I had a dream tonight a few years ago. It was a dream of someone who I know and was a dear friend of mine.
In the dream I was talking to her on the phone finding out why she made the decisions she made. We got cut off. I tried calling back and when the person answered, it was a different voice. A voice that was obviously trying to be sweet in a phony way.
That is when I woke up. I felt that God was speaking to me but I didn’t know what.
Have you ever wondered if God really speaks to you?
How do know if it really is the voice of God or if it was a case of last night’s pizza?
Have you desired to have a real relationship with God but it always seemed to be one way where you are doing the speaking and you are wondering if what you are saying is hitting the ceiling or getting to where God is hearing?
Well I hope I am able to give you some insight on whether or not you are hearing God and give you some tips on how to hear God.
How To Improve Your Skills for Hearing the Voice of God
16 years ago, I went through the pain and tragedy of divorce.
This set me down the path to really knowing if God would ever use me again. You see there is a common doctrine out there that you cannot be a leader in the church if you are divorced.
I needed to hear the voice of God.
Over an 16 year process I found out both the answer to my question and how to know if God is speaking to you.
Here are 4 things that both are biblical and practical to help you improve your skills at hearing the voice of Jesus, and in discerning whether or not it really is the voice of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will highlight a passage of scripture to you
Many times the Holy Spirit will illuminate a passage of scripture to you.
As I was doing my daily bible reading, which I normally do online to be honest, because I can read a passage from any translation I want, and if I am not understanding something in the NKJV bible, then I can look at it in the New Living Translation, or the Message Bible. Those are my favorites.
I was reading along and this verse shot out at me like I cruise missile.
The gifts and calling of God is irrevocable.
I knew it was God speaking to me about what He had called me to do when I was yet in my teens. I sensed the confirmation in my spirit that I was hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
When you have a verse leap off the page to you, it is a very good sign that you are hearing the voice of God.
The still small voice of God will speak to your spirit
Many times, especially when you are just going about your business, you will get what the world calls a hunch, or an intuition, or you just know that something is about to happen or what you are to do.
This is what the Bible calls a still small voice.
There was a time during this period after the divorce where I was struggling with depression. It is pretty normal when you go through a crisis of that magnitude or greater, to experience a season of depression.
Well I was driving my truck down I-80 between Elko Nevada and Salt Lake City, and that still small voice came to me and asked me
“How much do I love you?”
Of which I answered, “Unconditionally Lord”.
He then asked
“Then why do you hate what I love?”
Bingo! As soon as I heard that and His heart, His meaning behind the question, the depression lifted!
I truly had been listening to the voice of God.
You may receive a dream or vision
A vision is seeing either physically or in your spirit, a picture or scene, like a movie but it has spiritual ramifications.
Notice all the times the O.T. prophets saw visions, they did not see something literally, but it had to be interpreted.
A dream is similar with the exception that you get it while you are sleeping.
I have found in my experience, that when you receive a dream or vision, you also sense the sweet presence of Jesus as it is happening or when you wake up. That it is accompanied by that still small voice shortly after.
In other words, you are given at least part of the meaning of that vision or dream. The light bulb goes on so to say.
Just as tonight, I sensed the presence of the Lord when I awoke, and now I am quieting my heart and listening to see if the Holy Spirit speaks through that still small voice.
A year and a half or so ago, I had a vision. I was sitting in my bedroom counseling someone online. All of a sudden in my spirit I saw myself speaking at a church.
There was a scripture in the background Jeremiah 29:11. Here I am now in my 6th year of being back in pastoral ministry.
You may hear the voice of Jesus through someone else you know
God will use other people to speak to you. Whether or not you come from a non-charismatic background and God uses your pastor, or an elder or deacon or a Sunday school teacher, or if you come from a charismatic background and either a prophetic person or just someone led of the Spirit, God will use people to speak into your life.
In Acts 21:8-11 Paul had a prophet give him a word from God. It was a genuine word, and at first glance you would think that it was a warning for Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but instead it was obviously a confirmation of what Paul had already heard from the Holy Spirit on what He was to do next, because Paul was not deterred.
You must remember that when somebody gives you a word from God. They are only the messenger, not the interpreter.
They give you what God gives them to give, but it is up to you, and maybe some close counselors, to determine the meaning and application of that word.
Listening For the Voice of God
I was given 3 prophetic words 9 years ago concerning a return to pastoral ministry. 3 people in 3 different churches, who did not know me, gave me similar words that God was going to return me to ministry.
Then 8 years passed and nothing happened. I was faithful in making myself available, and serving in whatever way I could, but nothing happened.
Then 6 months before I received the appointment to the church I pastor now, I received 3 more words that the time was soon to return to pastoral ministry.
So was the dream I had tonight from God? I suspect so, but I am not sure yet. I am still waiting to hear that still small voice and have the light bulb go on. In the meantime, I am listening.
Listening to hear the heart of the Father.
Listening to hear the voice of my Savior.
Listening to the gentle brush of dove’s wings of the Holy Spirit.
Update: It was not for another 6 months or so that I found out the meaning of the dream I talked about in the beginning of this article. The dear friend that I talked about was not being sincere with me. God was trying to protect me from further heartache.