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A Sure-Fire Way to Hear God Speak: 3 Problems Solved

Staff Member
Have you ever wondered, "Why can't I hear God?"

Dr. Cynthia Johnson

Have you ever wished you had a sure-fire way of hearing what God thinks about something?

I will share here the most helpful strategy I have found for clearly hearing God speak.

With this strategy, I get longer words and more understanding than any other way.

But first we will look at the three main problems I see that people have with hearing God.

In the beginning your Creator Father blew His spirit-breath into your body.

You were created spirit, soul, and body, and so you are automatically equipped with spiritual senses to hear, see and perceive spiritually.

We each have physical and spiritual senses.

You have heard of a person having “a sixth sense,” or a “gut feeling,” or using "intuition." Those are simply terms for being spiritually aware.

Most of us have developed our rational mind and physical senses but neglected our spiritual senses. Many believers remain spiritually unaware most of the time.

However, because you are a human spirit, you can hear God’s Spirit communicate to you.

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

Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t I hear Him?

1. The main problem people have with hearing God’s voice is that they misunderstand “how” He speaks.

In the Garden of Eden, the first humans experienced God’s communication to them in their spirits. Even though they did not know everything, their spiritual understanding was pure.

Their hearts were not cluttered with sin. Their senses were sharp, perceptive, and clear. They understood all the ways God spoke to them—until they sinned.

Today we have access to an even better relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

We can understand His communication to us AND experience His presence living inside.

We must understand that He speaks in a variety of ways.

He can speak through words in the Bible that are highlighted to you. He can speak through visions, pictures,[1] or dreams.[2]

He can speak through our personal emotions,[3] especially through the presence of peace or unrest in our heart. Have you ever felt agitated until you did what you knew was the right thing to do?

He speaks through circumstances—remember Jonah.

He can use words that stand out to you in the Bible, or words from a pastor, or from a TV show.

He can use anything He desires to get a message to you. One time in the Bible, God spoke audibly to Balaam using Balaam’s donkey’s voice.

The major way He speaks is through spontaneous flowing thoughts to your mind or heart.[4]

Now this is where people get confused, so here is a checklist to help sort things out.

Characteristics for Recognizing God’s Thoughts:

-God’s thoughts will always line up with the Bible.

-God’s thoughts are spontaneous and are not your own reasoned thoughts in a logical thought progression. This means you must begin to recognize spontaneous flowing thoughts that come to you.

-Jesus lived out of an inner flow of thoughts and pictures from His Father (you can look that up in John 5:19-20, 30).

-God’s thoughts flow easily and are expressed in first person.

-God’s thoughts will be expressed through your personal style and speech, just as each of the Gospel writer’s personalities came through in their writings.

-Many times, His voice will sound a lot like your thoughts, but you will know they did not come from you.

-God’s thoughts are gentle and easily cut off by stress or exertion of the self-will.

-God’s thoughts will be wiser, more healing, more loving, and more concerned about the heart motive than your own personal thoughts.

-God’s thoughts will cause a special reaction inside you. They will cause excitement, conviction, faith, life, awe, joy, love, and peace.

-Negative or accusing thoughts are not God.

-When you embrace God’s thoughts, there is a grace, strength, and joy to carry His thoughts and words out.

Your spiritual senses are trained by becoming more and more sensitive to God’s thoughts and communications.

2. The second major problem people have in hearing God is that their minds are cluttered.

Our lives are hectic and full of many things. Our thoughts are here, there, and everywhere. It becomes difficult to lay distractions aside and still our mind, will, and emotions. We must learn to still our minds and hearts to clearly hear God’s voice on a regular basis.

The value of stillness and quietness was pointed out to Elijah in the cave at Mt. Horeb.

Elijah witnessed the mighty earthquake ripping and breaking the rocks to pieces, fierce winds and fire.

God’s voice was not in the massive display of power, but the quiet and still calmness.

Elijah heard the “gentle whisper,” also translated “quiet whisper,” or, as the King James translates, the “still small voice.”[5]

In the quietness and peacefulness of our soul we recognize the deep stirring of the presence of God.

It is in the peaceful praise of our hearts that we recognize the river of living water flowing from our inner being. Here we drink and are satisfied.[6]

It is sometimes difficult to still all the noise, voices, and thoughts in life.

Learning to quiet our soul is important to hearing God’s gentle voice in our inner being.

If you focus on a verse of Scripture, it will still your mind. I often read Scripture to still my mind at bedtime.

As you learn to still your mind, you will learn to become more aware of God’s presence than you have ever been before.

(You can get my free resource list of simple & easy practical ideas that help increase your awareness of God’spresence: click here.)

In addition, you must make sure there is no unforgiveness or disobedience in your heart that would hinder the flow of His communication.

3. The third major problem people have with hearing God’s voice is that they don’t ask Him any questions.

The Holy Spirit will teach, guide, and direct; however, many times as humans we tend to lean on our own understanding and forget to ask questions.

The apostle James bluntly says, “You do not have because you do not ask.”

Begin asking questions.

The most helpful way I have found to get answers to my questions is to practice asking, then listen, and then write down the thoughts that come to my mind. I first learned this strategy from Dr. Mark Virkler.

He writes about four keys to hearing and communicating with God, taken from Habakkuk 2:1-3 and Rev 1:10-11.

Simply stated, the four keys are:

1. Set your mind on Jesus. Focus on the truth of Jesus Christ in some manner (a picture of Jesus in one’s mind). You may also focus on a Scripture, pray in tongues, or listen to Christian music that helps focus your mind on Jesus.

2. Be still. Quiet yourself to hear His voice. Ps 46:10 tells us to, “Cease striving [let go, relax] and know that I am God.” The King James and other versions render this, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

3. Listen. Recognize God’s voice as spontaneous thoughts that light upon the mind. Begin to notice that your thoughts are analytical and progress logically from one thing to the next. Thoughts from God are spontaneous, flowing from the Holy Spirit living-water-well inside you (2 Cor 10:4-5; Gal 2:20; John 7:37-39).

4. Write. Write your question, “What would you say to me today, Lord?” Then write down the flow of thoughts and/or pictures that light upon your mind in return.

This is a biblical two-way journaling method to help you grow in hearing the voice of God. It is a discussion between you and God.

It is simply recording prayers and then recording what you sense to be the answer from God. We see David did the same thing in the Psalms.

The reason journaling helps so much, is that you can just simply write down whatever spontaneously comes to mind without judging. There is always time to judge later.

Just let the words flow and write—this is practice hearing!

It is helpful to have several mentors, spiritual leaders, or other spiritual persons that can help you to evaluate if what you are receiving is from God.

When you begin to hear our Lord’s voice in two-way journaling, you will find He gives healing, love, and affirmation.

He will speak edification, exhortation, and comfort to your heart.[8]

He will lead you into a fuller love relationship with Himself and provide encouragement and love.