"When the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." John 16:13
Hearing God is not as easy as people would lead you to believe. God told me this, and God told me that, and God told me to tell you, and so on and so on! Hearing the voice of God involves spending time with Him learning to discern His voice and distinguish it from all the other voices.
Obviously God can speak any way He wants to and has been known to speak through a donkey if necessary, but there are some basic principals set in scripture that we may know Him and hear His voice. Normally God speaks to us through four distinct ways: His word, circumstance, dreams and visions and prophetic utterance; but unless you become accustomed to His voice you can still be deceived.
There are a multitude of voices wanting to be heard, trying to get your attention and in this electronic age it is a battle for anyone to be able to listen for the voice of God. It amazes me that in documentaries on TV about wildlife that within massive herds and flocks the young can distinguish their mother's sound from all the other sounds around them. The most important thing we can do in this kingdom is to know and hear the voice of the King!
"My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27,28
TO KNOW HIM IS TO HEAR HIM
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him. I Samuel 3:7
The prophet Samuel was dedicated to the Lord at birth by his mother because she was barren and cried out to the Lord and He answered her by giving her a son. Samuel was given to the house of Eli to minister before the Lord and there the Lord spoke to him.
The Lord called Samuel three times one night and every time he would awaken Eli thinking he had called him because he did not yet recognize the voice of God. The fourth time God called Eli told him what to do and Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant hears." It is amazing that the first word God gives the young lad is a prophecy about judgment on the house of Eli his master, and his wicked sons.
Samuel obeyed the Lord and delivered the word to Eli and judgment indeed did fall upon the priesthood of Eli and on Israel and the ark of God was captured by the Philistines. Samuel grew up to be one of God's greatest prophets and never compromised His word or failed to deliver His message, even when he had to give it to king Saul when he disobeyed God, and subsequently anointed David king over Israel.
Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, "Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel. I Samuel 9:15,16
A STILL SMALL VOICE
"I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." I Kings 19:10
Elijah was on fire for God, confronting His enemies, killing the prophets of Baal, calling fire down from Heaven and just returning from a forty day fast, needless to say he was pretty busy carrying out God's business for Him. Totally worn out and fearing for his life he went into a cave and God spoke to him and said "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord."
God didn't seem too impressed with Elijah's exploits after listening to his excuse for hiding in a cave, He wanted Elijah to hear His voice! As Elijah stood on the mountain God passed by and there was a strong wind, an earthquake and fire but God was not in any of them, but in a still small voice. God was more concerned that Elijah could recognize His voice than to be looking for a great display of power.
So it is with us, God wants us to discern and become acquainted with His voice, to know Him is more important than all the great signs, wonders and miracles that accompany the kingdom. The apostle Paul was of the sect of the Pharisees, a student of the law and top of his class in religious works and accolades but he stated that to know God and the power of His resurrection was much more important than all this world could give.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin