In these last days it's more important than ever for us to fine-tune our spiritual ears to hear the Lord's voice. God is constantly speaking to us. He's trying to warn us of things to come. So many times we simply shrug it off. We think, "That's just me." But it's not. It's the Holy Spirit's voice.
How Can I Be Sure It's God?
One difficulty I've seen in the Body of Christ is an inability to recognize the voice of the Lord. It's extremely difficult to follow God's instructions if you don't know when He's speaking to you. Many think they are hearing God's voice when they are actually listening to the voices of others or even to the voice of their own desires.
Remember when the Lord spoke to the boy Samuel and he did not recognize His voice? (See 1 Sam. 3:1–10.) Samuel thought the prophet Eli was calling him.
Finally Eli said to the young boy, "Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth" (vv. 9–10).
Each of us has to fine-tune our spirit to hear the Holy Spirit's voice. Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." In Proverbs 20:27 we read, "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly." When explaining this scripture, my father-in-law, Kenneth E. Hagin, would say, "The spirit of man is the light bulb of the Lord. God will guide us through our spirits."
"The spirit of man
is the light bulb of the Lord.
God will guide us
through our spirits."
Getting Alone With God
To be able to hear God's voice, we must set aside time to wait in His presence and allow Him to talk to us. It's when we are quiet before the Lord that we can hear from Him most clearly.
I remember how the prophet Elijah learned to hear the voice of the Lord. (See 1 Kings 19:11–13.) God told Elijah to stand before Him on the mountain and a great wind began to blow. But the Lord's voice was not in the wind. Then an earthquake shook the mountain, but the Lord was not speaking through the earthquake. Next a fire began to blaze and roar, but God's voice was not in the fire. At last, Elijah heard a still, small voice—the voice of the Lord speaking to him.
So many times in our fast-paced world, we don't get quiet enough to hear the still, small voice of God. Or we don't spend enough time communing with the Lord to be able to hear him speak to us.
Communing with the Lord does not mean that we pray, "OK, God, I need an answer about this situation," and then expect Him to answer us
immediately. Often we get impatient in our prayer times and make up an answer ourselves and decide that it's God's answer. We head in a certain direction or make a decision and then wonder why things don't go well.
CONSIDER: Is it hard for you to hear God's voice? If so, are you simply too busy?
What can you cut out of your everyday life so you can spend quality time with Him?
Waiting on the Lord
How much time have you spent waiting on the Lord? David mastered the art of waiting on the Lord. He referred to it numerous times in his writings. Here are two examples: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14); and "Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land" (Ps. 37:34).
In hearing the voice of God or being led by His Spirit, I have found that God speaks to me after I have spent considerable time meditating on the matter. To put it simply, I make my request known unto God first, as the Bible says in Philippians 4:6—"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
I state my situation in simple language, just as I would when asking someone for advice in the natural. Then I begin to thank the Lord for the answer. And I add, "Lord, help me be sensitive to Your voice when You speak."
In my prayer times after that, I briefly remind the Lord that I need an answer to my request. Often when I'm getting ready in the morning or driving in the car, I will say, "Thank You for the answer and the solution to this problem."
"Lord, help me
to Your voice
when You speak."
Then I rest in peace. I may not have direction at the moment, but I am confident that the answer will come. I do not worry or fret about it. When I am tempted to be anxious or concerned, I simply remind the Lord that I need an answer.
That answer may come days, weeks, or even months later. I may be worshipping and praising the Lord when suddenly, out of my spirit will come thoughts that are the answer to what I have asked Him. At that moment I may not be thinking about the request. Therefore, I know that these are not my thoughts but the thoughts of the Lord. He is enlightening my spirit and giving me the wisdom I asked Him for.
Each day in life we encounter crossroads. To know which way to take, it's vital that we listen to God's voice and let Him direct our steps. We need to keep our ears open continually to hear from His heart. We must learn to take His path for us, walk when He says walk, and stop when He says stop.
Whether you're contemplating major adjustments or minor changes, listen closely to the voice of the Lord. Open your heart to Him, and He will direct your steps. As you wait in His presence, He will show you the right way to go.
The more you commune with the Lord and worship Him, the clearer His voice will be and the more specific His directions will become. He will fill your life with new purpose and give you fresh passion. He will renew your vision and give you a newness and freshness in your heart—a freshness that can only come when you hear the voice of God!