There has been one thing that has consistently moved me down the path of freedom: hearing God. The more I tune into his tender voice, the more freedom I experience in every area of my life. First, I want to share with you some scriptures so you can know that God wants to speak to you. Then, I want to share some practical ways that can help you learn to hear God’s voice.
Psalms 85:8 gives us a very good reason for wanting to hear God’s voice: I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones.
God is constantly speaking peace over you. For anyone struggling with fear, anxiety, panic attacks or depression, God is speaking peace over you right this very moment. Like an old radio, we must learn to tune into God’s peace-speaking voice.
Here’s another wonderful scripture that should encourage us to want to hear God’s voice: “If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5, 6).
In every area of our life, we need wisdom. Wisdom is what gives us a God-directed strategy that will never fail. Never. And, wisdom is essential if we want to find freedom from fear. James encourages us to simply ask for it, and when we ask, God will “gladly” tell us.
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous scriptures and examples about hearing God. It’s God’s desire to speak to us and guide us. In Psalms 32:8, the LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
As a father myself, I know how important it is for me to consistently communicate to my son, for him to hear my voice. How could I expect to educate him, train him, discipline him, and guide him if he can’t hear me?
What’s like to hear God’s voice?
One of the most confusing things about hearing God’s voice is that we don’t “hear” anything. It’s not like an audible voice, as if talking to a friend on the phone. God is spirit (John 4:24), so he most often uses a spiritual voice to speak to us.
So, what does a spiritual voice sound like? When I hear God, it comes in the form of my own thoughts, but different than my personal thoughts. I often exercise my spiritual ears in my morning journaling time. Using my computer to journal, I type black letters when I’m praying, asking, or just talking to God. And, when I want to hear God, I change the font color to red and just start writing what comes to my mind. What happens often is that I end up writing something that I know is not birthed out of my own thoughts. God has spoken.
Let me give you an example from a journal entry a few days ago:
Father, when I start to feel this anxiousness arise in me, can you let me know how I should respond, or what I should do? I don’t want to just numb it, or cover it, or distract it. I want to know what you think I should do when it comes over me.
Seek first the Kingdom, and all the things you need will be given you. Son, don’t seek peace, seek Christ because he is Peace. Don’t seek freedom, seek the Lord because he is Truth and the Truth sets you free.
I try to journal like this daily, because I want to hear God, and I know he wants to speak to me. And, by doing this on a regular basis, I can tune my spiritual ears more and more to hear God’s voice.
Here’s the most wonderful part—he desires to speak to all of you. I’m not special. I simply believe that Christ is now our High Priest (Hebrews 2-4) and that he’s has made a way for us to come boldly to God’s throne of grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). And, if you are in Christ, you can hear God too.
When you starting listening for God’s voice, you must remember that he will never speak anything contrary to what he has revealed in his Word. The Bible should be your filter when hearing God. In my journal example above, the first and last sentences God spoke to me were scripture. God always uses scripture as a foundation for his voice. Always. That’s why it’s important for you to have a regular Bible reading plan. The more you know the Bible, the easier it is to know his voice.
Prayer: “Father, help me hear your voice more clearly. Teach me how to discern your voice in the midst of a busy world. Help me be still so that I can know you are God.”