. These confirmations are always through some means of truth, and they are very clear in their message. They can come through the Bible, a person, a song, a sermon; in the form of an announcement, a simple one word message or thought directed by the Holy Spirit or something you read.
The peace of God: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Colossians 3:15). The peace of God can be one of the loudest voices you hear. The Holy Spirit giving you peace in your heart is a great voice that ensures God is speaking to you. His peace will never rest upon something that is contrary to his will and purpose in your life.
Circumstances and Timing: "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). We can allow the circumstances in our lives to be a powerful tool if we stop long enough to hear what God is saying concerning the circumstances. In these moments we can change the course of human events that allows us to move into a deeper relationship with God and his purpose. Your present situation is not your destruction, it is your opportunity to let faith allow you to hear God. If we are patient to hear what God needs us to do, he will move us out of the circumstances and into our opportunities. It may not be your time but he promises he will lift you up in time, if you will humble yourself before him (James 4:10).
Discover the Purpose For Your Life
The more you hear God's voice the more you have confidence of who you are.
When His voice is the loudest voice you hear a divine shift begins to take place. . . You find yourself in Christ.
As you continue your communications with God a time will come when he will tell you the plan for your life. This plan will awaken the seed completely and you will be given great power to carry the plan out. This plan will seem so fantastic that you will know that you are incapable of doing it. Remember, if you use God's power, you can do anything. With God all things are possible. All you have to do step out in faith, one step at a time, and God will make the plan come true.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
Find a Spiritual Friend
It is important to ask a spiritual friend to help you. If you don't do this, evil will fool you and you will get lost. This person must be someone who is further along on the spiritual journey. Pray for this person to come into your life. Tell your spiritual friend everything that happens between you and God. Share the details of your journey.
Find a place of worship where you feel accepted and can learn.
It is important that you find a church that is moving forward in the Holy Spirit, where the Fruit of the Spirit, the Gifts of the Spirit, and the Armor of God are the paramount things being taught. It must be a church that is not afraid to teach you can hear the voice of God as you become free in Jesus Christ. It must be a church that is warm and inviting enough to make you feel like you are accepted and part of that church family.
Don't Stop Now!
If you genuinely tried the exercises suggested here, you have made your first conscious contact with God. Don't stop! There are many more ways to hear God's voice. You can improve your relationship with God. You have a long journey ahead of you. This new adventure with God will give you happiness beyond your wildest dreams. I'm sure you can't wait to get going and learn more as you listen to God's voice. He is waiting to have conversation with you. He wants to answer your questions and welcome you to himself.