Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Being able to hear from God depends on the relationship you have with Him. And just like any other relationship, it’s progressive. The more time we spend with Him, the better we will become at hearing and understanding what He speaks to us.
A lot of people, even long-time Christians, struggle with knowing whether or not what they hear, think, or feel is from God and how to actually have a conversation with Him where He responds back to you. So here are some tips on accurately identifying God’s voice.
1. God will never do or say anything that contradicts what He’s already said. Now I know what you’re thinking…
“If I knew what He’s said already then I wouldn’t be trying to figure out what His voice sounds like!”
But the simple truth is that we all have access to every word God has ever said: the Bible! That’s why we call it the Word of God. That’s literally what it is!!
At the risk of sounding like your 100-year-old Sunday School teacher… you HAVE to read your Bible: there’s no way around it. It’s impossible to know whether or not you are hearing from God if you don’t read, study, and meditate on His word. You can’t compare what you’ve heard to the scriptures if you don’t know them.
If your eyes are getting heavy just thinking about studying the Bible, then click here for tips that’ll actually make you excited to read and study your Bible!!
2. Knowing God’s personality is also a huge part of knowing whether or not something you think, hear, desire, or feel is from Him. For instance, the Word says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). So if you happen to be in a relationship where you are usually in some state of fear or worry, then God that can’t be telling you that this person is meant to be your husband or wife because He doesn’t even roll like that!
Here’s another example: Let’s say that someone comes to you saying that your best friend said something about you. You will usually know immediately whether or not they really said it because you know who they are. You’ll either respond with, “Uhh no, because that doesn’t even sound like something she would say” or “Yep… that sounds like her!” Because you know your best friend better than most people.
It’s the same with God! Knowing His character and personality will instantly help you to know whether something is truly from Him or not.
“Okay then Constance, how do I learn God’s personality?”
Great question! For starters… read your BIBLE! (Told you… there’s no way around it.) You learn God’s personality the same way you get to know anybody’s personality: you spend time with them, you talk to them, you share things with them, you take find out their likes and dislikes, and sometimes you even go out of your way to learn and remember those things.
God isn’t some distant, busy being that doesn’t have time for you. He is literally involved in every second of your day; He plans out every breath you take. The man knows how many hairs are on your head!! (Luke 12:17) Get to know Him! He’s your Father and He’s crazy about you, even if you’re a completely mess… like me. Seriously… I’m annoying and hard-headed. I can’t believe He still chooses to love me. But that’s what makes me what to learn more about Him!
3. God speaks through peace.
Joyce Meyer once wrote:
Maintaining peace is important in order to maintain power in our lives… we should never act without peace… peace is an “internal confirmation” that God approves of the decision we made.”
We all sometimes get that feeling of “something’s just not right” or “I just don’t feel right about this.” A lot of times we think it’s just us being paranoid, but it’s really God speaking to us through taking away our peace about whatever it is.
We also get those amazing feelings of being in the right place at the right time; like everything is just as it should be. God also encourages us through giving us peace as well. Ignoring this has horrible consequences. Trust ME!! Going against the better judgment of my peace has yet to turn out well for me.
4. Many times, you know it’s God speaking because it won’t make sense right away.
I know this kind of contradicts making sense of God’s voice, but it’s SO important to know about communicating with Him. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), so it’s no surprise that when it comes to Him, some things might go over our heads.
God rarely gives us everything all at one because He knows what we can handle. If God showed us everything we wanted to see when we asked Him, most of us would lose our minds and give up on life. He knows that we’re fragile and we can’t handle it!
Things may seem random at times, but take the puzzle pieces as they come and pretty soon you’ll be able to see the big picture when He knows that you are capable of receiving and understanding it without it causing you any harm. But be sure to always maintain a daily posture of seeking God in order to give Him an opportunity to reveal these things to you.
5. God also speaks through dreams, numbers, visions, and revelations.
I believe that a lot of people think God isn’t speaking to them because they mistakenly brush certain things off as “coincidences.” But (going back to knowing the nature & personality of God) He is too intentional a being for happenstance.
Recently, I was seeing license plates with the same letter pattern SO MUCH that I was led to pray and ask God what He was trying to communicate to me. This is why it’s important to pay attention and stay connected to Him in the spirit: there are things that our spirits can make sense of that our brains can’t.
If you keep seeing the same number over and over again, look up its prophetic meaning. If you have an unusual and detailed dream or vision, write it down AS SOON as you wake up and consult a person or resource that is able to interpret it accurately. If you get a burst of ah-ha moments or wisdom about something, then that’s God revealing knowledge and understanding to you.
God is ALWAYS speaking to us. We just have to be paying attention and take the time to seek Him and His Word for the answers we need from Him. Now that you know what God “sounds” like, keep your antennas up for next week’s post on tips for getting God to respond to you when you need answers.