Now, because of what Jesus has done on the cross, sin no longer separates us from God.
Through faith in Christ, we become God’s children—able to live and walk in relationship with God and to hear His voice.
10 Ways You Can Hear God’s Voice
How can you hear God’s voice on a personal basis? Here are some examples of different ways that God communicates:
‘In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…’ (Heb 1:1-2a)
Take a long look. And look again.
In Jesus Christ you will find the context for every word God speaks. And that context is grace, forgiveness, mercy and outrageous sacrificial love. Who Jesus is, and what He has done, can speak to you every day of your life.
Your Father’s motives and intentions are revealed in Jesus for all to see.
2. The Bible
‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ (Ps 119:105)
The Bible is not only the primary source in which you hear God’s voice speaking to you personally; it is also the means by which you weigh up every other communication you believe is from God.
God can speak to you through the Bible when you are directly engaging with it (such as reading or listening), or through recalling something to your mind. A Bible story, Scripture verse, a passage, a theme, a promise, warning or exhortation—the variety of ways God speaks through His Word is endless.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17-18)
One of the ways God speaks to us today is through the giving and receiving of prophecy. Prophecy is simply the sharing of a message from God—of Father’s intended purpose—from one person to another individual or group of people. There are many different ways that a prophecy can be conveyed.
An impression is the effect of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts and minds. (John 14:26)
The Holy Spirit often speaks through light, fleeting and spontaneous impressions, such as an urge or a prompt to take an action. It may come through a check or warning. An impression can also be physical—such as a word of knowledge for healing.
5. A Picture or Vision
God sometimes speaks through visions. These occur mostly as a simple picture coming to mind—the Holy Spirit’s fleeting imprint upon our imagination.
In addition to this, the New Testament (NT) also records a ‘trance’ vision. (Acts 10:9-17) During these types of vision, awareness of physical surroundings remains, but the vision also appears real to the senses. A third type of vision is an ‘open vision’, where a person experiences the vision as a physical reality. (Acts 10:3-4)
6. Divine Appointments and Circumstances
God can communicate to us through Divine appointments. These are meetings that He has set up for a purpose. (Acts 8:27) A Divine appointment is often unplanned on our part. It may also be pursued intentionally, but it is not until during or afterwards that we recognise our Father intended the meeting for a significant purpose.
God can also speak to us through circumstances, such as open and closed doors.
In the NT we see that God speaks to and through His leaders—His gift of oversight to us in the church and in ministry. (Acts 13:2, Acts 15:13, 28, Acts 16:10) Whilst leaders are not the only way that God speaks to us, we are called to honour them and highly value God’s personal word of instruction through them.
God also gives us oversight to help weigh up prophecies and spiritual guidance as a safety net in church life and in our personal lives today. (Acts 14:29, Heb 13:17)
8. Prophetic Dreams
There are many instances of prophetic dreams throughout the Bible. God continues to speak to us on occasion through prophetic dreams in our sleep. (Matt 2:12, Acts 2:17)
9. Something Spoken
Beyond prophecy, there are other spiritual gifts through which God can speak to us through each other, including words of wisdom, exhortation and knowledge.
These can take place in a time and place set aside for that purpose. However, the Holy Spirit is not limited in the way He can communicate to us, for example, we can hear the voice of God speaking to us personally in moments of ordinary conversation.
10. Unusual Ways
In addition to the above, there are many ways, situations and times that God can speak to us personally. We use human terms, such as ‘speak’ and ‘voice’ to describe a spiritual reality. However, the Holy Spirit has endless creative ways to speak to us. God spoke to Philip through an angel (Acts 8:26) and to John through an audible voice. (Rev 4:1) He spoke to Paul through a symbolic vision. (Acts 16:9) The OT records many more unusual ways that God communicated to His people.
There is no hierarchy of ways that you can hear God’s voice. Any way that God speaks is significant when sourced in the Holy Spirit. And very importantly—all need to be weighed up and tested. During the next couple of weeks we will look at the question, ‘How Can I Tell If God Is Really Speaking To Me?’
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching