This Is The Voice! How Does God Speak?
People everywhere yearn to hear God’s voice. Is God speaking to us? Is it possible to hear His voice? Does God want us to hear His voice? How does God speak? How are we to listen?
God is speaking, and we can hear His voice. Christianity is a relationship; every relationship is established and maintained through communication. It is vital that we learn to hear God’s voice, so that we may deepen our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Jesus said to His Father, “Now this is eternal life: That they ( Christians) may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). It is God’s plan for us to know Him intimately; therefore, we must learn to hear His voice.
God Speaks to Us in Many Ways
Our creative God is not limited to one form of communication. He is all-powerful; He is omnipresent; He is sovereign. The Bible is filled with accounts of God speaking to individuals, to families, and to nations. In the past He spoke in many different ways, and that is true today as well.
God speaks to all men through creation (see Romans 1:18–20 and Psalm 19:1–2), and in the past, God has communicated in various ways, including angels, His chosen spokesmen (prophets), dreams, visions, miracles, and even through a donkey that He enabled to speak as a man speaks! (See Luke 1:5–38, II Samuel 24:10–25, Genesis 40:1–23, Daniel 2:1–45, Acts 9:10–18, Exodus 7:8–11:10, and Numbers 22:21–35.)
On numerous occasions, the Bible records that God’s voice was heard, but the exact way in which His voice was heard is not described. Following are a few examples of such descriptions:
“God spake unto Noah, saying” (Genesis 8:15).
“The Lord had said to Abram …” (Genesis 12:1).
“The Lord said to Moses …” (Exodus 24:12).
“the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying …” (Isaiah 38:4).
God Spoke to Us Through His Son
When Jesus was on the earth, God spoke to us through Him, and when Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth—to be our “communicator” from God. (See Matthew 10:18–20; John 14:26, 16:7–8, 13; Romans 8:26; I Corinthians 2:9–16; and Acts 8:29, 13:2.)
If you are a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells within you, but it is still necessary to nurture your relationship with your heavenly Father in order to learn how to be attentive to His voice. As you grow in faith and mature as a believer, you will learn to hear God speak. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27).
God Speaks to Us Through His Word
The Bible is one of God’s provisions to equip us to do His will. (See II Timothy 3:16–17.) God’s Word is alive; it is active in our lives. The Bible is an absolutely essential part of your walk with God. You must not neglect His Word. It is one of the ways that He speaks to you personally, powerfully—today. (See I Thessalonians 1:5, 2:13.)
Read the Word, memorize the Word, and meditate on the Word of God. By His Holy Spirit, Who dwells in each believer, God will focus your attention on particular verses or passages. (See John 14:26.) They will have special application to your life because of decisions you are facing, character goals you are working on, questions you have, or pressures you are experiencing. As you meditate on those verses to which the Spirit of God leads you, and obey them, God will guide you in “paths of justice, for his own name's sake.” (Psalm 23:3).
Not only are we to have a growing relationship with the Lord through His Word, but we also should be ready to give an answer to others whenever necessary. (See I Peter 3:15–16.) When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded to the devil’s temptations by quoting truth from God’s Word. (See Matthew 4:1–11.)We must learn the truth, which is found in the Word of God and up held by the Church who has the responsibility and authority to defend, proclaim, and interpret the truths of God's Word. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Timothy 3:15) The Word of God also is identified as the “sword of the Spirit.” With the sword of the Spirit, we can defeat the enemy of our souls, and as we “Put on the armour of God,” we can “stand against the deceits of the devil ” (Ephesians 6:11).
Honoring and obeying God’s Word is a key to hearing God’s voice. Through obedience, we demonstrate our love for God, and failure to obey is a reflection of a rebellious heart. If we resist His Word, our fellowship with God will be limited. Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . … If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father's who sent me.” (John 14:21, 23–24).
We Must Believe What the Bible Says
The Bible says that God guides us. (See Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 32:8, 48:14, 73:24; John 16:13, and Deuteronomy 4:9–11.) Are you willing to believe God’s Word? If so, then your heart is prepared to hear God speak. If you reject what the Bible says, then it is likely that you will be unable to hear God speak, because of your unbelief. (See Matthew 13:57–58; Mark 6:5–7, 16:9–20; Hebrews 3:7–19; and I Timothy 1:12–16.)
If you are not hearing God’s voice, examine your heart. The Bible says, “Try [scrutinize, discipline] your own selves if you be in the faith; prove [test, approve] ye yourselves. Know you not your own selves, that Christ Jesus is in you, unless perhaps you be reprobates [unapproved, rejected, worthless]?” (II Corinthians 13:5). Ask the Lord to reveal to you anything that is hindering your relationship with Him, and then obey Him. Ask God to give you ears to hear, and a pure heart. (See Matthew 13:43, Mark 4:9, Matthew 5:8, II Timothy 2:22, and Psalm 24:3–5.)
God’s Children Can Hear His Voice
Are you born again? Have you asked God to forgive you for your rebellion against Him and His Word? Have you come to Christ repenting of your sins and made a change of mind, heart, and direction in your life through baptism? (Acts 2:38) If so, then you can hear God’s voice, because you are His child. If you are not a child of God, then cry out to Him for salvation, and He will hear your cry. He will forgive you of your rebellion, and He will accept you into His kingdom, as His child. (See John 3:1–21, Acts 2:38 and Romans 10:9–17.)