- O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
- 21. Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30.19, 21. (New International Version. NIV)
What Does It Mean to Hear from God?
To hear the voice of God is without a doubt one of the greatest benefits salvation in Christ has delivered to us. The truth is no one can truly claim to have an intimate relationship with God without the ability to hear God.
Sadly, as easy as it is for any believer to speak to God, an average Christian still has a hard time hearing the voice of God when He speaks. But this is not how God intended for our relationship with Him to be.
Hearing the voice of God means being in communication with God. It’s about being able to connect with Him. Meanwhile, it is also important to note that God’s character as an interlocutor is intrinsic to who He is. Similarly, hearing God’s voice is essential for every follower of Christ.
Learning to distinguish God’s voice clearly is, however, invaluable. Instead of going through life on our own, we can indeed leverage God’s wisdom to guide us.
Ways of Hearing the Voice of God
When a lot of us hear phrases like “Hearing God or how to hear God,” the minds of many veer off to hearing God speak audibly; yes, God does speak to His children audibly. However, He talks to us in many different ways.
For instance, it may come as a thought, a picture, a memory, or a certain scripture that pops into your mind. When we refer to hearing from God, it does not necessarily mean that you must hear God’s voice talking to you in plain words. It may be through an impression in your heart, a nudging in your spirit; a persistent thought in your heart, and so on.
Moreover, no single person would hear God’s voice and not have his or her life radically transformed. One word from God can alter things in your favor; for instance, in a financial crisis, God can turn everything around with one straightforward instruction from Him because He knows what needs to be done. It is only a matter of hearing His voice.
The following are ways through which God talks to us even today:
A vision is described as a clear mental image of a message God is trying to convey to someone. Put differently, God gives us an accurate understanding of Himself and circumstance through visions. A vision can also take the form of a narrative line of events.
Additionally, it may occur with or without your eyes open, and you would always be fully aware of what you have encountered. Daniel 7:2 – Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. (NIV)
- Audibly (The Voice of God):
Daniel 8:16 – And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision” (NIV). Sometimes, God speaks to us audibly and in a clear language. He can speak to us through His own voice.
However, sometimes amid recognizing the Lord’s voice, there are many dimensions of spiritual experience and the manner in which He speaks. The still, quiet voice and God conversing audibly are separate references mentioned in the Bible.
Trances are mentioned in the Bible. Peter went into a trance in which God spoke to him deeply. First, he had a revelation that was to open the door for both Jews and Gentiles by obeying the directions he was given in the trance (See Acts 10). Secondly, the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles when he responded to this message.
Most, if not all, of your natural surroundings, are obscured during a trance, and you are hooked on the happenings of the trance rather than an open vision where you see anything happening.
Meanwhile, they could be as short as a few milliseconds or as long as so many hours. Lastly, trances provide a deeper level of insight than dreams or visions, owing to their less subjective nature. It is, however, important to note that you cannot induce a trance; it is only induced by the Lord.
In addition, a trance cannot end except God Himself ends it. The church’s annals are scattered with instances of God conversing with people in tranches. Revelation 21:10 – And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. (NIV)
God also speaks and relates with us through dreams that come in various forms. There are two types of dreams: textual and figurative dreams. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is the only one who can interpret or define dreams.
Discernment is also important when it comes to decrypting the significance of dreams. Genesis 20:3 – But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” (NIV)
- The Scripture:
One of the most trusted ways to hear from God is through His Word – the Bible. It is the most authentic voice of God there is. Sometimes, not everyone hears God when He is speaking. But the truth is we can all hear God daily through His Word.
As we engage in the in-depth study of the scriptures, He speaks to us in different dimensions and makes several bare mysteries to us.
Also See: How to Hear God’s Voice Clearly: 12 Proven Ways.
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How to Hear the Voice of God
God speaks in different ways to us; sometimes, it comes as a still faint whisper, a gut feeling, or something you simply know or have a very strong conviction about.
It comes as a random notion that has nothing to do with what you have been contemplating for some folks. It can sometimes be a visual that you view with your eyes open or closed. Amid a situation of chaos, it can be a perception of serenity or joy that surrounds your body. In certain cases, it is just good judgment.
At other times, God speaks to comfort us in our struggles; or He may simply want to communicate something about a particular person entirely, and other times, He only shares things with us that He wants us to pray about.
The problem, however, is that many of us simply do not hear Him when He speaks.
So here are some tips on how to hear the voice of God:
- Spend time with Him:
Just as it is natural for an earthly father to want to always communicate his thoughts and feelings to his children, especially his favorite, likewise God speaks to His children who draw close to Him.
One way you can come close to God is to spend quality time with Him daily, especially in the study of His Word. Often, God speaks to us through His Word; being knowledgeable in His Word makes it easier to discern if it’s God speaking to you or not.
- Renew your mind:
God often speaks to us through our minds. That is why it is important to renew your mind – developing what the Scripture calls the “mind of Christ” – this is the ability to make decisions as Christ would. A renewed mind (See Romans 12:2) will hear God easily because it is always open to the Holy Spirit.
- Be a person of prayer:
Personally, I have discovered that when I hear the voice of God most, I am fervent and consistent in my prayers. So if you are longing to hear God’s voice, then you must learn to pray without ceasing.
- Make righteous living a lifestyle:
God loves it when we live Holy lives. He takes delight in us when we strive towards perfection by making righteousness our watchword.
Naturally, God is drawn to those mindful of how they live; little wonder He was a friend of Abraham whom He called a friend and a righteous man. And notice how God always took time to speak to Abraham countless times in the Bible; one of the tenable explanations for this friendship between a man and God was righteousness.
- Learn to listen to Him:
Often, we speak to God, but we do not always wait to have Him speak back to us. You will hear God speaking when you learn to take some time to listen for His voice, especially after praying.
God spoke a lot vocally in the Old Testament, and He can still do so now. In fact, now we at more advantage to hear the voice of God because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us; He is always trying to communicate with us.
75 Benefits of Hearing the Voice of God
Makes us know God more deeply (John 10:27)
Opens our understanding of things we do not know about (Jeremiah 33:3)
Makes God reveal great and mighty things to us (Jeremiah 33:3)
Increases our consecration level (Jeremiah 29:13)
Makes our prayers answered faster (Jeremiah 33:3)
Brings God closer to us. Jeremiah 29:13
Makes us find God (Jeremiah 29:13)
Heightens our spiritual sensitivity (Isaiah 30:21)
Gives us direction (Isaiah 30:2)
Helps us in making sound decisions (Isaiah 30:21)
Gives us the advantage of knowing the future (John 16:13)
Helps us in judgment between the wrong and the right (John 16:13)
Brings the truths of God closer to us (John 16:13)
Makes us depend on God wholly (John 6:33)
Opens a gateway to the unsearchable bliss of eternal life (John 6:33)
Makes us depend less on ourselves (John 6:33)
Is a sign that we belong to Him (John 8:47)
Helps acquaint us with the word of God (John 6:23)
Makes us joyful (Luke 11:28)
Is a blessing because we become keepers of His words when we obey (Luke 11:28)
Makes us direct disciples of the Lord (Psalms 32:8)
Brings us back to the right track when we stray (Psalms 32:8)
Makes our relationship with Him deeper
Builds our faith (Romans 10:17)
Helps us prioritize God in all aspects of our lives (Romans 10:17)
Delivers us from deception (Hebrews 4:12)
Helps us to prune our hearts to weigh intentions (Hebrews 4:12)
Is a defense to us (John 14:26)
Strength us in our weakness (Isaiah 58:11)
Opens the way for God’s supernatural provision (Isaiah 58:11)
Reveals the mind of God to us
Strengthens our relationship with God
Brings spiritual growth
Gives us a deeper understanding of who God is
Brings timely fulfillment of God’s promises
Teaches us to depend on God in all things and at all times
Makes our obedience much easier
Helps us in overcoming temptation
Comforts us in times of distress
Saves us from trouble
Is the key to financial bloom
Gives us the confidence to face untold challenges
Sets us ahead of our contemporaries
Provides us with the solution to the problems of others
Uplifts our spirits amid discouragement
Is a sign that you are in close rapport with God (John 10:27)
Gives us the confidence to always ask of God (1 John 5:14)
Is proof that God knows you (John 10:27)
Sets us on the path of alignment with God’s intent (1 John 5:14)
Brings us to a meeting point with God where He reveals His purposes (1 John 5:17)
Trains us in righteous living (1 Timothy 3:16)
Makes God’s word worth depending on in life (1 Timothy 3:16)
Is the only way to know our purpose for living (Acts 13:2)
Increases our discerning ability (Acts 17:11)
Gives us a voice that no one can gainsay (Exodus 19:19
Grants us access to the wisdom of God
Opens the door for miracles (Galatians 3:5)
Deepens our experience with God (Genesis 3)
Makes for careful living (Hebrews 2:1)
Brings us to the understanding of inner-puzzling questions (Jeremiah 33:3)
Makes us delight in Him (Jeremiah 6:10)
Gives us deliverance (Jeremiah 33:3)
Makes us sensitive to the warnings of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 6:10)
Maybe a proof that we love God (Jeremiah 6:10)
Delivers us from spiritual deafness (Jeremiah 6:10)
Prevents us from grieving the Holy Spirit
Can influence our academics tremendously (John 14:26)
Makes us relevant to our community /society
Gives us the advantage of knowing God’s plan for us (John 16:13)
Makes us appreciate the ministry of the Trinity (John 16:13)
Gives us the right message for people (Psalms 85:5)
Makes God bear witness of us (John 5:37)
Delivers us from foolishness Psalms 85:8
Makes us relevant to the body of Christ (Revelation 3:22)
Is proof that we are sons and not children; in other words, hearing from God is proof of our spiritual maturity (Romans 8:14) and more.
As highlighted above, there are various biblically-proven ways God speaks to us as His children. God also speaks to the unregenerate, though. Reference could be made to King Abimelech and King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible.
Indeed, a successful Christian journey and experience are built around the quality of communication shared between the believer and Christ through the Holy Spirit.
As this article climaxes, I am confident that much insight has been given regarding how to hear the voice of God and the benefits of hearing the voice of God outlined above.
Finally, I challenge you to get a new frame of reference on your life and its significance by spending time in His Word, in prayer, and in meditation daily.
You will undoubtedly begin to hear the voice of God, and you will be able to act confidently in all that He has planned for you!
DavidIs an Ordained Minister and Life Coach. He is an ordained minister since 1988. Shortly after receiving Jesus as his personal savior, he answered the call to ministry.
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