Our whole destiny for well-being or for disaster is settled by the voice we listen to. Listening to the voice of the Lord and obeying what He says will bring blessing. But not listening to the voice of the Lord will bring many curses.
Of course, it is not sufficient to listen to the voice of the Lord unless we also obey what He says. Conversely, it is impossible to obey what God says unless we first hear His voice, because His voice tells us what He requires us to do.
The great spiritual danger that confronts professing Christians is to become insensitive to the voice of God. Many may continue in their religious activities and duties, which are habitual and formal (a lifestyle they have cultivated) yet without any ongoing, continuous awareness of God’s voice. Through all dispensations, the one requirement God asks of His people is that we listen to His voice.
Listen to God... and act
The Bible states in Jeremiah 7:22–23, “For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people...’” (NASB). This means that the simple requirement for the Lord to be our God and we His people is to obey His voice.
In the New Testament, Jesus sums it up in one single verse: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NASB). The mark that we really belong to Jesus is not that we practice certain denominational patterns of life or worship, but that we hear His voice—and, hearing His voice, that we follow Him.
It's important to cultivate an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord so that He can speak to you directly and personally, whether it is through the Bible or some other way.
To hear God’s voice, you can follow these steps:
1. Faith comes by hearing the Word which God speaks to you. This means that you need to spend time reading and meditating on the Bible, which is God's Word.
2. Faith comes by hearing—not just by reading the Bible. What is able to transform those black marks into a living voice that speaks to you personally? The answer is the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit quickens God’s Word, He makes it real and personal to you. As you listen to that imparted word given to you by the Holy Spirit, faith comes. This means that you need to invite the Holy Spirit into your life and ask Him to help you understand and apply God's Word.
“Faith comes by hearing—not just by reading the Bible.”
The Holy Spirit is so wise! He knows just the word you need at any given moment. He directs you to God’s Word and then He makes it come alive for you. When that happens, you can hear the very voice of the living God speaking to you through that word.
3. If you will receive this word, it will impart faith to you—faith for what you need, and for whatever God wants you to have at that time. This means that you need to accept God's Word and believe in it. Your response of faith then releases the power that is in God’s word to accomplish what He promises.
You can pray the following prayer to help you in this process:
"Lord, Please speak your personal Word to me. I'm listening to hear it. Thank you for making it real and personal to me through the work of the Holy Spirit. I receive your Word even as Mary did; and I say, be it unto me according to your Word. I believe as I receive your Word that my response of faith is releasing the fulfillment of your Word to me - unlocking your miracle-working power contained in it to accomplish every promise in your plan for my life. Thank you, Lord, for all that your word will do in my life from this moment forward. Amen."
For further inspiration, we recommend the following resources