Do You Hear from God?

Do you hear from God?

Look, I’m no Moses. I have neither seen the burning bush in the wilderness nor climbed down from the mountain after seeing God face-to-face. I have, however, heard God speak–many times, in fact.

I have seen people roll their eyes, or raise their brows when during conversation I say something like,¬† “and the Lord told me…” I suspect that many Christians have never actually heard the Lord speak. The reason, however, is not that He hasn’t spoken to them–it is that He has spoken and they simply do not know how to hear Him.

So here’s the questions: Do you hear from God? Do you know how He speaks and can you recognize His voice?

All too often, I have heard Christians say that they have never heard from God. God just doesn’t speak to them, they assume. Maybe He speaks to everyone else, but they have never “heard” Him.

Okay, no, I don’t expect God to grab a megaphone and start shouting out life’s step-by-step instructions, but He could if he wanted.

Instead, God communicates to us in varying ways and, once we are clued into those examples, hearing from Him can actually be quite easy.

One way God speaks to us in through a “feeling.” Sounds a little flaky? Well, maybe, but hear me out. There are many times in our Christian life when we will have spent time praying about something in particular. As we wait for an answer, at some point, we might catch¬† ourselves saying something like, ” Well, I don’t have peace about this or that,” or “I feel like this,” or “It’s my heart.”

We get feelings about things, one way or another. It might sound like an over simplification, but a “sense” about something can sometimes be God speaking to us.

That is not to say that we do not need guidance from the Spirit to discern God’s voice. We also need confirmation from other sources as to what exactly we are hearing. Which leads me to a second way in which we can hear God–other people.

Seeking out Godly wisdom from those around can often provide clarity as to where God is leading. Just make sure you don’t chat up the random guy at your office who has decorations of Ninja Turtles at his desk and smells like peanut butter. Ask a pastor, a friend who loves Jesus, your spouse, a home group leader… someone who can help discern God’s will in your life.

God can use others to speak a word of knowledge or a prophetic word (these aren’t just for OT times) directly into your life (yes, this perhaps constitutes an entire and separate post all together). Or, an individual can simply pray alongside of you and help you determine God’s answers.

Another way God has spoken to me in the past is through my not wanting to do what I think I should do. For example, I was headed out to go shopping with a friend of mine when I had a thought–call up that other girl who I don’t really care for and invite her shopping, too. Huh?

How and why did that thought just pop into my head? It wasn’t me, because I had absolutely no desire to invite the chick that irked me on a shopping date. I also know it wasn’t me because the voice was not me, talking to myself. I didn’t think, for example, “I should call her.” The thought was more like, “Nicole, you need to call her.” God addresses me by name and speaks to me very much like a parent speaking to a child.

I listened to that voice that day, though. I called her up and we had a great time. Sometimes–every once in a while–God knows better than we do (wink wink).

Which might have you asking–what about those small voices (or sometimes louder voices) we hear? I don’t mean crazy person get-out-of-my-head voices. I mean those passing thoughts, those inconspicuous ideas, those quiet notions that enter our mind from seemingly nowhere. Couldn’t those be from the Lord? Could those be God infiltrating our thoughts and making Himself known?

I have audibly heard God maybe twice. Once was to stop me from getting into a car accident. I heard a voice, not my own, say to me as clearly as a person talking right into my ear, “Do not go to Misti’s house” (if you are reading this Misti, you already know the outcome). I did not listen. Later, a car ran a red light in front of me, and I T-boned the vehicle.

Usually, however, God does not speak to us in an audible booming voices (but He certainly can if He chooses). He chooses more often to speak to us in the quiet whisper. Sounds like a Christian cliche right? Well, maybe it is for a reason.

Of course, there is also the most obvious way in which God can communicate with us, which is through the Bible. If ever you are looking for answers to questions, direction or guidance, wisdom or counsel–the Bible is your source. Sadly, I don’t think many Christians even seek out scripture in order to hear from God. I heard a pastor once say that “Scripture is the vocabulary of the Holy Spirit.” I like that.

The Lord does not intend for us to walk through our life never feeling like we can hear from Him. He is not a silent, distant God. He is a speaking, active, intimate God who desires to speak to you and share His will, love, and hope with you. Next time that small still voice enters your mind, do not be so quick to dismiss it–it may be the Lord starting a conversation with you.

Do you feel like you hear from God? How do you hear God if you do? How do you discern something is the Lord or not? Are you frustrated by not hearing from God?

post image here

14 thoughts on “Do You Hear from God?”

  1. Yep. Definitely “hear” God speaking in many of the ways you listed and it never ceases to amaze me, no matter how seemingly insignificant the message may seem. May I ALWAYS have a sense of wonder at God’s leading.

    Most recently as God has been restoring my broken relationship with my husband, He has been active. Or perhaps we have been more aware of His voice.

    In one instance, my husband sought divorce. During that time, he kept hearing sermons on divorce or reading passages on divorce. He ultimately felt God was leading in that direction. However, while this was happening my husband distinctly heard God say in his mind, “Do not leave Melissa.”

    It’s in these conflicting instances that must be in constant prayer to know truly how God is leading. I believe He is faithful to show us.

    1. Melissa, what a blessings to know and hear God’s voice. I hope you always have that connection and ability.

      I am blessed to know too that your husband heard the Lord direct him in your marriage to remain married.

      You are right that sometimes it takes more than one word or thought before we know and understand God’s leading. Thank you for sharing that and praying your marriage continues to be strengthened and restored.

  2. Great topic. This is one I am wrestling with so much right now and hoping to find truth in. Do I believe God speaks to us? Yes. Have I ever heard His voice? No. Have I had a thought in my head that could only be from Him? Probably not. Has he spoken to me? Yes. I’m guilty of being one of those types who rolls their eyes when he hears “God told me.” The problem is, I’m projecting my own shortcomings and insecurity onto others. My mind is never silent. I’ve tried many things and prayed many times that God would grant me the ability to “be still” but that appears to be my thorn in my side. What scares me a little is that with all the static that runs through my mind, how can I be sure it is God?

    I have however, heard him in other ways. Certain people have come into my life and said things about me that they absolutely should not know. That is God speaking to me through that person by putting the words on their heart.

    I also believe that God often speaks to us in very obvious ways. I think that we have this idea that God will shine bright light down and give us this great revelation. Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting turned down for a job you were praying over. Sometimes, it’s that gut feeling you have that the career you’ve been training for isn’t working out. Sometimes, it’s that bad feeling you get when you get into certain situations that could cause you to stumble.

    Also, there is the Word. I’m at a point in my faith where I’m only beginning to truly read the word for the first time. Despite hearing these passages so many times, it’s like I’m reading something fresh for the first time, and the answers I find are quite revealing.

    As for literally “hearing” God, it’ll come. I think He’ll speak when He knows I’m ready to listen, and I’ll probably have some kind of Isiah moment where I realize how unworthy and unclean I am to even hear His voice.

    1. ‘how can I be sure it’s God?’ I’ve struggled with that too and I don’t think it’s always as obvious as we’d like. Especially if it’s a feeling. In those cases I usually err on the side of saying ‘I think God is telling me …’ That way you aren’t setting yourself up for failure if you’re wrong. I have questioned things people have said under the pretense of ‘God’s telling me…’ and sometimes it seems like God would never be telling them that. That’s between the person and the Lord, but I don’t mind making my position clear by not being so adamant about it. At least not until I’m certain after the fact.

      I think this blog is a great way that God can speak to us about things we need to deal with in our lives. Whether it’s sin or relationships that are preventing us from being closer to God, reading through these posts challenges me in the middle of my day and I love that! (thanks Nicole!)

      1. Wow! Thanks Heather. I am humbled by your comment. I hope God does speak through this blog. Some days, admittedly, it’s all me. Hopefully, though I let Him speak through more than not.

        I agree too that sometimes people claim “God told me…” when there is no way the Lord would direct you to do X,Y, or Z.

        People can use that as an excuse to indulge or justify sinful behavior. God will judge them for that and all I can do is be another source of hearing from God and tell them they are wrong! ha ha!

    2. Joey, I think your story of hearing from God is a natural progression.

      We move forward, hearing more, recognizing His voice more, identifying His will easier and quicker.

      I am glad to hear that the Word has been a newer source of God’s voice for you. It is encouraging to hear and the best part is,m the Word never grows dull or irrelevant.

      Praying you have an Isaiah moment sooner than later and ears to hear.

  3. God can speak to us in so many ways.. through a still small voice, through other believers, in dreams and visions, through nature, through our leaders and those who are more mature and so much more.

    my one basis to hear His Voice is the Word. If i get a rhema word from the logos word, i ask the Holy Spirit to make clear to me what He is saying, then i ask God to continue to provide confirmations by using the above mentioned ways.

    asking for confirmation is not a faithless act. it always reminds me that i am human, i am prone to make mistakes and if God has to use a donkey to tell me what to do, He will provide a way to do so =]

    1. Patricia, you bring up a few great ones that I can’t believe I forgot to mention: dreams and visions.

      God has so clearly directed me through dreams.

      I love too how clearly and directly you ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. That is awesome and inspiring!

  4. Yes, I do hear from God, and have since a little kid – although I almost perfected the “I can’t hear you” technique during my teen years. Mostly it is quiet promptings, or through reading the Word, or when praying through things, etc. But once it was a very clear and loud statement as I was driving home from work at the hospital, around midnight. I was making the final turn to my road (we live out in the country) when I heard a voice say clearly and quite loudly “Speak to Pam about salvation.” I slammed on the brakes as I was making the turn and said out loud, “Why? Is she dying?” There was no answer,of course. I had been given good directions: I knew who to speak to and what to talk to her about. Pam was battling breast cancer at the time, so the possibility of her death was quite real. I had no peace until I had done what I was told, which took about a week to accomplish. Pam did die of breast cancer, but not for over a year from the time of our visit. That has never happened again to me since then, but I certainly will never forget it.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I know I’ve heard from God on different occassions in my life.

    A couple of times, it has been an urgent yet calm voice that says my name one time and wakes me from my sleep. I sit up, unafraid and wide awake, listening and waiting for more. Nothing more is said, but He has my full attention for days.

    Sometimes I am thinking along at a certain pace, and then a new thought or voice interrupts the rythm to speak to me, and inserts a word that was not from me. On one other occassion, I was starting to get involved in a new relationship, and one day as we were making plans to meet again, mid-text God said “Not the one, do not persue.” Clear, not confusing. Definately the Lord. Not me talking to myself, and not my own thought.

    I’m thankful for such clear instructions. Wish it was always that way. I too am learning to seek the Word to hear from the Lord. So hard for me.

  6. I love this post! I think that more believers need to trust God’s voice in their heart. I’ve heard some people wishing that we lived in Bible times before Jesus, when God spoke in dreams and burning bushes. I do not share this wish, because we have it so much better- we have the Holy Spirit within us! There is so much more power in that!

    The Lord speaks to us all the time if we are quiet to listen. I believe that if He speaks to you, there will be evidence in your life as well- it will not contradict God’s Word (as in the Bible), and it will often be followed up with some sign of assurance through a friend, a dream, a circumstance etc…

    I think we are so afraid to trust ourselves, but I think we need to be more concerned with whether or not we are in the Will of God (by obedience and surrender to Him), and if we are there, then we can lean on the Holy Spirit and trust our choices.

  7. God talks to me all the time . He tells me what i should do .Also sometimes he tells me things just simple words to say to someone. However if i say God told me to tell you this some people think i am crazy. But i know it is God. It is not a voice i can hear out load it is a quite voice the i hear only in my head . He has never told me anything bad only good messages and only stuff which can make me a better child of the Lord . Sometimes people or thoughts make me think i am going crazy , but i know it is my Lord and will stand firm on it .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *