You can be successful at hearing God’s voice when you daily practice listening to it.
When I think about the word “practice,” what comes to my mind immediately is an athlete. Olympians make “practicing” their career; they work daily at becoming the best they can be.
Listening to God is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced. It doesn’t come naturally.
When I first started listening for His voice, many times I heard nothing. Here’s the key to my success: I didn’t give up. I continued to practice the routine of getting up early every morning to sit quietly before the Lord and attempt to hear Him speak. Eventually, my persistence and perseverance paid off and I heard God’s voice again and again.
Hearing from God is an amazing experience. Don’t give up if you don’t hear or recognize His voice right away! Keep trying! God will honor your efforts and eventually you will hear Him speak.
Practicing discernment is also important when listening to God’s voice. Both God and Satan speak to us in our thoughts. Correctly discerning God’s voice from Satan’s voice is crucial. We can read everything we need to know about God and Satan in the Bible.
First – Know the Character of God
Here are some of my favorite characteristics of God which are all found in God’s Word.
- He is Compassionate, Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Love and Faithfulness
- God with us at all times; He never leaves us or forgets us
- He never changes; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever
- He does not grow tired or weary
- He is our Rock and Fortress, Savior and Deliverer, Healer and Restorer, Friend and Encourager
Like His Character, the words God speaks to you will be very loving and gentle, strong and firm, wise and encouraging, convicting, not condemning. They produce peace within us. God’s words bring us wise counsel, loving comfort, sound teaching, and emotional healing. They are always true and always align with His Word in the Bible. God’s messages to you will be filled with His Word from Scripture.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active.” The primary way God still speaks to His children is through His living, active Word in Scripture.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for more clarification. Ask Him to confirm that what you just heard came from Him. As many times as you ask Him for more confirmation, our patient God authenticates what He speaks to you.
Next – Know the Character of Satan
Here are some names, characteristics, and actions of our enemy, the devil, that are found in the Bible:
- Satan is a Roaring Lion looking for someone to devour
- He is a Murderer, Deceiver, Accuser, the Father of Lies
- He tempts us to sin and leads the world astray
- He sows evil in the world and wages war against us
- He traps us and holds us captive to do his will
Now let’s look at the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s voice.
First, our omniscient God knows all of our thoughts, but Satan knows none of them. That’s why it’s so important to declare the truth of Scripture out loud. Since Satan can’t read your mind, it’s vital to verbalize aloud your intentions to resist the devil and walk in victory.
Secondly, remember God lives inside us and Satan lives outside of us. The moment we accept Christ as our Savior, God sends His Spirit to live inside of us.
Third, God and Satan may both speak to us in our thoughts, but that’s where the similarity stops. A definite difference exists between the two voices. See Chapter 5 in my 7 Simple Steps book for more on this.
Be alert and aware! When you pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus, you will place a bigger target on your back for the devil to take his aim. You must increase your awareness AND your defense against your spiritual opponent. Claim your victory over Satan in the name of Jesus Christ, your Savior, by His authority and His blood.
Dress yourself in the Armor of God, as described in Ephesians 6:10-18, by praying those verses of Scripture out loud as you verbalize putting on each piece of protective armor every day.
Especially, Arm yourself with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God by memorizing verses that effectively speak against Satan’s attack on your weak spots, and be ready to use these verses against Him by saying them out loud.
Don’t give the devil more power than God has given Him. Remember, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the power that lives in us. 1 John 4:4 says, “…the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Jesus came to set the captives free. Resist Satan and his lies. Believe the voice of truth and experience a new freedom in Christ.
Hearing God’s voice is absolutely life-changing! Put in the time and effort by daily practicing listening to God, and He will reward your perseverance with the ability to hear His voice.