Knowing God's Voice

Knowing God’s Voice

Knowing God's Voice is the key to finding peace in the chaotic whispers of life. Every day, God has something to say to you. Even when He seems to be quiet, God is still saying something.

Knowing God's Voice Means We Can Hear God Speak to Us

Everyone, whether or not they identify as Christians, wants to hear from God. Even though we all desire to hear from God, for the majority of us, the process is somewhat mysterious. Most of the time, we have no idea how to hear God consistently. However, it is essential for our spiritual growth to hear and comprehend what God is saying.

John 10:27 is a very important Bible verse when we talk about knowing God’s voice. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” In this verse, John gives us a few very crucial implications to understand if we want to know the voice of God. These implications are:

  • There is a God who has revealed Himself to man through the written record of His Word, the Holy Bible.
  • The Bible is the inspired written record of God’s communication to man. It details the ways in which God spoke to man and the responses of individuals and nations to His voice.
  • The Bible verifies that believers can know the voice of God. “Jesus said: I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:14,16,27)
  • God has something important to say to mankind. We are warned: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7). The warning to listen confirms that what He has to say is important.
  • God still speaks today. The phrase “today, if you hear my voice” confirms that God still speaks to men in present times just as He did in times past.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

Table of Contents

A Guide to Knowing God's Voice. Different Ways to Hear from God.

The Written Word of God

God speaks to man through His written Word. Two important notes:

God does not need to speak to you concerning things already revealed in the Scriptures.

When God doesn’t speak through the Bible and uses other methods to communicate, they will never conflict with His written Word.

So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing is through the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17)

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)


There are many Biblical examples of God speaking as a result of prayer.

After Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted (went without food for spiritual reasons), God spoke to them:

And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, “Separate unto me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. ” (Acts 13:2-3)

Another verse is the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Knowing God's Voice - Prayer


God communicates His will through Christian counselors.

There are many Biblical examples of people seeking guidance from men of God.

The Bible states: Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors, there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14).

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15).


God reveals His plan through circumstances. The life of Joseph in Genesis 37–50 is a good illustration.

Joseph believed his brothers’ sale into slavery in Egypt was God’s will. Years later, hear his words to his brothers. “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.” (Gen 45:5-8)

In a time of famine, God wants Joseph to save thousands of lives beyond his control.

Paul provided fascinating remarks in I Thessalonians 2:18. He told believers at Thessalonica that Satan blocked him from visiting. He wrote to the Thessalonica church since he couldn’t visit. Satan’s hindering produced I Thessalonians, and Paul’s essential message had a larger influence than a visit. It has been passed down for ages to benefit Christians.

Nothing happens without God’s knowledge. God is in charge, even when circumstances seem to hinder His will. Satan or man, God can use every deed for His own purposes. God promises a great thing about circumstances:

The Bible says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

A word of caution – Don’t use circumstances alone to determine God’s will. Jonah was instructed by God to preach in Nineveh. A ferry to Tarsus was departing the dock when he arrived. Instead of Nineveh, he took this boat. He might have said, “There is a cabin open on this boat going the opposite direction, so it must be God’s will that I go.”

The circumstances of life must be considered in light of God’s other revelations. God had already told Jonah His will. Jonah exploited events to his advantage.

Open and Closed Doors

Life circumstances create “open and closed doors.” Paul wrote the Corinthians: “In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” (I Corinthians 16:8–9)

Paul chose to stay in Ephesus because the Holy Spirit provided him with a magnificent chance for Christian service. This was an open door.

A closed door doesn’t mean you have missed God’s will. It does not mean His will is not to do something. Later, Paul preached in Asia. God is guiding and directing you by closing a door.

He leads through closed and open doors. Sometimes a door is closed because it is not the right timing in the plan of God. You may enter that door later.


Angels who visited Lot at his Sodom home gave him guidance. He was told to leave Sodom because the judgement of God was going to fall on the city (Gen. 19).

An angel spoke to Philip and told him to go to Samaria (Acts 8:26).
The births of John the Baptist and Jesus were announced by angels (Luke 1).

There are numerous Biblical records of angels appearing to communicate the will of God to man. You can find other examples in your own study of the Scriptures.


Miracles are supernatural events that humans cannot perform.

1 Kings 18 records a miracle where God spoke. Elijah was instructed to build an altar for the Lord. Elijah prepared the altar and cried:

“O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

Immediately, the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

Through this miracle, God revealed Himself as the true and living God to idolaters.

God also reveals His will through natural wonders. A pillar of fire and a cloud guided Israel through the desert, night and day.


Even in our sleep, God wants us to hear His voice. He speaks to us through supernatural dreams that are precise and reveal His will. Unlike ordinary dreams we all have, these are unique to God’s communication with us.

Biblical examples include:

  • In a dream, God warned Abimelech about kidnapping Abraham’s wife.
    Sarah. (Gen. 20:3)
  • Jacob dreamed that an angel reminded him of his vow to God. (Gen 31:11-13)
  • Joseph’s dreams revealed God’s will. (Gen. 37)
  • Solomon dreamed that God allowed him to ask for whatever he wanted. (1 Kings 3:5)
  • Because of a terrible king, shepherds were led home by a dream. (Matthew 2:12-13)
Knowing God's Voice - Dreams


Visions are like dreams, but they differ because you are awake. Visions may be seen with spiritual eyes as well as physical eyes. God shows you something in your spirit even though you can’t see it with your natural eyes.

God used visions to connect with humans.

  • God gave Abraham a wonderful promise in a vision. (Gen. 15)
  • The book of Daniel is filled with visions (as well as dreams). God used these to reveal many things about the future of the world.
  • He spoke to many other Old Testament prophets through visions.
  • Peter had a vision about spreading the Gospel to Gentiles. (Acts 10)
  • Through a vision, Paul was sent to Macedonia. (Acts 16:9)
  • Paul had a nighttime vision from God. Acts 18:9-10
  • The Apostle John’s vision inspired the Bible’s final book, Revelation.

The Inner Voice of The Holy Spirit

Communication from God to man is mostly through the Spirit’s inner voice. This is called “led by the Spirit”. “Led by the Spirit” implies a spiritual life, something that can’t happen when you are dead in sin. (Romans 8:14) 

Being guided by the Spirit implies an inability to lead yourself. God gives you a new, receptive spirit upon salvation. (Ezekiel 36:26-27). 

When you are led by the Spirit, the will of God is revealed to your spirit by his Spirit. One of the ministries of the Spirit is guidance. (John 16:13)

The Lord’s lamp is man’s spirit, according to Proverbs. (Proverbs 20:27). Man’s spirit is God’s candle. Candles illuminate the gloom in nature. God guides you spiritually with your spirit’s candle. He illuminates and guides your spirit.

God also uses the inward voice of the Holy Spirit to convict your conscience. The conscience is an inward awareness of right and wrong given by God.

Many verses in Proverbs imply that God influences human thoughts and consciences to steer them into His will. (Proverbs 16:1, 9, 21:1)

Feeling is the voice of the body. God doesn’t lead through emotion. Since the flesh opposes the spirit, sensations might fool you.

Reason is the voice of the mind. God’s ways are mysterious. His thought processes are much higher than yours.

Conscience is the voice of the spirit of man and guides you to God’s perfect will. The Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit. The spirit convicts the conscience. This aligns you with God. The Holy Spirit convicts the conscience, yet ignoring it might “seared” it. (1 Timothy 4:2) hardens it to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

You must train your spirit to be sensitive to God. Education focuses on intellectual growth. Physical development is prioritised through exercise and sports. Spiritual development is often neglected. The mind and spirit can be educated. Your spirit can strengthen like your body. Bible meditation trains your spirit. (Joshua 1:8)

Gifts of the Spirit

Spiritual gifts are also used by God to speak to man. Spiritual gifts are special abilities given by the Spirit. Several of these gifts enable you to receive communication from God.

  • Tongues and Interpretation
  • Prophecy
  • Discernment
  • Wisdom and
  • Knowledge.

Miscellaneous Methods

The Bible also gives advice through the use of fleeces and the casting of lots.

  • The casting of lots was a method of chance. It was only used before the coming of the Holy Spirit in a new dimension. After the Holy Spirit became available to guide people (Acts 2), there is no record of it being used again.
  • We learned that the Bible only talks about a fleece once. Gideon used it when the country was in big trouble. It was a miracle sign that was used to prove something, not to show direction or guidance.

BUT ... God is Not Limited

We must realise that we are able to hear the voice of the Lord in various ways. Often, we try to fit God into a predetermined mould, expecting Him to speak only in familiar ways. However, as discussed in this article, there are numerous ways to discern His voice and listen to God. There is no requirement for him to use a particular form of communication. Consider the following examples:


  • He struck a rock with his rod. When he did, water poured out of the rock.
  • God asked Moses to speak to the rock again when the Israelites were thirsty. Moses struck the rock again. God punished Moses. His story illustrates the importance of waiting for guidance from God even when facing a familiar situation. Any previous patterns you have encountered are not limiting God.


Elijah received several extraordinary messages from God. Elijah’s unique experience showed the necessity of knowing God’s voice.

  • Elijah was commanded to wait on a mountain for God to speak. Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper (a small voice).”


God guided Paul’s missionary work in several ways:

  • A dazzling light and heavenly voice guided Paul on the Damascus journey. (Acts 9:1-8)
  • Believers alerted Paul to a conspiracy to kill him. (Acts 9:20-25)
  • God used Barnabas to connect Paul and the disciples. (Acts 9:20-28)
  • Believers were responsible for saving Paul. (Acts 9:29-30)
  • God provided Paul with discernment to save an occultist. (Acts 13:6-12)
  • Paul became a missionary through prayer and the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:2-4)
  • Agabus foretold Paul’s Jerusalem experience (Acts 21:10–14).
  • Paul had dreams and visions from God. (Acts 22:18; 26:19; 27:23–24)
  • An effective door of service for the Lord changed Paul’s plans. (Cor 16:8-10)


When David was a young man, he engaged in combat with Goliath, a foe of God’s people. God instructed David not to employ conventional weapons of war, despite the fact that Goliath was a huge and well-armed opponent. David used a slingshot. David won a great triumph by killing the opponent with a single, well-aimed shot to the forehead.

Later on, if David’s nephew Abishai hadn’t saved him, he might have been killed by a giant named Isbibenob.

Are we to infer that God was present when David faced Goliath but absent when he faced the second giant? No.  God just went about it in a different way. God first took advantage of David’s slinging prowess. He again made use of Abishai’s military prowess.

Knowing God's Voice - A Conclusion

In conclusion, do not lose patience if God does not choose to speak to you as He has in the past. Do not be misled if His will for you in a comparable circumstance is different from what it was before. God is not bound by conventional means of communication. The great Creator is also a great Communicator. His methods are unlimited.

A sure way to know is to ensure that you are willing to hear and are in a personal relationship with God. Be patient; you will hear Him speak and discern His voice more clearly from the voice of strangers.

In our course “The Gentle Whisper,” we focus on knowing God’s voice and the discovery of the language of God. Due to the popularity of this course, we place your name on our waiting list and advise you by email when the next course is scheduled. This course on knowing God’s voice is presented through video training in our online learning centre and includes all the videos, worksheets, and a workbook. If you want to learn more on the subject of “Knowing God’s Voice,” join us in “The Gentle Whisper” course by adding your name to the waiting list!

The Gentle Whisper

Discover The Language and Voice of God