Hearing God's voice

Have you ever felt like God was trying to tell you something?

Or maybe the Lord has been speaking to you already, but you aren’t sure if it’s Him.

If you’re looking to hear and discern God’s voice with confidence, you’ll love this ultimate guide on hearing God’s voice

In this guide, I’m going to show you exactly:

  • What the Bible says about hearing the voice of the Lord (scripture)
  • How to discern God’s voice from 1 ) your voice and 2 ) the voice of the Enemy
  • Some ways that God speaks
  • How to confirm that you are indeed hearing the voice of God
  • A step-by-step activity to help you get started on hearing the Lord’s voice

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – The Basics

2. Confirming God’s Voice

3. How To Discern God’s Voice From The Voice of the enemy

4. How To Know God’s Voice From Your Own

Step By Step Activity

Common Questions

listening to God's voice

Chapter 1: The Basics

Who is eligible to hear from God?

The truth is… God speaks to all of his children.

Just look at what Jesus said:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

And…
“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” (John 10:3-4).

Scripture on hearing the voice of God

If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, you are His child (John 1:12). Which means He wants to speak to you personally!

But here’s the kicker:

Even though God wants to speak to us, we are not always listening.

I remember the first time the Lord spoke to me through a prophet. He said that “your mind hears my voice but your heart does not accept it.”

How can that be possible?

I heard God’s voice, but my heart was always doubting that it was Him. Since I never thought that God wanted to speak to me directly, I shut out the possibility of ever hearing from Him.

Therefore, even though He was speaking, I was not listening.

how to listen to God

How To Hear From God Directly

All that it takes to hear the voice of the Lord in your life is simple, childlike faith to believe that you have a good father who wants to speak to you. It can be as easy as asking God a question and listening to what he says.

You don’t have to be some big preacher, prophet, or evangelist to hear from Him.

We are all equally His children!

What does the Lord’s voice sound like?

Sometimes when we think of listening to the voice of God, we think it is just about waiting until you hear the audible and thundering voice of God.

Like in John 12 When God speaks to the crowd about his beloved son:

“The crowd that was there and heard it, said that it had thundered”

But in most cases, it’s not like that.

God speaks in different ways and some of the ways He speaks doesn’t involve any words at all.

diagram showing 6 different ways God speaks to you

Here are some of the ways God can speak to you:

Pictures – Sometimes God will speak through a still picture. When I did the step by step exercise on hearing the Lord’s voice (which we will go through later) with my teen’s class, we asked God how much He loved us. Multiple students said that they had seen a single picture of the cross; How Beautiful!

Visions – A vision is simply just a moving picture or scene being played out in your mind.

Trance – A trance is like an open vision where your mind is unaware of your surroundings.  Acts 10:10 talks about Peter being in a trance.

Dreams – Simply, a vision in the night, where God can speak to you or show you something while you sleep.

Still small voice / Whispers – In 1 Kings 19:12, The Bible talks about the Lord speaking to Elijah through a gentle whisper or a still small voice. This can be in the form of a small voice in your mind.

Impressions in our spirit – An impression in the spirit is like a tug on your heart or a deep sense of knowing in your spirit. It feels as if the Lord is speaking something directly to our inner man.

confirming gods voice

3 Ways To Confirm The Voice of God

1. The Bible

If God truly is speaking to you, He will never contradict Himself. One of the best ways to confirm whether what you’ve heard is really from the Lord is to compare it to what the Bible says.

For Example:

The Lord will never ask you to lie, steal, or sin in any way, no matter what the circumstances look like.

I know what you might be thinking…

What about an answer to a question that is more neutral? Something like:

“Yes, you should take that job offer.”

How can you confirm that?

That brings us to #2

 2. The Fruit of the Spirit

When the Holy Spirit is in a place, a moment in time, or voice, the fruits of His Spirit will be there:

Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The voice of the Holy Spirit is coated with the fruit of the spirit

When God speaks, He will often confirm the word or vision by coating it with the Fruits of the Spirit.

As you hear or discern an answer or an impression in your thought life, does it bring a deeper awareness of Peace with it? Do you feel His love or His presence as He speaks?

The way you feel inside when you hear the Lord’s voice can be one of the best indicators of whether it really is God or not.

It is His peace that passes all understanding which guards our heart and mind while leading us at the same time.

3.  Motives

Jesus said “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand – Matthew 12:25

if Jesus is being released through that action, the Enemy is not doing that.

Which means, The Enemy will never ask you to pray for someone, share the gospel, tell someone your testimony, or any other thing that will move God’s kingdom on earth forward.

Many times, I know God is speaking to me by examining the motive behind a thought.
If there is a prompting in your inner man to step out in one of those areas, it is almost always the voice of the Lord.

I always know that God is speaking to me when my mind is focused on something completely different, and out of nowhere, a thought comes to release or manifest Jesus in a particular moment.

For example:

Let’s say I’m going about my normal day and I enter a coffee shop thinking about what latte I want. As I look the other way, I spot someone in the corner. Then I get a thought that says, go talk to this person and share the gospel with them.

In this case, I can be confident that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to me.

Why?

Because the fruit of that action is His Kingdom being released, and a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. It is His Kingdom expanding, and His voice which is causing that action to happen.

discerning the voice of God

How To Discern God’s Voice From The Devil’s

Jesus said the thief has come to steal, kill, and destroy. Whenever you get a voice or a thought that is stealing your peace or attacking the promises of God for you as God’s child, you can know that it is the Enemy.

This voice is usually a voice of condemnation, fear, self-hate, shame, doubt, jealousy, envy, hatred, etc.

It often sounds like this:

“You’re a pathetic loser.”
“You will never be as good as that guy.”
“You’re never going to amount to anything.”
“God is not going to speak with you. He doesn’t even like you anymore. Remember that sin from 2 days ago?”

What the voice of the enemy sounds like

When the voice of the Enemy comes up in your thought life, you don’t want to meditate on that – you want to counterattack it with the promises of God.

For Example:

The Enemy: “Remember that sin from 2 days ago?”

You: “God thank you that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus according to Romans 8:1”. Thank you that as your child I can come boldly before your throne in a time of need according to Hebrews 4:16.

how to discern Gods voice from your voice

How to Discern God’s Voice From Your Own Voice

The best way to discern God’s voice from your own is to practice stepping out and acting on his voice when you think it’s Him. As you take those steps of faith, He helps you sort out and recognize his voice through a process of learning.

For example:

A banker who spends most of his day touching real money is much more likely to know when a fake bill gets passed to him versus someone who doesn’t handle money very often.

How to hear from God with confidence

Now:

The more time you spend in the secret place with your attention on God, the more you will begin to hear His voice in the regular rhythms of your day. 

Eventually, His voice will call you to step out and take a risk by acting on what He says.

It is in these moments that you will begin to learn to discern his voice as you step out and see Him move.

The truth is, you will get it wrong sometimes.

That’s okay.

Every child first colors outside the lines, before they learn to color more perfectly within the lines.

The Lord will often start you out by asking you to do things that are very low risk anyways.

For example:

Let say you hear a voice ask you to tell someone that Jesus loves them at Walmart.

Even if you’re wrong and it wasn’t the Lord, you would still be okay.

But think about this for a moment:

What if you did step out and tell that person that Jesus loves them and the person breaks down crying because they really needed to hear that.

Wouldn’t that be a pretty good indicator that this was indeed God’s voice?

You bet.

The voice of the lord calls us to take a risk

For me, it started like this:

At first, I was only able to know for sure when God was speaking to me about 20% of the time I had a thought come up in my thought life.

Sometimes I took the risk, and made a decision to act on what I heard using a confirmation – even when I was not completely sure if it was Him.

Based on the result of that action, I would know if it really was God.

If the result came out to be either good, or manifested Jesus in some way  – I knew it really was God who spoke to me.

After hundreds of times of hearing and trying, I begin to recognize a pattern.

When it really was Him, I recognized that He spoke to me with a certain tone of gentleness or peace that was a little different than the times that I spoke to myself in my mind.

So I took what I knew was Him, and begin to act on that.

taking a step of faith

I dialed in more to the precise frequency of His voice.

Pretty soon, I was able to recognize His voice more easily and it became a constant thing. Just like recognizing your best friend’s voice in a crowd of people.

The first time you met your best friend, you would not have recognized his voice if he called you on the phone the next day. But after one year of friendship, you would recognize the slightest whisper of your friend’s voice in a crowded room.

It is the same process of learning to discern God’s voice.

An activity for hearing God Speak

Step By Step Exercise On Hearing God’s Voice

With all this information, you may be wondering…

How can I get started on hearing the lord’s voice? Is there something practical I can try right now?

Yes, there is!

In this section, we’re going to go through a step by step exercise on hearing God’s voice using the Bible.

In fact, I’ve used this same exercise with a bunch of teens from church who said they heard God speak to them through pictures, visions, and His still small voice during this exercise.

The best part?

It’s really easy and takes only a few minutes to try!

What you will need

  • A pen and paper to write down anything that God might speak to you
  • Preferably, a quiet place
  • Simple, childlike faith
a simple exercise on hearing the voice of God

How it works

We’re going to read a few verses from Scripture. At the end of each verse, we’re going to ask God to make each verse specific to us and to speak to us through his Word.

Then, we just listen.

Simple right?

Let’s get started.

But first…

Before I do this exercise with people, I like to start with a simple prayer to hear God’s voice (feel free to join).

It goes something like this:

“Jesus thank you that You live inside each and every one of us. You say in John 10:27 that “My sheep hear My voice”, and if we are Your sheep we can hear Your voice. Thank you, Lord that Your voice drew us into a relationship with You and told us that we needed You. It was Your Voice that drew us into Your Kingdom and Family. I just ask that You would make us aware of Your voice and help us to hear Your voice clearly, God”

In Jesus name, Amen ☺️

Step 1: Read Psalm 23:1 out loud

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want

Jesus is the good Shepherd, which means that He is always watching over you, even when you’re not aware of it.

So with that in mind, I want you to ask the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit a question. This can be either in your mind or you can whisper it to Him.

Step 2: Ask The Lord This Question:

“How have you been protecting me this year that I have not been aware of?”

As I ask this question, I like to just close my eyes and focus on the Lord.

Step 3: Just rest for about 20-30 seconds

If you wanna hear someone’s voice in a conversation, you ask them a question, rest, and allow them to answer. Don’t speak or pray for now, just listen.

Step 4: Evaluate

Did you hear or feel Him say something to you?

Did you see a picture or vision of something?

How did that make you feel inside?

Side note: He doesn’t just speak something to our minds but also imparts something into our hearts. The voice imparts peace, joy, hope, etc. into us. That is the fruit so often of His voice.

Not hearing God? That’s ok! Don’t give up. You can either ask him the question again or continue on to the next one.

We’re going to go through the next few verses just as before.

Read Psalm 23:2 out loud

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters

Question 2: Holy Spirit what is one area that you have been showing me your love that I am not even aware of… Would you highlight an area in which you have been pursuing me that I am not even aware of?

Rest for 20-30 seconds

Read Psalm 23:3

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Question 3: Holy Spirit, How have I been growing in righteousness this year, in what areas of my life have you been establishing right living and holiness in me?

Read Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Question 4: Jesus, What is one fear which I regularly have that you want me to lay down at your feet now?

If you want to keep going, you can ask God some more questions such as:

• Jesus, How much do you love me?

• What do you love most about me?

• Who is one person that you are calling me to encourage throughout my day or in church?

• Would you show me who they are?

• How should I encourage them?

common questions

Side Notes & Common Questions

Before you begin to practice this, ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear His voice more clearly and to teach you to discern it. Make this a regular prayer of yours. It is only with His help that you will begin to discern His voice with greater accuracy.

Know this:

Like in any new thing you learn, you will make mistakes. In many situations, you will still not know for sure if it’s Him or not.

That’s okay!

A good father never gets angry at his child when they fall down as they learn to walk because He knows it’s part of the learning process.

He is patient with you and He will teach you, as long as you ask for His help. Keep your attention on Him and don’t give up.

Disclaimer:

Please, use common sense and confirmations when you begin to try this. The Lord will never tell you to sin, harm anyone, etc. Dude Disciple is not responsible for anything you try or act on from this post.

“That’s just my voice, I’m hearing something, but it’s my voice.”

There’s one voice that responds to your question and another voice that comes right after that and says that’s just you.

Remember what Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” – John 10:10

I believe the first voice, almost always, is the Lord’s voice answering you. The second voice comes to steal that away or its a voice of condemnation: “you’re not qualified to do that, only pastors can do that” or “you’re not in right standing with God because you sinned 2 days ago.”

The Enemy is always building up a legal case in your mind about why you are not saved, why you cannot access your Father’s Presence or come into greater intimacy with Jesus.

Why? Because it is in the Presence of God and through the Word of God that we are transformed.

I have learned that the first voice which answers, after I ask a question directed at Jesus, is almost always the Lord’s voice answering me. And it often is calling me to step out in faith in some way to release Jesus.

He doesn’t just speak something to our minds but almost always imparts something into our hearts. His words, or His reply, are often coated with an aspect of His Spirit.

Conclusion

Now I’d like to hear from you:

What did you guys get for the first question?

Did you sense a fruit of the Spirit as the Lord answered you?

What helped you the most from this post?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

39 Comments

  1. The first question….I saw a lion….hehehe…Persistence and discipline is key to learning Gods voice….one day i pray i’ll be able to hear Him even in the noisiest of environments…

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Love it! Yes, it will increase more and more as you come to know him deeper 🙂

    • I cannot find words to express my thankfulness and joy l am having when l went through this whole teaching…l have been looking everywhere for a answer for the meaning of “secret place” because l was seeking God.l want to be close with him l want to kniw him more but most of all l wanted to hear him.Thank you sooooooooo much l found it all through you.l only wish l can talk to .
      You.l can pour our like backets of water.GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER.FOR SURE I KNOW GOD HAS PREPARED YOU FOR PEOPLE LIKE US.

    • George, My son in law when he first started praying saw a lion . The lion represents the Lion of Judah !!!!

  2. I really like your article! I recently learned that my prophetic personality is “hearer” so I have been wanting to grow closer to God and learn how I can better hear his voice. I am very excited about this new experience! As I was discussing this with my best friend, she brought up the idea that trying to force God to talk or asking him questions could be challenging Him or His authority and power. What is your stance on this? I desperately want to hear God speak to me, but I also don’t want to challenge God because He does have the ultimate authority over me. How do I know if I am listening as a child does do her Father or if I am listening with a negative spirit by challenging or questioning God? Would I be better off just sitting in silence with an open Bible and a journal and wait until God is ready to speak to me?

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Hi Grace, thank you for bringing this up. I don’t believe that asking God a question is challenging him at all when you do it with the right heart.
      By asking him a question you are engaging in conversation with the Lord. Part of building a real relationship with someone requires asking questions, otherwise, it’s not going to go very far. In John 14-16, Jesus tells us at least 4 times to “ask the Father anything in his name”, Jeremiah 33:3 says “call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” The disciples were constantly asking Jesus questions – even things that would frustrate you and me, Jesus was willing to answer them with patience and explain his parables to the disciples.

      Finally, I would say this: God is so much more good than we think He is. When you come to know God, you realize just how much He loves his children and loves when his children talk to him. If your child came up to you and asked you a question like: “do you love me?” Would you get offended or feel like your authority is challenged? No… How much more loving and understanding is our heavenly father than we are?

      All we have to do is believe with simple faith that our Father loves to talk to us and that He will answer (at least most of the time)

      Hope this helps 🙂

  3. “The simplest Christian, who has neither the opportunity nor wherewithal to conduct a historical investigation of Jesus’ resurrection, can know with assurance that Jesus is risen because God’s Spirit bears unmistakable witness to him that it is so.”

    —William Lane Craig, The Son Rises, p. 8

    Gary: This is why Christians believe, dear Reader. Strip away their appeals to weak historical and empirical evidence, and they will still believe. Believers in the Resurrection are absolutely certain that an executed first century peasant came back to life and is currently sitting on a golden throne somewhere at the edge of the universe—ruling as King of the Cosmos—primarily due to their gut feeling that his ghost inhabits their body. We are dealing with irrational thinking, my fellow skeptics. Rational discussions regarding evidence will get us no where with these misguided people. We must address their superstitious feelings and perceptions.

  4. Jean Harmouche Reply

    Very nice articles, helped me sincerely..
    Honor and Glory to Jesus and Holy spirit.

  5. Abraham Babu Reply

    This page has answered most of my question, what I was searching for, Thanks Valentyn

  6. Iwill come with a tesmony lhave been searching what to do to hear God…thank you so much God bless you

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Dennis, I’m so happy to hear that. May you continue to grow in the lord and improve in hearing his voice!

  7. Pingback: 20 Methods of Evangelism That Every Christian Should Know

  8. Selie Visa Reply

    God speaks to us through other people. You mentioned walking into a coffee shop and the small voice urging you to speak to someone there. If you are the other person, whoever comes to speak to you was send by God.

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Selie, Absolutely. God speaks through many different ways (couldn’t list all of them here), especially through people. The goal was to list some of the ways that God speaks to us directly. Hope you enjoyed the post 🙂

  9. This is quite a thorough guide to hearing God’s voice. The scriptures are also great ways of painting a picture about how God wants us to hear from Him.

  10. Thanks for the comprehensive and detailed post on hearing God’s voice. This has a lot of encouraging tips and things to think about.

  11. This is fantastic! I am going to share this with
    My small group. We have been talking about following God and how you know where he is leading.

  12. What an amazing post! I love it! This is so comprehensive I am going to pin it as well as comment. I believe God speaks to us all the time. If I am not hearing from Him, I assume I’m not listening, or have been distracted. By the way, I have seen short “word sentences” as I would call them, as messages from God. I might see “Let it go” in my head as if it were written on paper, for example. That has happened several times. God bless you!

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Janene, Yes that’s so true! He always has something to say. Word sentences in your mind is certainly another way that God speaks and I believe there are many more, We just listed the most common ones we know.

  13. Quite an interesting post…Love the layout and formatting. Great job on this article very detailed and helpful tips.

  14. There’s some really helpful information in this post! I’ve been a Christian for many years, however sometimes I still question if I’m hearing God right… Especially when going through a difficult time. One thing I always remind myself is that God cares about even the most trivial of things in my life and He is more than happy to speak to me. I just need to lean in and truly listen. Blessings, Jo

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      Jo, thank you! You’re absolutely right. God loves speaking to his children and wants to be a part of every little area in our lives – even things like grocery shopping. Sometimes all we have to do is ask him and tune in to what he wants to say.

  15. I think this post will be very useful for me! I sometimes have trouble discerning God’s voice, but I know when I hear His voice I do feel a sense of peace and purpose. So, thank you so much for confirming this for me!

    • Valentyn Svit Reply

      So good to hear! I’m so glad the lord is using this post to give you a greater awareness of his voice and helping you discern his voice more easily 🙂

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