It wasn’t until very recently that I knew that I could hear the voice of God. I was insecure in my ability to hear Him and unsure as to whether He was even speaking to me at all. Not super proud that this was such a recent struggle for me, to be honest— I’ve KINDA been vocal about the fact that I’ve built my entire existence around my relationship with God and following His voice and being a missionary and stuff. So… this is me being humbled. But anyway, coming out of that season of insecurity in hearing His voice, the Lord showed me some things that radically shifted my perspective.
First of all, hearing God’s voice IS Biblical. There is a movement happening in Christianity right now that takes hearing the voice of God too far. Some Christians depend solely on their personal encounters with the Holy Spirit as the basis for all truth. They disregard and undermine the authority of the Bible— which, as the Word of God, needs to be our foundation. Depending SOLELY on our personal experiences is wrong. We are to know and communicate with God in Spirit AND in Truth, through the Living Word (Jesus/Holy Spirit), and the Written Word (the Bible). Throughout the Bible, He DID continuously communicate with His people. He spoke verbally to the prophets. He appeared before the people of Israel as a tangible wall of fire. He spoke in visions to the apostles. He spoke directly to the hearts of New Testament believers concerning specific matters. Many variations of all of those things occurred throughout the Bible. We, as children of God, GET TO HEAR HIS VOICE BECAUSE HE CREATED US FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. Relationship is nothing without communication. If you knew a person but never talked with each other, could you honestly say that you had a relationship with them? Even if you spent time around each other, but you never said a word to one another, you simply could not KNOW them. Consistently seeking the voice of God and talking with Him is an essential part of knowing who He is and having a relationship with Him.
God is speaking to all of us, but part of learning how to hear His voice is 1) being confident in your identity as a son or daughter of God, or 2) letting go of your idea of how you THINK He is going to speak to you. In my DTS and SBFM, I thought I had to become “spiritual enough” to hear the Lord’s voice correctly. Since I didn’t actually believe I was in a place where I was capable of hearing His voice, every time I felt like the Lord gave me a picture or word for someone, I would go to them and preface the picture or word with “OKAY SO LIKE I REAAAALLLLYYYY DON’T KNOW IF I’M HEARING THIS CORRECTLY, AHH SO PLEASE TAKE IT TO THE LORD”. Other times I’d say, “I’M PROBABLY NOT HEARING HIS VOICE ON THIS. IT’S PROBABLY JUST MY OWN OR SOMETHING. IT’S PROBABLY INCORRECT. YEAH IT’S DEFINITELY MY OWN VOICE. PLEASE PLEASE TAKE IT TO THE LORD OKAY???!!!” Because of this introduction that so clearly conveyed that I didn’t believe that God trusted me with His words, I’m sure I diminished the weight of His words in people’s ears. I had to learn how to see myself as a DAUGHTER OF GOD before I confidently heard the Lord’s voice. A true daughter doesn’t get ignored. A Father speaks to and takes the time to love His daughter. We are not unloved children that snuck into God’s family. He prepared a place for each one of us, and He wants to talk to EACH ONE of us.
The other blockade to hearing God’s voice is by expecting to hear it in a certain way. I came to DTS expecting to learn how to hear the AUDIBLE VOICE of the Heavenly Father every morning. I had a preconceived tone and dialect and everything— so I completely overlooked how He was ACTUALLY speaking to me. Just as each of us were created uniquely, His methods of communication with each of us are similarly unique to the person. To some He constantly gives Scriptures, while to others He’ll speak through nature, thoughts, circumstances, or a combination of many things. I am not going to hear Him the same way as the person standing next to me. In order to hear Him, we need to surrender our expectations and just allow Him to exceed them.
On days where you’re struggling to hear the voice of your Father, always remember that there is one key way that anyone can hear the voice of God, a place He poured His heart out for all humanity for all time, where the Word of the Living God can be held in human hands— the Bible. In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says that “All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for creation, and for training in righteousness.” The Bible is, and needs to remain, the primary way that He speaks to all of us.
Learning to hear God’s voice takes time. For example, if you first meet a new friend, you won’t instantly recognize their voice over the phone. But when you’ve constantly spent time with them and talked with them and they call you, they won’t even have to say their name for you to recognize their voice. It is the same way with God. The more you get to know Him, the more you can recognize His voice when He’s speaking to you. His ability to speak to us is so much greater than our limitations in hearing His voice. There’s no exact formula. We don’t have to spend exactly 74 quiet times with Him before we can perfectly perceive the sound of His Spirit. If He wants to get through to us, He will. Even still, I encourage you to spend some time asking Him what His voice sounds like!
By Miranda Shearer