The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. John 10:3-4 NLT
Jimbob recognizes his Father’s voice
What does the voice of God sound like? Can He really speak to each individual so that they can distinguish His voice? There are a lot of people on the planet 🙂 Does it sound the same? How can a Christian be so sure that the voice they think is God is really Him speaking? Is it difficult to learn to distinguish His voice from our own thoughts?
I think I have better questions than I do answers, but I will share some basic thoughts to help you “know” the voice of God. I use bullets instead of numbers because I don’t want you to think the first point is more important than the others nor is it linear in progression.
Building Blocks to Discern God’s Voice
- God’s word reveals that His followers know and follow the voice of Him speaking to them.
- Trust or faith begins with a solid statement or promise. If a person says, “I will be over at 6:00”, and they show up – you can begin to trust what they say is true.
- The Bible is a book of promises made and fulfilled. So when we find a statement or a promise made, we can begin to believe it is true…act in faith that God’s word is true.
- Jesus said that His followers, sheep, recognize His voice, follow Him, hear Him call them by name, and know His voice. This is a promise for each follower of Jesus.
- Why do I believe that all followers can hear God speaking to them? The Bible records that Jesus said we can and do.
- The Holy Spirit is the person of the Godhead, the agent, to make it possible for every believer to hear God’s voice at the same time.
- 12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ John 16:12-15
- Notice that the “guiding” of the Spirit is linked to speaking what He has heard from the Father who has given the Son all things. He speaks and we hear Him speaking.
- Ask for God to help you know the voice of the Spirit speaking to you.
- Prayer is the practice ground to hone in on what God’s voice sounds like to you and how He speaks. Prayer is always a dialogue with God which includes speaking and listening. Without dialogue, you are giving God a speech.
- Ask God questions and pause to hear how He answers.
- Write down what you think God is saying to you. Then reread it to see if it is consistent with His character, His ways, and His word.
- It’s okay to share what you think you are hearing with another follower of Jesus to help you discern God’s voice.
- Obedience to His voice keeps you tuned in to the right station to hear Him clearly. Old radios would need to be dialed in, turn the knob right or left, to eliminate the static. Disobedience creates lots of static, and God’s voice is a little harder to make out. Usually, our justifications for doing wrong are a large part of the static. Being still and quiet gives you the breathing room to hear Him once again.
- If you have disobeyed, ask God to forgive you. He will cleanse you, forgive you, of all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9-10.
- Ask Him to create a clean heart and ears to hear God’s spirit. He will do the realignment.
- Repenting and asking God to forgive is not complicated. But you can’t stay moving in the direction of your own way and also be following God’s path. Notice Jesus said He would go in front and lead His sheep and they would follow HIM.
Why don’t you begin today rejoicing that God speaks to you? His promise is true. As a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let someone know “what God is saying to you” and “how He has spoken to you from His word”. Your sharing may give them the encouragement to follow God’s voice for themselves.
Feel free to leave some comments that may help others “know” how God speaks to you and possibly help them also.
Blessings on ya.