Wondering How to Hear from God?


People want to hear from God for different reasons. Some are looking for direction in life. Others are seeking answers to questions they have. In other cases, people are looking for comfort, peace, and assurance. But how and where does God speak to people? How can people hear from him?

The primary way Christians can hear from God today is through the Bible, which is his Spirit-inspired communication to humanity. He also speaks to his children through prayer and other people, but messages heard through those channels must be assessed according to the Bible.

Why is the Bible the main way God speaks to people today? What are examples of the different ways people heard from God in the Bible? Has God ever spoken through angels and dreams? What Bible verses teach about how to hear from God? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see How Does God Speak To Us? to learn more.

Bible reading
Is prayer a good way to hear from God? See below

The Bible is the primary way that people can hear from God today

The Bible is God’s Spirit-inspired communication to people in written form. It is his special revelation to people. Because of this, the Bible teaches that people should read it daily (Ps. 1:2, Acts 17:11), diligently (Deut. 29:9, 1 Tim. 2:15), and in the context of a community of believers (2 Pet. 1:20).

  • The Bible is inspired: 2 Timothy 3:16 reads, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Inspiration extends to the words of Scripture themselves (1 Cor. 2:13) as well as to every word (Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 3:1), letter (Matt. 5:17-18), and tense (Matt. 22:23-33).
  • The Bible is inerrant: The term “inerrant” means “without error.” Some Christians firmly believe and defend the concept of inerrancy. Others don’t believe in inerrancy at all. Some others don’t like the term “inerrancy” but agree with some of its implications. Inerrancy isn’t just a statement about what isn’t true of Scripture (that it has errors), but it’s an affirmation that what it teaches about theology, science, history, and geography (Matt. 4:4, John 10:34-35) are truthful.
  • The Bible is infallibility: Infallibility means that Scripture doesn’t lead readers astray in matters of faith and Godly living unable to lead readers astray in matters of faith and Godly living (Isa. 55:11, Matt. 24:35) and completely truthful in all it affirms (Ps. 12:6; 19:7, 119:89, Prov. 30:5). Like the term inerrancy, not all Christians believe in infallibility or use the term.
  • The Bible is sufficient: One theologian writes, “The sufficiency of Scripture means that Scripture contains all the words of God He intended His people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains all the words of God we need for salvation, for trusting Him perfectly, and for obeying Him perfectly.” [1]

Also see How To Meditate On God to learn more.

Other biblical examples of how people have heard from God

While the Bible is the primary way that people can hear from God today, he has spoken to people in others in the past.

ModeExample
PrayerJeremiah 33:3
NatureRomans 1:18-20
AngelsMatt. 1:20-21
DreamsDan. 7:1-14
Direct speechGen. 12:1-3
Historical eventsExod. 14:21-31
ProphecyActs 3:18
VisionsEzek. 2:9
The Holy SpiritJohn 15:26

“I have convenanted with my Lord that he should not send me visions or dreams or even angels. I am content with this gift of the Scriptures, which teaches and supplies all that is necessary, both for this life and that which is to come.” ~ German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Also see Why Did God Choose Abraham? to learn more.

hearing God
What does the Bible say about hearing from God? See below

10 powerful verses about hearing from God

  • John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
  • Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
  • Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
  • John 8:47, “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
  • Isaiah 30:21, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
  • Luke 11:28, “But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”
  • John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
  • Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
  • John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
  • John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Also see Why Did God Hate Esau? to learn more.

Discerning God’s voice

Pastor James Montgomery Boice once wrote,

“Some think they can discover God by listening to a so-called ‘inner voice.’ But the voice is often nothing more than an expression of their own inner desires. Quite a few think that spiritual truths can be verified by supernatural events or miracles. But the Bible everywhere teaches that even miracles will not lead men and women to understand and receive God’s truth unless they themselves are illuminated by the Bible (see Luke 16:31). I believe that we can state categorically that there is no knowledge apart from Jesus Christ and that there is no knowledge of Jesus Christ apart from a knowledge of the Bible.”

References

[1] Wayne Grudem

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