I will give you three simple steps to take if you want to hear from God. It’s not a formula. It’s three principles that are on view in the Bible.
If you confess that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you belong to God. You are adopted into His family. He is your Father in heaven. You have every right to hear from Him. ( Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 1:4-5 ).
Jesus also said that those who follow Him hear His voice ( John 10:4,27 ). So, you should expect to hear from Him. You should hear from Him, but many Christians do not. They believe in Jesus. Their salvation is not in doubt. And yet they live without the blessing of hearing God’s voice.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your steps.”
That is a promise from God. If you meet the conditions – trusting in Him and not in yourself, and acknowledging His hand on your life – then you can be sure that He is guiding your steps.
We also know that God works all circumstances for good for those who love Him ( Romans 8:28 ).
Yet, some live their entire Christian lives without ever hearing God speak. They know Him, and they know that He is directing their paths. They can survive trying times and come through with their faith intact, and yet they never hear God’s audible voice, or the inner voice of the Spirit. But you don’t have to settle for that.
Hearing God speak to you personally is a wonderful faith-boosting, relationship-building experience.
- Humbly ask God if there is anything that is hindering you from hearing Him.
Certain behaviour can stand in the way of your prayers ( 1 Peter 3:7 ).
God knows that you are not sinlessly perfect. He knows that you have struggles. What delights God is when you acknowledge your weakness ( 1 John 1:8-9 ).
This is very encouraging because, although you almost certainly have bad attitudes that might hinder your prayers, the act of acknowledging your failings, and asking God for help, displays the humility of heart that delights Him.
God is not impressed with dispassionate people ( Revelation 3:15-16 ) but God is impressed with humble people.
Step one is not out of your reach.
- To hear, you must first be heard
God knows everything. He knows every thought you have ever had, and every thought you ever will have.
God hears silent prayer ( 1 Samuel 1:12-13 ).
But God tests the strength of your desire.
The person who cries out to God gets His attention. In several places in the Psalms we read of King David crying out to God. The same is true of the Prophets and, astonishingly, the same is true of the Lord Jesus.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears … and He was heard because of His reverent submission.”
Raise your voice, and call out to God. This is also not beyond you, and it does prove your sincerity and desire.
God hears as soon as you pray and as soon as you cry out, but you will almost certainly have to wait to hear from Him.
The prophet Jeremiah, for example, waited ten days on one occasion before he received an answer to prayer from God ( Jeremiah 42:1-4,7 ).
It is harder to wait on God than it is to work for God. When you are waiting and waiting to hear from God it is easy to let yourself believe that He does not hear you, or does not care. It is a further test of your faith and trust in Him.
God will speak. Usually it is “the still small voice” – an impression in your spirit, but clear and concise nevertheless.
Read this well-known passage about Elijah hearing from God ( 1 Kings 19:11-13 ). Note that God whispers. However, also note that when Elijah recognised the whisper, and then presented himself, he heard clearly from God.
Expect to hear from God. It is a blessing. And as you wait on Him, and respond to Him, you will grow to know His voice consistently.