John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
The Bible teaches us that God can communicate to His people in seven different ways. First, with an audible voice that comes to the ears (Acts 9:4). Second, God can communicate to us by the Holy Spirit speaking to our mind in the form of thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:16). Third, God can send angelic messengers to visit people to bring His message (Luke 1:28).
Fourth, God can speak to people in dreams while they are sleeping (Matthew 2:13). Fifth, God can speak in the form of visions. Visions are spiritual dream like states that people have while they are awake (Acts 10:3). Sixth, God can communicate to people by His earthly messengers (preachers) who preach the Word of God (Romans 10:18). Seventh, and most importantly, God speaks to His people through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).
Prayer, talking to God, is the best way to make yourself available to hear God speak to you. I recommend people who desire to hear God speak to them to do the following; (1) Pray to the Father in Jesus’ name and ask the Holy Spirit to come and speak to you, (2) Confess all known sin- which can keep you separated from God, (3) Begin to read the Bible during your prayer time and (4) Spend time in meditation on God’s Word with an open heart to hear God speak.
God speaks to us primarily when we pray and read the Bible. And He desires us to speak to Him through prayer, both with our words and inwardly with our thoughts.
Some people get discouraged when they don’t hear God speak to them immediately, but one genuine message from God can change your life forever, it’s worth the wait. Also, people can get confused when seeking the voice of God because there are other places voices can come from. For example; (1) Your own mind, (2) Other people’s own words pretending to be God’s words and (3) Demonic messages. The Bible states that Satan is said to be able to appear as an “angel of light” and deceive people (2 Corinthians 11:14).
I always recommend people testing all their “messages” by the Word of God and trusted leaders. Jesus promised in today’s passage that He would speak in such a way that you would know it is His voice. He is your Good Shepherd and desires to be in relationship with you. Trust His ways and do not get anxious if you are waiting to hear direction from Him, God is always with you and promised to direct all your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). God is always speaking, but are you always listening? Charles Stanley wrote, “God’s voice is still and quiet and easily buried under an avalanche of clamour.” Be patient, God will speak.
- Make time every day to read your Bible, pray and meditate on God’s Word.
- Ask God to communicate with you about the issues of your life and how much He loves you.
- Be obedient to all that God tells you to do and believe what He says about you (ex., “you are blessed, never alone, etc.”).