3 Ways We Can Identify God’s Voice

Taking the Guesswork Out of Hearing From Our Heavenly Father

By Linda Canup
  • May 22, 2015

Is that You, God? Sometimes when we’re waiting to hear from God, we might wonder if we’ve missed His answer. In those moments, we would do well to remind ourselves that God loves us. He doesn’t toy with us or give up if we’re not sure we heard Him the first time. He just keeps knocking (Rev. 3:20).

Of course, if we harden our hearts and refuse to listen to God, there is a price to pay. But if we are seeking Him, He promises we will find Him (Matt. 7:7-8).

Consider how the Lord continued to call young Samuel until Eli helped him understand he was hearing the voice of God (1 Sam. 3:1-9). Or how God confirmed His directions when Gideon tested Him (Judges 6:36-40). Jesus continues to reach out to us, too—He answered Thomas’ doubts (John 20:24-29) and stopped Paul in his tracks as he headed to Damascus to persecute Christians (Acts 9:1-19).

But sometimes, in our desperation to hear something, we run the risk of convincing ourselves we're hearing from God when we’re not. In his message “Listening to God,” Dr. Stanley says that when we are seeking to hear from the Lord, we must make sure that it’s His voice we are hearing rather than our own thoughts or someone else’s ideas. He says we can identify God’s voice because:

  • God’s voice is always consistent with His Word. Any message must agree with what the Lord has already said in the Scriptures.

  • His voice is quiet. God often speaks to our hearts through His Holy Spirit in an inaudible but compelling way.

  • The Lord speaks clearly. If we’ll tune our hearts to Him by setting aside time to read His Word and listen for His Spirit to speak, He will give us clear guidance.

When God speaks, we have two choices: accept and obey, or deny and retreat. People who have ignored the voice of God know it. Perhaps God called you into the mission field but you chose to pursue another vocation instead. Or maybe you simply made decisions you knew to be unwise and against God’s teachings.

While we can’t go back in time, God can redeem our mistakes. Whenever we turn to the Lord and listen, He blesses our devotion. Are you waiting to hear God’s voice? Keep reading His Word and be ready to listen today.

Dr. Stanley explains the importance of seeking God’s direction in his message, “Listening to God,” airing this weekend on TV.

Related Topics:  Listening to God  |  Reading Bible  |  Obedience

Most Recent

What happens to my notes

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well),

3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was,

4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, Here I am."

5 Then he ran to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he said, I did not call, lie down again." So he went and lay down.

6 The LORD called yet again, Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he answered, I did not call, my son, lie down again."

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.

8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.

9 And Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, `Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

36 Then Gideon said to God, If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,

37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken."

38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground."

40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples were saying to him, We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, Peace be with you."

27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."

28 Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!"

29 Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;

4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"

5 And he said, Who are You, Lord?" And He said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."

7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias." And he said, Here I am, Lord."

11 And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,

12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."

13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;

14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."

15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

19 and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,

Background Color:
Light
Aa
Dark
Aa
Font size:
A
A
A