January 18, 2022
I spent some time over this past summer with a friend and I casually mentioned something that I felt God had told me. His response was, “God doesn’t talk to me.” That made me so sad because I genuinely believe that God is willing to talk to everyone. However, there is a lot of noise and distractions in the world that prevent us from hearing His voice. I want to share a few of my regular habits to help me hear the voice of God.
Please keep in mind these are merely habits that I have that have proven helpful in drowning out distractions and tuning into the voice of God. God is not limited to these recommendations. He can talk to us in many different ways. He talked to Moses in a burning bush. (Exodus 3:2) He talked to Baalam through a talking donkey. (Numbers 22:28) He spoke to Joseph through dreams (Matthew 1:20) and he talked to Elijah in a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:12)
After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12 NIV
I’ve never encountered a talking donkey or a burning bush but I have often heard the gentle whisper of God. It is actually most often that I hear God in moments of quiet solitude. This is my first habit to hear the voice of God.
Most mornings I take time to read my devotional and pray, but I have recently added about 15 minutes of silence. I take out my journal and I sit quietly and wait for the Lord to speak. I don’t hear something every time but the more often I have done this the more I have heard God’s voice. It is too difficult to hear the whisper of God when music is blaring, kids are chattering, or I’m trying to do too many things at once. I have to pull myself away from everything and sit quietly. This has proven to be one of the most helpful habits to hear God’s voice.
When you want to get help with something it is key to begin by asking the right questions. For example, if you are building a house you don’t ask your general contractor, “Do you like Disneyland?” or “What’s your favorite meal?” You would ask them, “How much will this cost? And “How long will the build take?” God wants to help us build our lives and our communities so we need to be intentional about the questions we present to him.
You might be thinking that how do you know the difference between what you are thinking and what God is saying? This leads me to the next crucial habit.
God never violates His Word. If you hear that you should go steal your neighbors stereo so you can have peace and quiet, I’m certain that is not God’s voice. When you CONSISTENTLY read the Bible you begin to learn the voice and character of God. It’s similar to when you hear a voice-over actor in a commercial. Even when you cannot see the person you perceive it is them. No matter what the context is, if James Earl Jones is speaking you recognize the voice. The same is true when we spend time reading and hearing scripture. We learn to recognize the voice qualities of God.
This habit to hear God’s voice can get tricky but I do believe God is willing to help you confirm big decisions. He doesn’t want to lead you astray or confuse you. God understands that He asks us to do big things outside our comfort zone. I am confident when you ask God to certify you’ve heard correctly, He is not offended. When the Lord told Gideon to defeat the Midianites, he was afraid. He asked for confirmation, not once but twice. God answered Gideon’s request. (Judges 6:36-40) For more check out “How to confirm what God is telling you.”
An example of seeking confirmation in my own house has to do with giving. Every year my husband and I consider the amount of giving we should pledge. Each year we pray separately for an amount. When we have received what we think is God’s amount we come together and share. If we are in unity we move forward with our pledged amount. I remember one year in particular when I came up with a large number. It was a stretch. When we came together my husband shared his number and it was the same. We both secretly hoped the other one would have had a different amount because it was scary. However, that gift led to many more blessings than we ever could have imagined.
A word of caution about seeking confirmations. Don’t manipulate God or the situation. Your heart should be to obey whatever the circumstance.
You might feel like my friend and you don’t think God talks to you. I cannot guarantee if you start these habits that you will hear God’s voice, but I know when you seek to hear Him, He is faithful to speak. Developing the habits of hearing God’s voice and strengthening our faith takes practice. These habits are not an exhaustive account. God has spoken to me through other people, circumstances, and even worship songs. The main thing is to remove distractions, be intentional, and ensure what you hear aligns with God’s Word. What are your habits to hear God’s voice? Has God ever spoken to you in an unexpected way? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.