There are many ways to hear God’s voice. One of my favorites is by journaling because it makes it so easy to hear what God is saying and at the end of your time journaling you will have a record of what God said to you.
I learned this technique for hearing what God is saying from Mark Virkler’s article: You Can Hear God’s Voice!
Mark Virkler was praying to learn how he could hear God’s voice. In fact, he even took a year off from his pastoral duties to focus on learning how to hear from God. During that year, Jesus finally came to him one night and woke him up with an audible voice and gave him four keys to effectively hearing God’s voice. You can learn more about Mark’s testimony by listening to him sharing his testimony and an introduction to hearing God’s voice (you may also listen by right clicking this link and select ‘save target as’ or ‘save link as’), or listen to this radio interview, or watch this television interview.
A brief summary of what Mark Virkler shares in his article is that hearing God’s voice can be easy if you follow four keys:
- Know what God’s voice sounds like
- Become still with a worshipful attitude
- Fix the eyes of your heart on Jesus
- Journal in faith
I would like to offer a few thoughts on the above points to help you get started. These thoughts are not meant to replace Mark Virkler’s article that got me started in hearing God’s voice through journaling. Instead, the following thoughts are meant to provide supplemental guidance. So you might want to read Mark’s article first and then read what I have to add.
Know what God’s voice sounds like
God can speak in different ways at different times to different people. A lot of people assume God would speak in an audible voice. He certainly can and does do that. But don’t assume that He will always speak that way to you.
In fact, if you consider that the eardrum receives vibration waves carried by the air and delivers a message to the mind, you have to wonder why almighty God would go to the trouble of sending his message through the air and then through the ear and finally into the mind when he can simply speak directly to your mind.
In my case, he normally takes the shortcut straight to my mind. My ear does not hear God’s voice. But my mind does receive God’s message. So, God’s words appear inside my mind like thoughts. These are the thoughts of God. In fact, the way I receive God’s thoughts can be compared to the concept of telepathy, which is the transfer of thoughts between individuals by means other than the five senses
So, when I receive a message from God, it comes as a thought quietly placed into my mind. Why do I say “quietly”? Because there isn’t the energy of my mind’s wheels behind that thought since my mind did not generate that thought. That is why people talk about the “still, small voice of God.” God’s thought quietly appears in my mind and I write it down and a new thought from God takes its place.
Become still with a worshipful attitude
To hear God, you will need to cut out the noise and activity. Don’t expect to hear from God while the TV is blaring and you are rushing to get dinner on the table. God is best heard when you find a quiet, restful place and focus your heart on the adoration of God.
I always start my journaling time with praise and worship because this helps me tune into God’s voice. If God’s voice stops flowing into my mind, then I return to worship and then I begin hearing him again.
One time while I was journaling, I wrote to God this prayer: “I desire to know you more and hear your voice better. Please guide me and show me the path step by step.”
In response, God spoke to me about the importance of being still to know him. Here is what God said to me:
You are my beloved son. I guide you and make you whole. Pursue me and know me. I am like the wind. I am always with you, always moving, always surrounding you. To know the wind you don’t chase it, do you? Don’t you open your arms and let the moving wind flow through you? You are still and let your senses be sensitive and experience the movement, force, and sound of the wind. So to know me, open your heart, be still, be attentive and become familiar with my movement, my energy, and my sound. I am your God. Always moving. Always coming. Always going. Always with you. You have seen me moving just as you have seen the leaves moved by the wind. But take your attention from the trees to feel me moving through and around you. Be the tree and know me.
Fix the eyes of your heart on Jesus
To truly hear God, you should focus on Jesus. Jesus is our open door to heaven. Through him we have unlimited access to God — including direct communication with God.
You will hear what you focus on. If you focus on your mind, you will hear your thoughts. If you focus on your problems, you will hear your worries. If you focus on your desires, you will hear your wishes. If you focus on Jesus, you will hear God.
One great way to focus on Jesus is to use your imagination to picture him and you in a scene you are comfortable with. For instance, you might imagine yourself sitting in a garden with Jesus sitting on a rock by you having a chat with you.
Journal in faith
What makes journaling such an effective way of hearing God is that it allows you to put aside your analytical thinking for awhile and just have an attitude of faith while whole-heartedly listening to God.
We hear God by faith. As Mark Virkler points out in his article, it is very important to put aside any doubts while you are in the process of listening to God’s voice. Just write. Don’t think. When you are finished writing down your conversation with God, then you can go back and examine what you heard and see if it is from God — but try not to enter this analytical process of judgment until you are finished hearing from God.
When you put these four keys to hearing God’s voice together, you will find that hearing from God comes easily to you. It is recommended that you share what God tells you with a couple of your spiritual mentors who can help you confirm whether what you heard is really from God or not.
The first time I tried journaling as a way to hear God’s voice, I wasn’t sure if it would work. But I put all my doubts and questions aside and just tried it and the results were amazing.
Here is an excerpt from my very first conversation with God through a prayer journal (“T” is me and “G” is God):
T- Good morning God
G- Good morning my son. How are you today?
T- I’m fine. I’m happy to hear you!
G- I am always with you – to the end of the age and in the age to come.
T- Thank you for being with me. Are you happy with me?
G- You are my pride and joy. I am your Father and treasure all of my children.
T- How can I be a better son?
G- You must seek my face. Your heart is mine. I want to know you.
T- I want to know you too! Will you reveal yourself to me?
G- It is my pleasure to reveal myself to you. You are my son. I desire to show myself to my children.
T- Thank you God. I want to know you. Thank you for speaking with me. What would you like to say to me now?
G- My son, I want to tell you many things. Come to me and I will always be happy to talk with you. You are my treasure.
Since that first journaled conversation, I have had many amazing conversations with God. He has revealed my destiny. He has provided guidance for my future. He has taught me spiritual truths. He has shared his heart with me. It is always a very fulfilling way to spend my devotional time.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
You might also like to check out Mark Virkler’s book ‘How to Hear God’s Voice’.