“Uhmmm…God will speak to me and if so how will I know it’s His voice I am hearing?” a small voice whispered.
I had just finished sharing a message on a Sunday morning at a church an hour away from home. I was packing up to leave when a young woman approached me. There was a hesitancy in her eyes and timidity in her voice as she quietly asked, “How do I know if it’s really God speaking to me?”
I knew there was more to the story behind her questions than a simple “How do I know I am hearing from God?” So, a quick response of John 10:27 “His sheep hear and know His voice” would not cut it.
I shared the following keys to reassure her that she can hear God’s voice. God longs to speak to us all, and these 7 keys prepare us to hear His still, small voice in our own lives.
1. Be Aware
We need to be aware that God still speaks today. We read in 1 Samuel 3 that “the word of the word was rare in those days” and when God called Samuel’s name, neither he nor Eli the priest knew it was God. God was persistent until he made a connection with Samuel. It is within that connection that God communicated with Samuel. Samuel first had to respond to the voice of God. It is the same with us, we must be aware of God’s invitation for connection, so we can respond to it.
Just like Samuel, we can respond in faith and ask: “God, Is that You? If so I am listening.”
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3: 9-10 NIV)
Be aware of #God ’s invitation for connection and respond to it.
2. Be Discerning
We need to be aware that not all things we hear or receive are from God. There are many voices vying for our attention at any given time, but the three big ones, are: God, Satan and ourselves. However, don’t let this intimidate you. Remember John 10:27 above and know we can learn to discern whose voice is speaking to us. We must patiently and quietly listen for the still small voice of God.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, (1 John 4:1a CSB)
3. Be Expectant
God is speaking all the time. We just need to learn to discern His voice, and tune into His frequency. We should expect that God wants to speak to us and be eager to hear from Him when He does. We need to believe and expect God will speak to us just as He did with individuals throughout the Scriptures. It’s not a once in a lifetime conversation, it’s a daily ongoing one.
He says, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3 NASB).
4. Be available
Yes, God is speaking all the time, but we are often too busy to notice. We need to make ourselves available to hear from God. This means being intentional to set aside time for Him to speak to us. Part of being available is also being ready and willing to respond when God speaks to us. God longs to move His people in obedience.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
5. Be in the Word
When God speaks to you, it will never be contrary to the Word of God nor contradict His character or nature. In order to know these things about God, we need to know what the Bible says about who He is and what His character is. If we are in the Word and know what it says about God, then we can confidentially discern we are hearing from God.
Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you (2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Passion Translation).
6. Be in Relationship
God designed us for relationship with Himself and with others. Relationships by design includes two-way conversations. Just as Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden, it is His desire to have the same kind of relationship with us today. God wants to communicate with us on a daily basis. He wants an ongoing conversation that continues throughout the day, week, months and years. We are called friends of God.
No longer do I call you servants for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15 ESV).
7. Be humble
God doesn’t just speak to the special people, He speaks to us all. We must recognize that hearing God speak is a normal part of our life as a Christ follower. But we also must not allow pride to sneak into our hearts as we begin to hear from Him. Staying in humility positions us to fully receive and respond to the messages God may share with us.
For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory (Psalm 149:4 NIV).F
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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com
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Do you wonder if God still speaks today? Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally? Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?
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Debbie is an author, speaker, and the founder of Dare 2 Hear, a ministry training individuals in hearing the voice of God.
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Yes! I always want to be listening, so that when God’s voice comes to me I will recognize it!
Me too Michele, me too, but truthfully sometimes, I am not always listening and sometimes miss it.
This is the 2nd time this morning that I have read about waiting expectantly. As I spend time in God’s Word each morning, may I wait with expectancy for God to speak to me. May I not read and rush through. Have a blessed day!
Such a great prayer Joanne. I pray I don’t rush through too. and the #2 means confirmation so I guess, this is an important message from God for us asll really. 🙂 thanks for sharing.
Thanks Debbie for the feature! Trust is so hard but we must strive to have unconditional trust in the God who unconditionally loves us. xo
You are most welcome Susan, it was as great post! and yes, unconditional trust is a hard one but we must strive for it.
Amen. What struck me as I read this is you live out what you said to the young lady. It came easy to you because you are all of the things you told her to be. We have to live it to know it.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Thanks Nylse, I am so glad I had first hand knowledge on how to respond the lady. I think it makes things easier sometimes when you ask questions or are earnestly seeking answers to have someone fully understand what you are going through or to have been where you are right now. Hopefully that makes sense. anyway, thank you. 🙂
I think that being available one might be the toughest in our busy, noisy culture. Good post. laurensparks.net
Laure, I agree, being available is often the place I find the break down in my own relationship with God. Thanks for the encouragement
Debbie, loved these 7 answers for a hard question!
thanks Leslie – it was a hard question that needed a more thorough reply. I was glad I had enough experience to answer it. Blessings
These are such great points, Debbie! God does speak to us today – and I am so thankful for that. For me, it’s quieting all of the other voices zipping through my mind so that I can hear Him.
thank you Aimee! Oh yes, there are so many voices that are vying for our attention that it can be quite the discipline, but once we do the reward is great. Thanks for sharing
Oh, yes! Sometimes God speaks in a whisper. We have to know how to listen. Thank you for this wonderful lesson.
You are so right – we need to know how to listen. I used to expect the loud booming voice or large displays and often missed His gentle whispers.
Thank you for hosting. I love sharing with your readers and always find inspiration here. Have a blessed week! #OverTheMoon #ThursdayFavoriteThings
you are most welcome Marilyn. 🙂
Amen. Thanks for these great words and this wonderful message. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.
you are most welcome Patrick! Thank you for linking up this week and being here to read my posts.
God wants to speak to us. Through it, you will learn how to recognize the Lord. Thanks for the great words Debbie.
You are welcome Anne! Thank you for stopping in to read my words and leave a comment too. Blessings to you
These points are so good!
Thank you Elizabeth 🙂
5. Stay in the Word! This is so important. This whole article is so on point. Christians need to follow these steps to be able to discern God’s voice above all others. Thank you!
Thank you Summer! Yes, staying in the Word is so very important to us discerning God’s voice above the rest. Blessings
Such an encouraging post and very helpful truths for many that have this question. I know that until I grew in my relationship with the Lord I didn’t realize how clearly His voice could be. I absolutely love hearing from God, it’s the best encouragement and most definitely want to lean in to hear more!!
Thanks April. I too had the same experience as you, and once I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I began to learn to discern his voice quicker and more clearly. Blessings and thank you so much for taking the time to red and comment today.
I love this. I vouch for these keys to hearing God’s voice. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you!
Thank you Mari-Anna 🙂 I am glad to hear that you have experienced these in your own life as well and can vouch for their validity.
I love practical lists like this!
thank you so much Kelly. 🙂