The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears- Psalm 37:17 NASB 

Hearing from God.

It’s a bit of a controversial subject. 

Even amongst Christians.  Most non-Christians and some Christians believe only really weird people actually hear from God. Others (both Christian and non-Christian) believe they hear from God all the time concerning every imaginable subject. However, it could be argued some of those messages are questionable at best. 


God does speak. 

God speaks most often, most directly and most clearly through His word (Hebrews 4:12, 2nd Kings 22:8-11). God frequently speaks through His people (Acts 2:18, Psalm 37:30). Sometimes God speaks in a still small voice that pierces our heart and makes us aware of His leading in a particular area (1st Kings 19:12). Occasionally, God still speaks through dreams (Daniel 2:1-3, Acts 2:17), and every once in a while, God speaks audibly (Luke 3:22, Genesis 16:13).   However, even in the Bible the audible voice of God seems to be more of an exception to how God speaks than the rule. Nonetheless, it does still happen. 

All that being said. 

For all sorts of reasons, most Christians would like to hear God’s voice a little more often.  Hearing from God is how we get direction. It’s how we know we are on the right path and doing the right thing. When we hear the voice of God we feel seen and loved by God. The Bible is unequivocal: God speaks to all His people, not just the weird ones. Sometimes, God even speaks to people who aren’t His people.

The question for those of us who want to hear Him is “what can I do to better hear His voice?”. 

Thankfully, God wants us to hear Him so He doesn’t overcomplicate the process. Following are four simple, basic things anyone can do to get in better tune with God so we hear His voice more often and more clearly. 

It all starts with:

Nurturing and growing our faith-

Believing in God is not requirement for hearing from God. God speaks to atheists, agnostics, heathens and pagans (Genesis 31:34, Jonah 3:3-5, Acts 2:36-38). If He didn’t no one would ever come to know God. That said, believing in God ups the odds of hearing from God substantially. The more faith we have in God the more likely we are to hear God when He does speak. A foundation of faith also helps us to understand what is directing us to do when He speaks. We grow our faith by becoming rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:7). Spiritual roots grow deep through the regular practice of hearing and reading the word of God (Romans 10:27) and through regular prayer. The more we know the Bible and spend time with God the better acquainted we become with Him. Once we are personally familiar with God and how He operates it is much easier to discern what He’s saying and what He wants us to do with His message.  

Wanting to- 

Okay, so, admittedly this one is bit of a given, however it’s worth stating anyway. God will only speak in an intimate, friendly way to those who sincerely want to hear from Him. If we want clear communication with God we have to keep our hearts open to God. It is possible for our heart to close God without our knowledge or awareness because humans are often self-deceived (Obadiah 1:3, Zechariah 7:12). The best way to keep self-deception at bay and our hearts open to God is to practice regular self-examination and deal with our sin decisively (2nd Corinthians 13:5, Matthew 5:29-31).

Fostering fear of God- 

In the ESV version of the Bible Psalm 25:14 says that “friendship with God is for those who fear Him. He makes His covenant (promises) known to them”. Other versions say God “confides in those who fear Him”, still others say “the secrets of God are for those who fear Him”. They all means the same thing: God speaks most clearly and most intimately to those fear Him. Fearing God doesn’t mean we cower in dread of Him. It does mean we believe what He says enough to do what He tells us to do.  Fearing God also means we understand and embrace the “otherness” of God. Much of today’s teaching concerning God makes Him out to be a slightly bigger, smarter human. This teaching makes God out to be a really nice guy who never gets worked-up about anything. It’s true, God is kind. Kindness is fundamental aspect of His character. However, God is more than just nice. He is also holy, just and righteous. People who fear God embrace all aspects of God’s character not just the ones that give us good feels.  

And finally:

We must obey what we do hear. 

The speediest most effective way to get God to stop talking is for us to ignore His instruction and choose to do our own thing for our own glory. When we quit obeying, the Bible no longer make sense and the still small voice of God goes from still and small to radio silence. Thankfully all we have to do to get God talking again is go back to the same obedience we practiced in the beginning of relationship with God (Revelation 2:4-5). The simple act of repentance brings immediate joy, reopens the channels of communication with God and reestablishes closeness with God (Acts 3:19).