The secret to hearing God’s voice

There comes a moment in time when you step in front of that mirror and think, “Who am I, and why am I here?”

Your human nature, with the help of culture, gives you a sense of urgency, uncertainty and fear as you hope to measure up to everyone’s expectations as well as your own. And, if you’re a believer in Christ, you hear sermons about listening for God’s call and following His will for your life. If only it were that easy, right?

What’s your purpose?

If you peel back the layers of urgency, uncertainty and fear, you may find that beneath all that lies one question: What is my purpose?

Again, as a believer in Christ, you know your main purpose is to glorify God and make disciples. But that looks different for everyone depending on the specifics of our lives.

We get so caught up in wanting to know what God has planned for us, where He is going to take us. The tricky thing is that God rarely if ever just tells us what He has planned.

There is no magic writing in the sky. There is no owl that arrives on your doorstep with a note from God telling you each step to take for the next 10 years. But what if God has been talking to you all along, just in whispers instead of magnificent rainbows?

If only you knew

We could go crazy trying to figure out what God has planned for us. We may never truly know all the details until we’re at the end of our days. But that’s not the point. The point is God wants to tell us something in the moments when He whispers, “If only you knew what I had planned.”

God has a plan for you. And this plan is beyond anything you’ve imagined. He just desires you to listen for His voice.

Take Elijah, for instance. This prophet heard from God in many ways, one of them being fire raining down from heaven (1 Kings 18). But in one of Elijah’s lowest moments, a moment when he wanted to die to get away from his sufferings, God didn’t rain down fire. He didn’t show up in a beautiful rainbow or even in a burning bush.

He told him to climb a mountain.

When whispers are louder than shouts

Elijah might have expected big things when God told him to climb His holy mountain. Maybe he thought God would rain down fire again. Maybe he thought God would speak to him like He did when Moses climbed this very same mountain. But God approached Elijah in a way Elijah wasn’t expecting.

When God came in a soft whisper to Elijah, He revealed a plan to use ordinary people for His glory. Probably not what Elijah thought God would say. But the beauty in all this was how God reminded Elijah to not compare His works in Elijah’s life with works done in others’ lives. This whisper reminded Elijah that He works in all seasons of life, even in the depression. And He told Elijah He can use anyone He wants to accomplish His plan.

Stop trying so hard

We love to put God in boxes of how we think our lives should progress. We remember what He’s done in our past or in the lives of others, and we think we can figure out the next step. Or maybe we think God has left us. In our lowest moments, we give in to self-pity and just want it all to end.

God can and will do things in your life that are unexpected and unconventional. Let this excite you. Instead of trying to figure out exactly how and why God should speak to you, know that God speaks to you exactly the way you need to listen. This may not be the way you necessarily want Him to speak, but it’s the way He knows you need to hear Him.

We try incredibly hard to figure out where God wants to lead us. We grow discouraged when we fail and when we sin. This turns into our sinful belief that we will never be someone whom God will use. We think about people like Noah, Moses and Elijah and think we will never measure up to what they did for God.

If you’re hesitating or choosing not to listen, the only difference between these men and you when it comes to God’s call, is they said yes. They were ordinary men who listened for God and said yes when He called. If you stop trying to figure out the perfect, exact steps for your next 10 years, you can listen for God and say yes too.

God has reserved you to do something incredible for Him. You might not know it yet. But He will use you, and He probably already has. You have a purpose. God has a purpose for you. You are not here by accident. You are not too ordinary.

Will you hear God’s voice telling you exactly what your purpose is and what He has planned for you? Probably not. But rest assured, He will speak to you. Whether that’s in fire coming down from heaven or in a gentle whisper.

If only you knew what He had planned.

Let’s Talk About It: How do you hear God’s voice? How does pride get in the way of God using you? 


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