Hearing the voice of God is something that I think everyone struggles with at one point or another. For some it may seem like a distant promise that can’t really take root in their lives, for others it may be a very real part of their lives. I know I have struggled with this very issue myself, many times.
According to scripture, everyone has the ability to hear the voice of God. We see this reflected in many verses in both the Old and New Testaments.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jer 33:3
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Is 30:21
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you. Ps 32:8-9
I believe we are all born with an intimate knowledge and understanding of God. We come from God to earth for a purpose here. Unfortunately the devil works diligently to ensure that he can steal from us as much of that knowledge and understanding as possible. Many are indoctrinated away from the truth of who God is through pagan religions, and others fall away from God because of painful circumstances in life leading them astray. That is why many people do not have the intimate relationship with the Father through Christ they long for.
Often times we also have things working against us in hearing the voice of God, such as oppression. I myself have had many such circumstances where demonic oppression had kept me from hearing God clearly, or at all. It caused me great devastation, as having the guidance from my Father in Heaven has been the only thing that has kept me going on many occasions.
In order to really hear the voice of God we must be willing to make Jesus a priority in our daily habits. We must find that quiet space to connect with Him everyday, where we not only pour out our hearts to Him, but also to listen. It takes time and patience to grow our muscles of discernment. Even then, we must always test every spirit, to ensure the voice we are hearing is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The devil will not stop at trying to deceive us any way he can.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Even the devil knows scripture and can taint our personal time with God if we are not careful. We need to become familiar with His voice in order to discern it from any other voice there is. The devil is quit deceptive and can make us think we are hearing from God when in fact we are not. We need to compare everything we hear to scripture, and pray for confirmation as well. If something doesn’t set right in our spirit that we feel is from Jesus, then we need to keep going back and test it to be sure.
Even Gideon, who heard the voice of God speaking to Him, tested what He heard. It seemed so outlandish to him that he wanted to be completely sure that he was acting in accordance to the true will of God. God was more than happy to allow Gideon to test His will, for He knows how important it is that we are not led astray. According to scripture there will be many false prophets and false teachers coming in the name of the Lord, and they will deceive even the elect.
I know this from personal experience as I have gone through many trials when hearing the voice of God. When I first began to hear God clearly I was amazed and excited. I felt strong and confident as I followed Jesus in many areas of my life. However, there came a time when in the midst of my time with Jesus that things changed drastically. As I spent my precious time with my Lord, suddenly it seemed that Jesus was turning sexual towards me.
At first I was very confused, but it seemed like it was Jesus, so I accepted it. Soon enough I began to really question it, and even Googled it. It turned out I was not alone in this experience. Many people had found themselves with sexual spiritual encounters with Jesus. It was through that searching that I came to realize that what was happening was not right. I was very scared and disturbed at best.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
I completely quit my time with Jesus then. I did not try to hear from Jesus anymore, as I was just too unsure of what was real and what was not. It was about that time I had my deliverance and started my journey into inner healing. It was through that healing I began to learn that because of my previous abuse I was connected to false Christs who were allowed to speak to me, and yes even make these sexual advances upon me (in a spiritual manner).
Still it took me over a year before I was willing to attempt to hear from God again. How could I be so deceived and keep trying to hear from God? It was all to scary to even think of. Slowly but surely I began working myself back into a relationship with Christ, accepting His voice as a necessary part of my life again. I still wasn’t testing the spirits in these matters though, as I didn’t even realize it was something I should do.
It wasn’t until I began to pray for answers to things happening in my life with my husband that I realized something was amiss. We would both hear different answers from God, and I knew something could not be right. Finally through guidance of a friend who had understanding of my situation, I was able to understand the importance of testing the spirits when you are hearing the voice of God.
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
1 John 4:2-3
I began to test everything I heard so I could better navigate this relationship I was still building with my Lord. Eventually I came to a place where I felt very strong and confident in hearing Him and knowing when it was Him. However, my trials in this were not over yet.
I have gone through more situations where I was positive I was hearing from God but got it wrong. Many times I do here Him very well and accurately, however, the devil has just been sneakier and learned how to interject himself in different ways than before. We all fall short of the glory of God, and no one is perfect. We are never going to perfectly hear the voice of God every time. We all are in need to test what we hear and compare it to the truth of who God says He is.
If you have struggled to hear the voice of God, or you have had problems and have given up trying, I am hear to tell you that it’s OK. No matter where we fail in this, God loves us. He is our Eternal Father and He still communicates with us daily, no matter our misgivings. If we fail to hear Him, or to hear Him accurately, He is still there, finding ways to communicate to us. We need to be open to hearing our mistakes and missteps, and know that we have so much grace on this journey.
This life is about our hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. We are never going to stray so far we cannot be with Him or receive His love. No matter where you are on this journey, be assured that our Lord is there every step of the way.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31