Hearing the Voice of God

We are told that in all seasons of life, especially difficult seasons, God is our best Friend. We learn who our best friends are by the way they hang consistently with us, minister to us, confide in us and stay around when the way gets rough. I have about 3 people in my life who are consistent in the ways they relate to me. I look forward to hearing from them and interacting with them. I usually walk away feeling like I've just eaten a satisfying meal. Other times I walk away challenged, but something inside of me changes after I've been with them.

In addition to recognizing them as friends by the way they interact with me, I look for them in a crowd and can readily identify their voices over a crowd. One of these friends of mine is a little hard to miss because she is 6 feet tall and has a booming voice! But regardless of that, my friends sound unique to me because the sound of their voice is the very sound of nurturing. I feel safe there. I heard one husband say to his wife that when he's in a crowd and begins to feel isolated, he immediately looks to see where she is in that room. Obviously his spouse is his best friend!

God is the same way, and He has a voice and a vocabulary that equates with safety and nurturing. How do you hear His voice? I had a pastor ask his class once. We had a variety of answers. As I recall, one person had frequent dreams that spoke to her. Two of us hear God pressing in His message through movies. I spoke up that His voice often sounds like my own inside of my head, but that voice is giving me a clear message outside of myself. The pastor related to me on that one.

You may be saying, "I'm not sure what the voice of God sounds like. I especially cannot hear Him speak when my emotions are in charge!" I relate to that. Fear especially crowds out His voice. Sadness also can do that, and also....feeling a high based on an event such as winning an argument or being in a high-energy event such as a ballgame. Don't think that emotions in any situation are moral issues. Emotions are gifts and result from just living and being human. How do we develop the skill of hearing His voice and knowing Him?

Knowing what He is like will help you connect to Him. Turn to the carefully preserved Word of God. You may wonder how to start reading the massive writings of the Bible. One thing I have done is find verses that are specific to what I need. Do I need encouragement? I may find a reference source such as and do a word search on hope, encouragement and similar words. I will find verses that address my need. Some Biblical versions and devotional writings actually contain headings such as "salvation" and verses under those headings. The second thing I would advise, is to start with a New Testament book such as Colossians or I or II Peter and read the entire chapter. That way, you are learning about God's nature inside of the context of a complete book. You will get balance in your understanding that way.

Once you have the foundational understanding under your belt as to who God is and how He thinks, I would then encourage you to pray that God will have conversations with you. Often, God speaks one solitary phrase to me and it's enough to solve my issue or draw me closer to Him. You have a promise in the Bible and it's found in James 4:8. "Draw nigh (close) to Him, and He will draw nigh unto you." Sit and ask Him questions about Himself or how He sees you or wants to teach you (pray). Then keep searching the Scriptures. Remember that one half of praying is talking; the other half is listening. Sit and listen even if it's for 4 minutes. You will most certainly hear Him talk to you, and after a while, you will learn His voice and He will start comforting you and giving you direction in your life. He is there and He cares. Believe that He wants to make contact with you and go from there. Be prepared for surprises! Also be prepared to be challenged. Do not go to Him with an agenda that He will automatically agree with your desire or agenda. "Oh God, show me that this boyfriend is right for me!" What if he isn't? Turn off your electronics and music daily just to do these things. God bless you as you draw near to God and His eternal voice!

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