For more help learning to hear God’s voice, I have a free resource called 90 Seconds to Hearing God Speak for Yourself that you can go download right now. This is a 2-3 minute guided meditation that takes scripture and let’s God fill in some of the blanks so that he can speak TO YOU directly. It has been a game changer in my life and has had great success with the clients I coach and audiences I have spoken to so download my free guide here and get started hearing God speak TO YOU!
is rooted in relationship above all else.
Ask anyone who’s been in a long-lasting relationship what the most important thing is to build and grow a strong relationship and I’d bet that 8 out of 10 of them, at least, would respond with one word:
Communication is the lifeblood or the chopping block of all intimate relationships. You simply cannot connect and grow without working toward strong communication. God is no different. Before you click away while your eyes roll, no, this isn’t another trite comment about prayer. I’m not going to ask you to pray longer, harder, or with prettier words.
Communication and prayer are very different things.
I’m not even talking about talking to God. We do enough talking in our lives and DEFINITELY in our prayers. I’m talking about communication. Communication requires at least two individuals to contribute on both sides, and in our world, communicating with God has been all about us talking and Him listening. It’s a one-way street getting us nowhere…except frustrated and lonely.
So how do we hear God?
I will be doing a short series of posts on the ins and outs of listening to and hearing God, but today I just want to get us started. And first, some important clarifications about hearing God’s voice:
1. The way you hear God will be entirely unique
Yes, there are things about hearing God speak that seem universal. The vast majority of people that have given the time, attention, and openness of mind and spirit to practice hearing God all say some things that sound very similar. However, you are a 100% unique, never lived before in the history of the world, completely different, individual. Therefore, while you will likely experience some similarities (one of which I’m going to discuss in a minute), the way God reaches out and communicates with you will be as unique and special as you are.
ISN’T THAT WHAT RELATIONSHIP IS ALL ABOUT???
No one on the planet has the exact same relationship that my wife and I get to experience and create together. And I believe that God is the master and creator of relationship so it follows that when you and God seek and build a relationship together, all facets of that relationship will be entirely unique to the history of humankind. So, though I will be giving you some tips and tricks to discovering God’s voice and honing that skill, you will ultimately learn to navigate your own unique way of hearing and communicating with him.
2. You will most likely NOT hear God audibly
This isn’t a TV show with Morgan Freeman narrating for God. This isn’t the movie about Moses where a deep, booming, masculine voice boldly proclaims “Go!” From my experience, God doesn’t really work like that…most of the time. So when I say “hearing God” I don’t mean audibly through my eardrums. What I really mean is learning to follow spiritual, emotional, and intellectual leanings, hints of God, if you will, that may be guiding us, communicating to us, or trying to reveal deeper truths than the ones we learn in a classroom or on YouTube. Almost always, these leanings and feelings have been very subtle, and it takes me a lot of time, patience, and a lot of wrong choices and screwing things up to start to figure out what is leading me toward God and truth, what is leading me away from God, and what is just the undercooked burrito I had last night coming back for more.
With that, here is my best advice for starting to hear God speak:
I hear voices in my head.
You may be quickly searching for the “x” on this tab of your web browser after hearing me say that, but HOLD ON!!! I hear voices in my head, and so do you. All of us have played out conversations in our mind in which we hear other people’s voices engaging in the conversation with us. We have also heard our own voice in our head. In fact, just about every time we think, we hear our own voice somewhere in our brain, our mind, or our spirit (or all three). When I talk about hearing God, I almost always mean that I heard a voice in my head, much like my own. In fact, when God speaks to me he uses my voice! but it’s different. Sitting down to journal early one morning (at 4:00am mind you) I heard two voices, but both were my own. The first voice said, “You have so much to do today. You’re so behind. There’s no way you’ll get to all of it. You better work your ass off and even then you’ll still go to bed tonight unfinished and still behind. You’ll never reach your dreams because you’ll always be behind.”
By 4:05am I was already feeling the stress and anxiety rise up within me. I was screwed Then the second voice spoke. Again, it was my voice, but different. This voice said,
“There are enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that is important.”
The difference between this voice and the first voice was one thing:
The difference between God’s voice and my own, even though it still sounds like me, is that God’s voice always calms me down, it always brings peace, it always helps me feel seen, loved, and cared for. That’s the main difference. When you hear voices in your head trying to guide you one direction or the other,
which voice gives you peace?
And I don’t meant which one makes you feel good. Often, God leads me in a direction that is scary, difficult, or even painful. But even then, I cannot explain why I feel a sense of calm.
It’s almost as if when God speaks, whatever he says just seems
So Practice This
Take 5 minutes and get to a quiet place If you HATE silence, play some soft music WITHOUT WORDS, but slow down and get quiet for only 5 minutes. Then think of what is important in your life right now, whether it is a question, a decision that needs to be made, or a circumstance causing you frustration, hold that thing in your mind, and listen. Listen to the voices talking about that thing. With each voice pay attention to your spirit or mood. Does your breath speed up? Do your shoulders sag? Do you feel heavy? Or do you feel peace? Calm? Love? Do you feel cared for?
Remember, If spirituality really is about relationship if it’s not about right and wrong, or following the rules,
then we have to learn to connect
and part of connecting is learning to listen well. God is trying to take care of you, I would challenge you to let him.