Listening to God’s voice is important to understand how God wants you to live. But how do you know if you listen to God’s voice?
In the Old Testament, listening to God’s voice is a very important aspect for the life of God’s people.
To understand His voice, Moses said: “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His eyes, if you obey His commandments and obey all His ordinances, then … ” ( Exodus 15: 26).
And in Exodus 19: 3-6 the Lord spoke again to Moses: “So you must say to the house of Jacob and proclaim the Israelites (…): now then, if you carefully obey My voice and obey My covenant, then … ‘
From both of these texts it appears that the condition of His voice can be understood to be followed by rich promises for the people of Israel.
Also for us, if we want to listen to Him! And be willing to make Him the service in all areas of our lives. Our total surrender to Him. That is a personal decision, which also has rich promises.
In the New Testament, in the teaching of Jesus, listening to God’s voice is very important. About the relationship between Him, the Shepherd, and them, the sheep, between the Lord and those who belong to Him, He says: “the sheep hear his voice,” He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice ” (John 10: 3-5).
It is from a personal relationship with the Lord, when we attune to Him while reading His Word, that we will experience what He wants to say to us. The Holy Spirit brings the Word to life and leads us day by day; “After all, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are children of God” (Romans 8:14). The basic text is in the present tense and emphasizes being constantly led.
In obedience we always give Him the helm of our life ship. Knowing that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).
Test what you hear
How do we know for sure that we have understood God’s voice and in which direction He wants our life ship to head?
The following keys are extremely important:
- First of all we must test our inner conviction against the Word, because God’s guidance is never in contradiction with His Word. Because many voices come to us, there is a danger of deception. There is an important warning in Isaiah 8:20: “If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no dawn for them.”
- If we are at the center of God’s will, we may also see confirmation in the circumstances. With that the Lord wants to indicate that we are on the right track.
We receive an important form of confirmation of our inner conviction that God has spoken to us from fellow believers (Proverbs 11:14). It is good to ask for advice from people who have been on the road with the Lord for many years.
- When we finally have to make a decision, when we come to a crossroads and start to wonder which direction to take. Then experiencing peace is crucial. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts …” (Colossians 3:15) The word translated with ruling means something like the action of a referee making a decision.
Of course, understanding God’s voice can cause some unrest. For example, if a radical change in our current way of life is required of us. But in the end, speaking the heavenly Father will lead to deep inner peace. Therefore, do not change course until you have received that deep inner peace. The peace of God beyond all understanding (Philippians 4: 7).
God has the best in store for us if we heed His guidelines. When we hear His voice from worship in silence: “Truly my soul turns silently to God” (Psalm 62: 2 NIV). This is an attitude of humility and that we are correctable.
“But I have given this commandment unto them, Hear ye my voice, and I will be my God, and thou shalt be my people, and walk all the way that I command thee, that it may be well with thee” (Jeremiah 7) 23).
What a promise from our Father when we listen to His voice and direct our ways to it!