How Can I Hear God?
Question: How come I can hear God sometimes and other times I do not hear God? How can I better hear God?”
The first step in hearing God is to realize that He has many different ways to speak to us. We want to hear God, but how God speaks to us and when He speaks is at His discretion.
Conditions for hearing God
- We need to believe that God will speak to us. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6). Faith believes, faith expects to hear the Lord, and it continues to expect.
- If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18). Approaching God free of unforgiveness and unconfessed sin is a prerequisite.
- If we expect the Lord to guide, we need to be in commitment to God’s will.
- Clear your mind and be completely quiet before the Lord, patently waiting before the Lord. Waiting may be a few minutes, days, or even longer.
Ways To Hear God
The Bible gives us eight basic ways that the Lord typically speaks. They are
- Scripture: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-
17).God may highlight scripture to answer our specific question or need.
- Prompting of the Holy Spirit. The most common way God speaks to us is through the still small inner voice of the Holy Spirit (1 Kings 19:12 ) – similar to our conscience, through thoughts – a perception in our mind, by closing or opening a door (Rev. 3:8), a peace in our heart for His choice or a restlessness in our heart that this is not His will. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts (Colossians 3:15). However, a person may be so anxious about a situation, that they are not able to recognize God’s peace and guidance. If the person is anxiety, they need to cast all my anxiety on him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7), then they may be able to hear.
- Visions and dreams: And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9-
- Inspired writing: All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing (1 Chr 28:19). Still your mind, ask God your question, wait patiently with expectation for God to give you a thought, then start writing.
- Do not quench the Spirit of God, but seek Him. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:19-
- Godly counsel and confirmation: Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). God may use others to council or even to deliver an idea that they had no idea was from God. Such counsel should only be used as a confirmation of what the Lord is already telling you.
- Circumstances: Circumstances do not directly fall into God talking to us category, and yet, He is speaking to us by arranging circumstances in our life. Circumstances that we normally do not recognize until after they have been accomplished by God.
- One other way that God can speak to us is an actual voice. This approach appears to be reserved for when God needs to get our immediate attention, such as in an emergency. Most people have never heard the actual voice of God. And occasionally God communicates through an angel.
Make your questions simple and ask only one question at a time. Not that God cannot handle a complicated question, but because we may not be able to understand a complicated answer.
If you do not feel God’s peace, wait and seek God again. Even if you think God has given you a verse and it sounds good, but you do not have a peace about it, wait and seek God for confirmation.
God’s will is always accompanied with a peace
You need to be listening with the expectation that He is about to answer you and you do not want to miss it by thinking of other things. If you are not expecting to hear from God, then you do not believe. God rewards diligent seekers; he rewards those who seek him (Heb. 11:6).
As you pray, you can keep repeating, “Lord, I want your will, not my will”.
Wait for God's timing. Waiting trusts that God knows more than you do. God will seldom lay out a 5-
Dallas Willard, author of “Hearing God” described his method of hearing God. He sets aside time for concentrated listening to God: he talks to God about the situation, asks God’s counsel, meditates on Scripture, quiets himself to listen, and waits. Sometimes he does this for hours, then he takes a break and asks again.
Tips on hearing God
Many people do not hear God speak a thought in their mind, but as an impression in which you know exactly what God wants you to know. We need to recognize that our thoughts may be God inspired. They may be ideas for business, life, ministry, and may include greater understanding.
Many have heard God but do not recognize Him, thinking it was their own thoughts.
It is beneficial to always write down and journal any input from the Lord for future clarity and understanding.
Do not tell God how you want Him to speak to you.
If you keep confessing that God is not talking to you, then you may receive what you confess.
Praying in tongues opens the pathway of our spirit with the Spirit of God.
When God discloses His plans, do not immediately try to fulfill God’s plan without first seeking God’s timing and His way for implementing His plans. His plan may entail you preparing now for what He has for you later.
What is one of the big secrets to hearing God
The secret is to take time to be quiet, to focus on Him, and to listen. Hearing from God isn't so much if He's talking, but if we're listening. More details.
Next Section: How Can I Discern God’s Voice?