We all want to hear God’s voice but the truth is, it isn’t always easy. There are times when we will carefully seek God, but in return only sense His silence. When God seems silent, it can be frustrating, disheartening and agonizing. There are times when we will seek God for answers, cry out for His help and relief and still hear nothing. Hearing God is essential to building an intimate relationship with Him and learning to clearly distinguish God’s voice is vital. Frankly, as easy as it is for us to speak to Him, most Christians have a hard time listening to God and hearing His voice. This is not the way God intended it to be. The truth is if we don’t hear His voice, we will get totally lost and be more vulnerable to devil’s schemes. We can also learn a few practical lessons in the silence. Here are seven ways to know if you’re hearing God’s voice.
God’s Voice is Crystal Clear
Most of us hope that God will send us a sign when he’s trying to communicate with us. It’s hard to know when God is truly speaking to us. We may not know what His voice sounds like or if He’s truly speaking to us. There are times though when God’s voice is crystal clear. We can hear God’s voice in ways we’ve never been able to before. The key to this is learning how to listen to God. Truly listening to God is an art that requires training and discipline. It’s very difficult to hear God’s voice when we are listening to every other voice besides His. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ears to recognize the voice of God above all the noise. “But solid food belongs to those who are full of age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). When we practice, by reason of use, we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, or the Enemy. It’s important that we hear the Holy Spirit and recognize the ways He is speaking and working through us. Jesus said, “He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing” (Matthew 13:9). Pray that God will give you a hearing heart to listen and to obey.
You’ve Let Go of Whatever is Blocking You
Sometimes, the clutter of life and our own lack of focus blocks us from being able to hear God’s voice. When you let go of the chatter in your head, you have an even greater ability to hear God clearly. It’s time to examine your life. Ask yourself what might I have going on in my daily life that’s keeping me separated from God. Is there any unconfessed sin in your life that may be blocking you from hearing God’s voice? The Bible tells us, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). Doing this requires us to look deep into our own hearts and lives. Begin by asking yourself: Do I have bad motives? Is there anything or anyone that I love more than God? As these things come to light and you become more aware of what’s separating you from God, ask Him for His forgiveness. The act of repentance pleases God and restores our fellowship with Him.
You Are Patient
Listening to God requires patience. Some days, it is a lot harder to be patient. When we’re bringing our concerns to the Lord again and again, we grow tired of waiting. It soon begins to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often our desire is to take control and just “do the best we can;” it is our fleshly reaction to the silence. We know Galatians 5 lists patience as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so we confess our desire to rule our own lives. We ask the Spirit to fill us, empowering and directing us even as we continue to wait on the Lord.
We receive this strength by being filled with the Spirit. As Christians, we know that the ultimate source of patience lives within us. Our role is to trust that the Holy Spirit does live within us, and ask Him for strength to persevere in whatever situation we find ourselves in. This a provision we can claim by faith as taught to us in Romans 5:1-5.
Your Heart is Humble
The most difficult part of hearing God is the fact that it takes time to learn to discern God’s voice. It also takes a humble heart. The Bible tells us, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13). We are not in a position to make demands of God. But we can ask, seek and knock, and the Bible promises that God will open the door. God will reveal Himself to those who seek Him humbly.
You Believe That God Wants to Speak to You
It’s imperative that you expect God to speak to you. Through Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit, God wants to speak to you one a one-on-one basis, every day. If you believe that God doesn’t want to speak to you, it’s likely you won’t be able to hear His voice. However, when you receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send us, hearing God’s voice becomes a natural way of life. The Bible tells us the Father will give His Spirit to all who seek (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit will help you understand the Bible so you will know how to apply its wisdom to your life. As Christians, we each have the ability to hear from God and be led by the Holy Spirit daily.
You Can Feel the Love of God
God wants to lead you to all the good things He has in store for you. When you’re having trouble hearing God, it’s vital to remember that He loves you and wants to be involved in even the smallest details of your life. John 3:16 is an incredible reminder of God’s love for us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” No matter how silent He seems, His love is incredible and it never ends, even when we can’t discern His voice. God’s Word tells us to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6). When we acknowledge God, we acknowledge that we care what He is thinking. When we trust God, we accept His love and influence in our very lives. If you can feel the presence of God and His love, His voice will become even clearer.
Your life can be radically transformed when you better listen to God. Even when we can’t hear His voice, God is constantly speaking to us and giving us direction. It’s never God who is not speaking, but it’s us who may simply have trouble hearing Him. When we believe that God is already speaking to us, it becomes even easier to hear Him.