How did I learn to hear God’s voice?

 First, I had to surrender to God with a childlike trust, laying every other source or crutch down on the altar. My passion had to be hearing God and Him alone. I begin by binding any other spirit voice but the voice of the Holy Spirit, so that I would know that every inner voice I heard is either mine or Father God’s – all day long. Once I have bound every other spirit voice, I choose to believe that Father God, who has asked me to minister, will be faithful to fill my mouth, if I will open it in faith. Hearing God's voice belongs to the sheep. I am His sheep and His sheep hear His voice.

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. NIV

 I commanded my mind to yield to my spirit. My thoughts sound analytic or like reason, but God’s voice sounds like a spontaneous thought that would not usually come from my natural mind. Satan’s voice is often high pressure, accusing, condemning, divisive or destructive. God’s voice edifies, encourages, comforts, teaches, creates, loves, heals and gives life. I repented of doubt and unbelief and presented my ears and eyes to God, inviting Him to speak to me or to give me vision.

My next challenge was to receive confidence that I was hearing God's voice.. God’s voice is a spontaneous flow that comes from communion with Him as a life-style, being one spirit with His Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17, Jn.15) I am a branch grafted into the vine and His sap flows through me. The Bible describes God’s prophetic voice as “naba” which literally means to “bubble up.” God’s voice is like a river within me that bubbles up all through the day. When I am yielded to Him, it is as simple as taking dictation but far more exciting because I am taking dictation from the God of the universe! (It takes no great talent or effort on my part to hear.)

 I know that God may cause me to sense something or see something in the spirit. For verses about sensing and seeing in the spirit, see “Seeing in the Spirit” is not new age. From Genesis to Revelation God has wanted us to have open spiritual eyes. I choose to believe that God is pouring out His Spirit on ALL flesh and ALL will be able to see spiritual visions and dream spiritual dreams. (Acts 2:17)

 My biggest challenge was to trust my spiritual ears to hear God's voice for others. The Holy Spirit convinced me that I didn’t have to know precisely how every prophetic word applied in order to deliver it. I pressed in to know God and His voice. At first, it was kind of like going from written letters to E-mail to Instant Messenger. Now, after years of "constant use," I can discern Him readily, no matter where I am. I joke and say I have a “wireless high speed connection” now. Apostle Paul said our spiritual senses are trained by "constant use;" I began to trust my spiritual eyes, ears and senses to discern rightly. (Heb. 5:14)

 God often tells us more than He wants to speak to others. Just ask, and He will clarify what is to be prayed, what is to be shared with leadership and what is to be prophesied to the receiver. Prophetic words will usually be for exhortation, encouragement or consolation unless we are leadership over the receiver(s) or are authorized to speak with correction, direction or reproof. (1 Cor. 12, 14) God will anoint one who is accountable to Him and to Godly leadership.

 My fulfillment comes as I lay all else on the altar in order to hear God's voice, His heart and His desires. God fills me with His compassion and motivation to impart clarity, healing, vision, faith, peace and the power to fulfill His calling. Prophetic words usually come gently across my spirit, as a still small voice. They are more healing, nurturing, loving, encouraging, wise and more knowledgeable than my natural thoughts are. (1 Kings 19:12)

 In 1 Corinthians 14, God commands us to desire spiritual gifts and to covet to prophesy. I had to attend a “school of the prophets” (see 1 Samuel) for 12 weeks before I began to have confidence that I could hear God's voice and that I wouldn’t hurt people! They didn’t give me a gift but they taught me how to minister in the anointing and to be accountable.

 When I began to see or sense things in my spirit, I would ask Father God, "Is that you?" I soon realized that I had been sensing and hearing our Father all along but I had been grouping all my thoughts together without distinguishing His spontaneous thoughts in my spiritual mind from reasoning in my natural mind. Like Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice.”

 I learned to place the Cross of Christ between me and any self-centered flesh (that I was not aware of or had not finished bringing it to death on the cross.) I didn’t want soulish attitudes or motivations to color pure prophetic words. Jesus only speaks the words the Father has spoken to Him (John 5:19-20) and I choose to submit to God’s voice too.

 Yes, like Jesus, we are only to say what our Father says to say and do what our Father says to do. God never asked us to “figure out what to do or say” in our own strength. To do so is to walk after the flesh, instead of the Spirit. As believers, who have made Jesus Lord of our lives, we have the mind of Christ because we have Christ in us, our hope of glory. This is the mystery of the Gospel: Christ alone can live the Christian life - in us and through us - for God's glory.

Col 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. NIV

 Now I am blessed as I partner with God to minister words of knowledge, wisdom or prophetic words that fill the heart of the receiver with a knowing that their God knows their heart’s desire and He is ready to respond. It was God’s desire from the beginning to walk in the cool of the garden with His people, sharing heart to heart - spirit to spirit. We can choose to believe that we too are one spirit with His Spirit, we are His sheep, we hear His voice and we obey.

John 18:37b …. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. NKJV

 How do you begin? I would suggest that you begin like King David began. As a shepherd boy, he would get alone, worship God, listen to God's voice and journal his experiences. We know them as Psalms. He had a strong passion to hear God's voice. If you will do what David did for even a month, you will notice that you are becoming a person after God’s heart too. It doesn’t have to be a long time. God can say a lot in a few minutes.

  1. Recognize God's voice as spontaneous thoughts that light upon your mind

  2. Quiet yourself before God, away from distractions

  3. Watch to see what God will say to you (look for vision)

  4. Journal what God is saying and your response to God

Rev 3:20-21 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. NKJV