When I first started hearing from God, I found myself spinning in circles. I doubted whether I was actually hearing him. Often, I had a hard time distinguishing between my own inner voice and his voice. I’ve found that a lot of believers share in my confusion. We want to be in sync with the Holy Spirit, but we have doubts and fears that block us from hearing God’s voice.
Learning to hear from God isn’t something that happens in one night. It’s a pursuit. If you’re an American, you grew up in a culture with a lot of spiritual deafness. If you grow up deaf and suddenly have your hearing restored to you, will you become fluent in language quickly? Absolutely not! Your ears will first need to adjust to the new sound they are hearing. Then you’ll slowly learn to pick out sounds and syllables. Eventually, you’ll be able to make sense of these sounds to understand words. Over time, you’ll learn this new language and with practice, you’ll become fluent in it.
Hearing from God is exactly like this.
God designed you, as his child, with the capability to hear his voice.
You have the ABILITY to do it, if you are patient and take the time to learn. Don’t get discouraged by where you are now or expect to become fluent overnight. Recognize that you’ll need time to learn this new language.
When you are confused, ask yourself: does what I hear contradict or support what the Bible says? Does what I hear reflect the character of God? Does what I hear bear the fruit of the Spirit? Does what I hear bring hope and peace from God?
Now that we’ve got that squared away, it’s time to get started. If you want to hear God’s voice, there are two qualifications that God is looking for. Without these things, your progress will be hindered.
- Are you available to listen?
- Are you willing to obey?
Being Available to Listen
When I began hearing from God, I had just lost my job and I had hours and hours of time where I would just sit and listen to him. I had always filled my time up with work and social engagements, and I had no idea how to just be still and listen. This forced rest ended up being exactly what God needed to do to get my attention.
You may not have hours of free time, but start by giving him what you have. Take a hour, a half hour, or even fifteen minutes a day to be quiet in his presence. This is how we make ourselves available to listen.
Being Willing to Obey
If we want to hear God’s voice, we need to be prepared to obey what he asks us to do. The purpose of hearing from God is to give us opportunities where we can act as his ambassadors and carry out his will. But this purpose can’t be lived out if we don’t obey.
When God asks you to do something and you disobey him, it creates distance between you and God. The further you are from someone, the harder it becomes to hear them. Obedience is the key to growing intimacy with God, and it will result in the ability to hear his voice loud and clear.
What Qualifies Us to Hear His Voice?
We are not qualified by social status, talents, looks, righteousness, knowledge, or ability. We are qualified by our willingness to listen and obey. Hearing is not just for extra-spiritual people. It’s for everyone!
If you want to hear from God, you just need to desire it!
Desire is not the same as wanting. When you desire something, you pursue it. Passively wanting to hear from God is not the same as desiring it so much that you forsake all else in the pursuit of it.
Are you ready to hear God’s voice more clearly? Here are three steps you can take right away to get started.
- Ask God to speak and believe he will. (Matthew 7:7)
- Make time for silence. Choose activities that enable you to meditate, such as walking, being in nature, going for a drive, or listening to music (there’s not a right way – it’s whatever works for you!).
- Pursue God and wait for him. He desires pursuit just like you do! If he doesn’t seem to act right away, honor him by waiting patiently for his response.
The most important aspect of hearing from God is…
It’s the relationship. God is searching for people who will listen not just because he desires us to do his will, but because he wants intimacy with his children. Supernatural experiences are cool, but intimacy is precious above all. else.