5 Biblical Rules to Help You Accurately Hear the Voice of God

Psalm 119:18

Without Christ saving us by grace and through faith, and without the Holy Spirit entering into us, none of us can ever hear God properly no matter what rules we follow. As 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 states:

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”

And yet, when we become Christians, we must still go through the ongoing process of sanctification. We must learn to hear God better and better. Therefore, here are 5 biblical rules that will aid you greatly in hearing God properly.

(Please note: these are not listed in order of importance.)

Rule 1: Always Approach God Humbly

It’s easy to get so comfortable with God that we start forgetting who he really is. Yes, God is love, he is our Heavenly Father, and he has good planned for us (1 John 4:7, Matthew 6:9, John 14:2-3). But the Scriptures also say God is holy, he is the Judge, and we reap what we sow (1 Peter 1:16, Revelation 20:11-12, Galatians 6:7-8).

This is why we must come to him humbly. 1 Peter 5:5-6, “‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Scripture also says we can come to God boldly with confidence because of his grace (Hebrews 4:16); yet all that we do towards God must be wrapped in humility.

On a practical level, humility will help you hear God better because it will put you in a proper position of willingness to receive whatever God says. If you are unwilling to hear a certain answer from God, this will complicate your ability to hear any answer from God. When you are prepared to hear a yes or no, you will be better able to hear whichever one God actually says to you.

Rule 2: Never Put Time Constraints on God

Always ask God to do what it is you desire. But avoid trying to micromanage how God will answer you or when he will answer you. In Scripture, there are a few examples of God doing something supernatural within a certain timeline requested by a human so that person would know for certain what God was saying. But in these instances, God invited this type of test. This is not the normal pattern for hearing God.

The overarching theme in Scripture when it comes to needing something from God is waiting in faith. Patience is the posture that God desires from his people. Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

On a practical level, putting time constraints on God makes it more difficult to hear him accurately because of the pressure being produced. Deadlines can create anxiety and stress. When you feel time is running out, your ability to hear becomes even more clouded.

However, when you relax and trust God’s timing, your heart is in a much better position to hear the Spirit’s leading. 

Rule 3: Always Defer to the Bible Over Any Other Means of Hearing God

God does speak in other ways besides the Bible. He speaks through other people, through the circumstances in our lives, and through the Holy Spirit’s leading in our hearts. But he will never speak in a way that contradicts the Bible.

Additionally, the Bible will help you properly use the other methods and correctly interpret what God is saying through these other means. If God is saying something to you through another person or through an event in your life, you will need a biblical lens to properly receive the message. Without the Scriptures guiding us, we end up listening to our own inner desires rather than God’s voice.

Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Rule 4: Never Allow Someone Other than Jesus to Be Your Primary Mediator

God can use other people to speak to you, but he will use them to bring confirmation to what he is also saying to you. He won’t use them as your sole spiritual guide.

Jesus is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). When you feel you can only receive messages from God through another person besides Jesus, this usurps Jesus’ role in your life. This can become necromancy, which is also called “divination” or “sorcery” and is forbidden in Scripture (Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10).1

Listen to wise advice and become wise yourself as Proverbs 9:9 says, seek the counsel of many as instructed in Proverbs 11:14, and don’t isolate yourself like the fool mentioned in Proverbs 18:1.

However, if you don’t feel like God is saying something to you but someone else does believe God is saying this thing to you, you are obligated to go with what you believe rather than what this person believes. As Romans 14:12 states, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Rule 5: Always Operate Out of a Motive of Love for God and People

If you approach God in a spirit of selfishness, you should not expect to hear from him (James 4:3). Rather, God is eager to listen to those who are walking in his will, which is to say they are obeying his commands.

Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” What is his word? Jesus summarizes all the Scriptures with two commands: to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40).

Therefore, when you want to hear God accurately, listen for his leading in how to love. When your focus is on loving God and loving others, he will make your path clear and straight.

Related Article: 5 Things You Will See When God Is Really Sending You a Sign

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Published by

Mark Ballenger

ApplyGodsWord.com is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime: markballenger@applygodsword.com