How to Hear from God: Learn to Know His Voice and Make Right Decisionsby Joyce Meyer
In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. In How to Hear from God, Joyce Meyer shows readers that God reaches out to people every/i>… See more details below
In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. In How to Hear from God, Joyce Meyer shows readers that God reaches out to people every day, seeking a partnership with them to offer guidance and love. She reveals the ways in which God delivers His word and the benefits of asking God for the sensitivity to hear His voice. Joyce asks the question, "Are you listening?" and shares how to do just that.
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How to Hear From God
By Joyce Meyer
Copyright © 2003
All right reserved.
God Talks to People Every Day
The world makes it easy for us to fill our ears with all kinds of
things that drown out the voice of God and push Him far, far into
the background of our lives. However, the day comes for every person
when only God remains. Everything else in life eventually passes
away; when it does, God will still be there.
The Word of God teaches that what is known about God is evident to
all because He has made Himself known in the inner consciousness of
mankind (see Romans 1:19-21). Each person will someday stand before
Him and give an account of his or her life (see Romans 14:12). When
people don't want to serve God with their lives, when they want to
go their own way, they find ways to hide from and ignore this
instinctive inner knowledge of their Creator who wants to talk to
them and guide them in the way they should go.
Nothing can satisfy our longing for God, except communion and
fellowship with Him. Isaiah expressed well our own hunger for God
when he wrote, "My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes,
my spirit within me seeks You earnestly" (Isaiah 26:9). The apostle
John wrote, "And the world passes away and disappears, and with it
the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but
he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life
abides (remains) forever" (1 John 2:17).
Hearing from God is vital to enjoying God's eternal plan for our
lives. Listening to God is our decision; no one else can make it for
us. God won't force us to choose His will, but He will do everything
He can to encourage us to say yes to His ways.
God wants to be involved in even the smallest details of our lives.
His Word tells us to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will
direct our paths (see Proverbs 3:6). To acknowledge God is to care
what He thinks and to ask for His opinion. Verse 7 of Proverbs 3
says, "Be not wise in your own eyes." In other words, don't even
think that you can run your life and do a good job without God's
help and direction. It takes most of us far too long to learn this
Even though I sincerely loved Jesus, I went to church for years
without knowing that God talks to people. I observed all the
religious rules and holidays and went to church every Sunday. I was
really doing all that I knew to do at that time, but it wasn't
enough to satisfy my longing for God.
I could have spent every moment in church or in Bible study, but it
wouldn't have quenched the thirst I had for a deeper fellowship with
the Lord. I needed to talk to Him about my past and hear Him talk to
me about my future. But nobody taught me that God wanted to talk
directly to me. No one offered a solution for the dissatisfied
feelings I endured.
Through reading the Word, I learned that God does want to talk to us
and that He has a plan for our lives that will lead us to a place of
peace and contentment. It is God's will for us to attain knowledge
of His plan through His divine guidance. It sounds like a pretty
foundational point, but I believe there are many people who still
question whether God really talks to people. And if He does, they
? Is God really involved on a day-to-day basis in running our lives?
? Does He really want to be involved in all the little tiny details
of our lives?
? Should we only bother God and expect to hear from Him concerning
major issues that we can't handle ourselves?
The Bible teaches that God has a good plan for all those who will
put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. His plan is
complete in great detail, and it will lead all who follow Him to an
But I am convinced that only a few ever enjoy the fulfillment of
God's perfect plan for their lives because most people don't know
how to listen to God's leading and follow Him. Instead, they choose
(either willfully or ignorantly) to go their own way. More people
could walk in the perfect will of God if they would learn how to
hear from Him and follow His instructions.
Never hesitate to take what you think are small things to God; after
all, everything is small to God. Sometimes we act as if we think we
will tax God's ability if we ask Him for too much help. I remember a
woman who came to me for prayer. She wanted to know if it would be
all right if she asked God for two things; if not, she assured me
that she would only ask for one.
It is vital to know what God's Word says about His role in your
life, because it confirms His divine plan to be intimately involved
with all that concerns you. "`For I know the plans I have for you,'"
declares the LORD, "`plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come
and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find
me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,'
declares the LORD" (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV).
EXPECT HIM TO SPEAK TO YOU
Jesus told His disciples, "I have still many things to say to you,
but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to
grasp them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving
Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full
Truth)" (John 16:12-13). He also said that the Holy Spirit would
continue to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all
that God has said through His Word (see John 14:26).
When Jesus spoke these words, He was talking to men with whom He had
spent the previous three years. They had been with Him day and
night, yet He indicated that He had more to teach them. We would
think that if Jesus was with us personally for three years, day and
night, we would have learned all there is to know. I think that if I
had one uninterrupted month with people, I could tell them
everything I know. But Jesus said to expect more because He will
always have something to say to us about new situations we are
Jesus always knew what was the right thing to do because He only did
what He saw His Father do. As our Lord, we can trust Him to lead us
to the right path every day. He is the only begotten Son of God, but
we are also adopted sons and daughters of God, and we are to imitate
Him in all we do. He became flesh and experienced all of the things
we experience, so He understands our needs. He was baptized in the
Holy Ghost, just as we are to be baptized in the Holy Ghost (see
John 1:32-33). And He was led by the Spirit, just as we can be led
by the Spirit, because He ascended to heaven and sent the Holy
Spirit to lead and guide us.
In John 16:13 Jesus continued to explain the work of the Holy Spirit
in our lives, saying, "For He will not speak His own message [on His
own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father;
He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will
announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will
happen in the future]."
The book of John offers an extensive study of God's promise to
intimately guide us. In chapter 6, Jesus said, "It is written in
[the book of] the Prophets, And they shall all be taught of God
[have Him in person for their Teacher]. Everyone who has listened to
and learned from the Father comes to Me" (v. 45).
God knew we would need help in understanding His plan for us, so He
sent the Holy Spirit to dwell on the inside of every Christian. He
is our Guide, our Teacher of truth, our Counselor, and our Helper.
He is also our Comforter, or the parakletos (par-ak'-lay-tos), which
is explained in Vine's Expository Dictionary as one who is "called
to one's side." The term "was used in a court of justice to denote
a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate ... who pleads
another's cause, an intercessor." The Holy Spirt promises never to
leave us or forsake us. We can live the abundant life if we learn to
listen to him. Jesus said it was better for us that He went away,
because if He didn't go, the Counselor (the Holy Spirit) would not
come to us (see John 16:7). Jesus was confined to a body just as we
are and could be only at one place at a time. But the Holy Spirit
can be in every single one of us everywhere we go, all the time,
individually leading and guiding each one of us. In John 14:15-20
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. And I
will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter
(Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and
Standby), that He may remain with you forever? The Spirit of Truth,
Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because
it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and
recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in
you. I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate,
bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. Just a
little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you
will see Me; because I live, you will live also. At that time [when
that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My
Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.
Jesus said that He Himself would come to us and that we would
realize He is in us.
EXPECT TO HEAR HIM
Through Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit, God wants to speak
to you on a One-to-one basis, every day. He wants to lead you step
by step to the good things He has in store for you. He cares about
the tiniest details of your life. He even keeps track of how many
hairs you have on your head (see Matthew 10:30). He cares about the
desires of your heart. And He wants to reveal truth to you that will
set you free from worry and fear.
His plan to share an intimate relationship with you existed before
you were even born. The psalmist said of God, "Your eyes saw my
unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were
written before they took shape, when as yet there was none of them"
In the book of Acts the apostle Paul said of God, "From one man he
made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where
they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and
perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from
any one of us" (Acts 17:26-27 NIV).
Doesn't it stand to reason that, if God knows all of our days and
where we are going to live before we are even born, it is important
to learn how to hear from Him? Hearing God's voice is not only
exciting, it also keeps us on the right track.
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus spoke of a narrow path that leads to life
and a broad path that leads to destruction, and He told us to stay
on the narrow one. If we can discern God's voice, we can know if we
are veering off onto the wrong track, and we can make an adjustment
before we reap bad results from a bad decision.
Hearing God's voice throughout the day has become a natural way of
life for me since I received the fullness of the Holy Spirit whom
Jesus promised to send us. The Father will give the gift of His
Spirit to all who ask for Him (see Luke 11:13), and the Holy Spirit
will help us understand the Bible so that we will know how to apply
its wisdom to our lives (see John 14:26). I want to say again
emphatically that each of us can hear from God and be led by the
Holy Spirit daily.
It seems incomprehensible that God could have a plan for every
person on earth, but it also brings great peace to know that He can
take our chaos and turn it into something meaningful and worthwhile.
God's plan is unveiled through an intimate relationship with Him.
If you desire to know God in a deeper way, I recommend that you read
my book titled Knowing God Intimately. In that book, I share in
great detail how you can be as close to God as you want to be.
GOD OFFERS A LIFETIME
Psalm 48:14 cheered my heart one day. It says that God will be our
guide even unto death! How wonderful to know that we have a guide to
get us from one destination in life to the next. Sometimes when my
husband, Dave, and I travel, we hire a guide to show us the best and
most important sites to see.
Once we had the opinion that we would explore by ourselves; that way
we could do what we wanted to and when we wanted to. However, we
quickly found that our independent trips were nearly wasted. We
often spent a large part of the day getting lost and then trying to
find our way again. We have found it to be the best use of our time
to follow a guide rather than wandering aimlessly to find places
I believe this example relates to how we are in life. We want to go
our own way so we can do what we want to do, when we want to do it,
but we end up getting lost and wasting our life. We need the Holy
Spirit guiding us through every day of our time on this earth. God
is committed to guide us even until we leave this life, so it seems
important to learn how to hear what He is telling us.
One of the many benefits of hearing from God is that He helps us
prepare for the future. The Holy Spirit gives the message to us that
has been given to Him from the Father. He announces and declares to
us things that will happen in the future (see again John 16:13).
We see many instances in the Bible when God gave people information
about the future. Noah was told to prepare for a flood that would
come to destroy the people of the earth (see Genesis 6:13-17). Moses
was told to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Israelites,
but he was also told that Pharaoh would not let them go (see Exodus
7). Obviously, God does not tell us everything that will happen in
the future, but the Bible says He will tell us of things to come.
There are times when I can sense inside my spirit that something
good, or at times, something challenging, is going to happen. Of
course, when I sense something challenging is about to happen, I
always hope I am wrong and that it is just my imagination. But if I
am right then having the knowledge ahead of time acts as a shock
absorber in my life. If an automobile with good shock absorbers hits
a hole in the road, the absorbers cushion the impact for the
passengers so no one gets hurt. God's giving us information ahead of
time works the same way.
I remember many times when God informed me of things in the future.
One time in particular was when I felt strongly inside my heart that
one of my children was really struggling with something major. When
I asked my child about it, I was told that everything was just fine,
but by the Spirit I knew something was wrong. Several days later I
received some news that was painful and discouraging, but it would
have been a lot more difficult had I not had a previous warning.
First Corinthians 2:5 teaches us not to put our faith in the wisdom
of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.
Excerpted from How to Hear From God
by Joyce Meyer
Copyright © 2003 by Joyce Meyer.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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