Five Tips for Hearing God’s Voice
What are you listening for?
New York’s Times Square is a whirlwind of noise, especially at lunch hour. Yet for a visiting Native American, the honking cabs, clattering streetcars, and shouting street vendors could not drown out a cricket’s chirp. He stopped, listening intently, then followed the chirping to its source… a small insect hiding under a leafy plant across the street.
“How in the world could you hear that cricket in the midst of all this noise?” his friend asked in astonishment.
“It all depends on what you’re listening for,” the Native American assured him.
Just like the Native American’s ears were tuned to the natural world, so our hearts can be tuned to God’s voice. We can learn to hear Him above the cacophony of this world. Jesus promises, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
When you focus on Jesus as revealed in His Word, you will learn to recognize Him calling for you by name. “The sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know His voice” (John 10:3-4)
Imagine the shepherd calling his flock. As soon as they reach him, he beckons them, “This way! Follow me!” The shepherd goes before the sheep, and they follow him because they know he will lead them safely.
It is the same with your Heavenly Father. When you know His voice, you listen to Him because His voice is the one of peace. He goes before you, a confident smile on His face as He says, “Come! This is the way. Follow Me! I will never lead you astray. With Me you will find peace.”
Recognizing God’s Voice
But how can we know we are listening to the right voice? In verse 5 Jesus says, “…by no means will [the sheep] follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” God’s voice is unmistakable when you know HIM.
So how do we get to know God and recognize His voice? The secret is found in God’s Word.
“Why do I believe the Bible? Because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul (Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White, p.112).
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
We may hear the preaching of the word at church each Sabbath, but it is our privilege to search the Scriptures daily. This will lead to moments when we exclaim, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32). Jesus still delights to open the Scriptures to us today. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Christ assures us, “He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14).
Here are 5 practical things you can do today to hear God’s voice more clearly:
- Read the Bible in the morning. It will set the course for the day.
- Listen to a sermon or audio Bible on your commute to work or while doing chores at home. Try audioverse.org
- Take time to study and discuss Scripture with your spouse and children.
- Make it a priority to attend your church’s weekly prayer meeting.
- Read the Bible on your smartphone in your downtime.
Do you know Christ as your Friend and Savior? Have you invested time in getting to know Him through His Word so you can recognize His voice? When hearing His voice is the most important thing to you, then you’ll hear Him… Just like the Native American in Time Square… it’s all about what you’re listening for.