Those who truly know God have learned how to recognize his voice above all others. He wants you to be absolutely convinced that he desires to talk to you—to tell you things you’ve never seen or heard before.
Not long ago the Lord showed me that I was still wavering about hearing his voice speak to my soul. Oh, I know that he speaks and that the sheep need to know the Master’s voice. But I doubted my ability to hear him. I spent all my time “checking” the voice I heard. And when it was too big or too mysterious for me, I thought, “This can’t be God. Besides, the devil can speak, too. The flesh speaks; lying spirits speak.” A multitude of voices come at us all the time. How can I know God’s voice?
I believe that three things are required of those who would hear God’s voice:
1. You must have an unshakable confidence that God wants to speak to you. You have to be fully persuaded and convinced of that. Indeed, he is a speaking God. He wants you to know his voice so you can do his will. What God tells you will never go beyond the boundaries of Scripture. And you don’t have to be ordained or have a Ph.D. to understand his voice to you. All you need is a heart that says, “I believe God desires to talk to me.”
2. You must have quality time and quietness. You need to be willing to shut yourself in with God and let all other voices hush away. True, God speaks to us all day long. But whenever he has wanted to build something into my life, his voice has come only after I have shut out every other voice but his.
3. You must ask in faith. We do not obtain anything from God (including hearing his voice) unless we truly believe that he is able to convey his mind to us and enable us to understand his perfect will.
Jesus said, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11-12). In other words, “If you ask your heavenly Father for a word—a clear direction, a godly correction or a particular need—do you think for a moment he will instead let the devil come and deceive you?”
God is not a tease! He will not allow the devil to deceive you. When God speaks, peace follows! And Satan cannot counterfeit that peace. If you’re in a place of quiet and rest, convinced that God can speak to you, then you have an assurance that never changes. You can go back to God a thousand times and you will receive the same word—because it is truth.