Can You Hear God?

Many people wonder if it is possible for us to hear God. They have never heard God speak in an audible voice, thus they determine that they have never heard God. The truth is that God does speak in an audible voice, but only very infrequently. Most of the time He speaks to us through other means.

God Does Speak Audibly

There are some places in the Bible where God did speak audibly to a person. One instance is in Genesis 17 when God appears to Abraham and establishes a covenant with him.

Another instance of this appears in Genesis 18-19 where God again appears to Abraham and warns him about destroyingSodomandGomorrah. The Scripture identifies the beings appearing to Abraham as angels, but the way that one of them speaks, this is none other than God, Himself. In fact, many scholars say that this is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus.

In modern times, many people have testified that God has spoken to them in an audible voice. However, this is very rare and we shouldn’t expect it. God usually speaks to us through other means.

God Speaks Through Angels

Perhaps the most famous illustration of this is when an angel appeared to a virgin by the name of Mary to announce that she would be the mother of Jesus.

Luke 1:26-28 (NIV): “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’” The angel then revealed to Mary that she would bear the Messiah and she was to name him Jesus.

Just before that, an angel had appeared to Zechariah and told him that his wife would conceive and bear a son. He said to call this son by the name of John. He turned out to be the person we know as John the Baptist.

Paul had a visit from an angel who rescued him from prison. Acts 5:19-20 (NIV): “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. ‘Go, stand in the temple courts,’ he said, ‘and tell the people the full message of this new life.’”

The Bible says that we will encounter angels and not even know that they are angels. Hebrews 13:2 (NIV): “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Yes, we may not be aware of it, but angels are sent to born-again Christians to help us. Hebrews 1:14 (NIV): “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Yes, God does speak through angels, but most people never get to experience this wonderful event.

God Speaks To Us In Dreams

When God speaks to us in dreams, He usually does not speak to us in plain words. Rather He gives us pictures and ideas that we must interpret. Why does He do this. The only explanation that I can give is that God is revealing much more to us through these dreams than He can by just using ordinary words.

God appeared to Joseph in Gen. 37 and told him what his future would be. In fact, God gave him two different dreams that Joseph did not understand until many years later. God revealed to Joseph that his older brothers would bow down to him and serve him. This did not happen until many years later when he became the second in command inEgypt.

How did Joseph obtain this high position inEgypt? It was through another dream that God gave to the Pharaoh and enabled Joseph to interpret it. This story is given to us in Genesis 41.

In the New Testament God appeared to another Joseph in more than one dream. It is interesting that God spoke to Mary directly through an angel, but He spoke to Joseph in dreams. In these two dreams that Joseph received, God first told him to take Mary as his wife and then later, told him to take Mary and Jesus and to flee toEgypt. In these dreams, God did seem to speak plainly to Joseph.

Yes, God does speak to us in dreams. In fact, in our modern time, many former Muslims have testified that it was through a dream that they had that led them to accept Jesus as their Savior.

If a dream sticks with you for many days after you have had that dream, be aware that it just might be God trying to tell you something.

God Speaks In A Still Small Voice

Most people find that God does not speak to them in a way that they immediately recognize as something coming from God. God revealed the reason for this to Elijah in I Kings 19:11-12 (NIV): “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

God is trying to reveal to us in this passage that this is how He usually speaks to us. It is in a gentle whisper, or as the KJV puts it: “in a still small voice.” He does this by putting thoughts in our minds. Often we think that these are our own thoughts, but this is one way that God speaks to us.

How do we know that this is God speaking and not our own thoughts or even demons putting those thoughts in our minds? The only way that we can know is by verifying what we receive with what the Bible says. God will never tell us anything that goes against His own Word, our Holy Bible.

If you start thinking about something and it stays with you for a long time, assume that it has come to you from God. First, verify it through Scripture that it does not violate Scripture. Then, start talking to God about it. It just may be something that God is guiding you to do. If you still cannot make sense of it, seek out a person who is gifted in interpreting dreams. They will help you interpret it.

God Speaks Through His Word

The most common way that God speaks to us is through His Holy Bible. In fact, any time that we think that God has spoken to us in any other way, always verify it with the Bible. God will never say anything that will go against what He has revealed to us in the Bible.

This is why daily reading of our Bible is so important. God gave us His Word so that we would know what we need to know.

As you read the Bible, be alert to what jumps out at you. It is probably God trying to get your attention and reveal something to you that you need to know.

Why Does God Speak In These Ways?

Remember this very important point. God created us as free creatures. He created us to think on our own. We are to create our own destiny. God wants us to obey Him because we love Him, not because we are afraid of being punished if we do not obey Him.

God will never force anything on us. If we do not have the desire to follow God because we love Him, then we would obey God’s voice out of the fear of being punished if we did not obey. Thus, God would be forcing us to obey Him and this is not why He created us.

If God would speak to us in a miraculous way, most people would just accept it as God telling us what to do and just do it. This is not what God wants; He wants us to want to make the right decisions in life because we want to love Him.

God wants us to have a desire to follow Him, not do it simply because we know that this is what God wants us to do.

Do you have a desire to love and follow God? If you do, listen for God’s voice. He will speak to you. Listen for His still small voice. If He speaks to you in another way, wonderful. However, just remember that God does want to communicate with you. And He will speak to you in a manner that will benefit you the most.


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