How To Know When God Is Talking To You

How To Know When God Is Talking To You

I think many people are searching for this answer whether they follow Jesus or not. If there’s a chance we can hear from God Himself on a question we have or something we are going through, don’t you think we would want to hear from Him? Or at least, know how to?

I struggled with this thought for awhile before following Jesus and after I started to follow Him because I heard many different claims of people “hearing” from God and I had no idea what that meant because I thought I never heard from Him. Something must have been wrong with me, right?

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to hearing from God and I think that is part of the problem. With so many stories and experiences out there through books, videos, posts, etc. it’s hard to know if there is a way to really know if we are hearing from God.

Here’s the good news.

God is not a God of confusion. He is not a God who would want to confuse people by having them constantly question if they can hear Him or not. The simple fact that He sent His one and only Son to die for us proves the point that He is not a cruel God…and in fact, a loving God. Not only that, He has made it very clear on how we can hear from Him. It’s our choice whether or not we will believe Him with how He says He speaks.

We Hear God by His Word

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

There’s a strong emphasis at the beginning of these verses with the word “All.” Every little bit of Scripture is breathed out by God…as in…God talking to us. God Himself tells us that His Word is breathed out by Him, and is profitable for everything, so that His Children may be made complete and equipped for every good work.

Let’s not miss the point that God tells us Himself how He speaks to us…through His Word. And the fact that we, as followers of Jesus, need His Word to make us complete. That means we are lacking without it and won’t be equipped if we don’t listen to God as He speaks to us from the Bible.

The Bible is living and active and if you want to hear from God and know what He is saying for sure, open up the book and read it. The very words you’ll read are the very words of God and you can confidently know that you are hearing from God as you read it.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

We Hear God by Following Jesus

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27

The other primary way we hear from God is through Jesus Christ. As followers of Him, we’ll know His voice when He is speaking to us. One of the best ways we’ll know this is because we can look to the Bible to see who Jesus is and how He lived.

For example, Jesus was perfect and without sin. He died for us and rose from the dead defeating death and sin in victory. When He died for us on the cross, He took all of our past, present, and future sins upon Himself and paid the price to God that we now do not have to pay. The price we would have had to pay was death because God is perfect, we are sinful, and there’s no way for us (who are not perfect) to have a relationship with God (who is perfect).

So, Jesus paying the penalty for us is not only a big deal, it’s everything.

If we believe in Jesus Christ and choose to follow Him for the rest of our lives, we are forgiven, forever. And then as followers of Jesus with a new identity we now…you can probably guess it…follow Him. That means we do what He did. Live the way He did. Love others the way He did. Pray and know the Bible just like He did.

Read the Bible and study Jesus, who He is and how He lived, and then whatever you think you are hearing, you can know if it’s God talking because it should make you more like Christ. It what you are hearing doesn’t make you more like Jesus, then it’s not from God.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17

How Can I Know For Sure Then?

So, what that means is whatever you are going through, line it up with what the Bible says and who Jesus is.

Considering a new job? Trying to hear if you should break up with someone? Searching for the meaning of life? Not sure if you are hearing from God or if it’s just yourself?

What does the Bible have to say about your situation? Whatever you are hearing, does the Bible affirm it or go against it? With whatever decision you make, will it make you more like Jesus or is it just something for yourself?

You can trust and know that you are hearing from God when whatever you hear lines up with the Bible and leads you to live more like Jesus. We (as sinful people) would never naturally think to ourselves something that would make us more like Christ and affirm the Bible…but the Holy Spirit (God) within us (as followers of Christ) would speak that way.

Praise God for making it clear to us how He speaks. Trust that you can know that God is talking to you and listen to what He has to say.

Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.

Questions: Does this post help you see how God speaks to you? Do you think God speaks to you in other ways and if you do, how so? How do you know for sure if it’s God speaking or someone else? Please comment and join the discussion below.

Saved by Grace through Faith. In love with Jesus, His Glory, and obviously my beautiful wife Joelle, daughter Peyton, and son Matthew! Seeking Him in everything to glorify Him and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor at Austin Life Church.

Please note: We reserve the rights to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Thanks, Mike. I’ll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog!

  • Bettathen Uraverage

    Thank you needed this

  • Lisa

    Thank you for explaining and answering in an easy to understand way. A sister in Christ, Lisa

    • Thanks so much for sharing Lisa and for the encouragement!

  • Jo-Ann

    Hi I feel trapped and i dont know what to do I really truely love Jesus/God very much and miss Him everyday when i think of Him i see myself in His arms holding me and comforting me. I am a sinner trying not to be one. I want to serve with Jesus and be His follower, my heart cries out to Him and every time i sin i cant forgive myself and feel unworty to be forgiven cause my sins of the past is very bad. Im a very sensitive person and want to give love to evwryone. I have descovred the truth and the Love of our Awesome Great I Am. I understand the Bible and everytime i read it i get so exited i kiss the Bible, Silly i know but i loveGod so much. But i was a worship leader in a church for 10 years and got married and had a daughter. I was very ungappy in my marrage because my husband was not truely a christian and lied about his feelings and commitment to God. I was so drained out i could not take it any more i had to lie in church where he was and eceryone though he helped me with worship but he wanted notheing to do with anything spiritual. I made stop loving him cause i could not stand the fact that he listend to heavy metal slayer music in the same house where i wanted to worship this made me loose my mind. My life felt like one big lie. I screamed out to God trying to get an awnser what to do but i myself dwelled of and started smoking agian and startes enjoying the temptation of this word. I blocked out God from my consiouns, as if you can do it. I lived in guilt and hated myself. I asked God so many times to just take me away from this dark world cause people are so untrustfull and back stabbing and i hate it i was looking for honest people and till today cant find them. Why????? My whole life i did not have any friends only people that felt sorry for me being alobe at school. Seeking attention i did things i know was wrong in my heart but at least i had some friends. My whole life is one big sin. I never saw it in this perspective. I know in John it says in the begining the Word was there and became flesh and walked among us and so on no distrepect, just saying i know the facts but i never though that this is How God speaks to people i though its a voice you hear in your head. And this is inbarising no wonder i felt like i was speaking to walls cause the frustration of waiting for a voice to awnser. I believe in Jesus and i Love Him Dearly and i know that this was the Heart of God. He loved us from the beginning. I just cant eccept that i am His child because of my sin. I repented 3 days ago and cried out to Him again and i really truely am sorry. What i did is to horrible to forgive. I devorced my husbund. I could not taje it anymore i was bitter, loney and deppressed. I left Him for His best friend. Why oh wgy it happend so fast and i dont ever know why. The problem is my boyfriend and i am living together and jyp we went to far and he like very far. Stuff that is discusting to me that makes me wanne puke far. And he is a big metal fan with sculs and blood and stuff. His favorite band is iron maidon and it gives me the creeps. I just wanne run away. Now i do but we i got with him i let myself and clear mind go cause we were using green grass of home. And this made me dum i mean reaaly dum. It felt like my life is just a dream. Now i stoped and repented i tried going back 2 my ex husbund twice and every time he said no the last time he threw me out of the house infront of my daughter. Im trying to make things right. I can see my boyfriend has a good heart but he has hardend in some way. I can see he gets uncomfurtoble when i speak openly and he does not like to share his busness if you know what i mean. He is adicted to porn aswell cause he has been living alobe his whole life. And now i am spending much time in the bible and the more i read it the more i see how guilty i was and what i did but i dobt know what to do. I cant feel we have little time left and i want to make things write so i can stand with confidance in fath and knowing that Im with God. Thats all i need i say to myself cause my believe in Him is cery stong and no one can change that but i cant seem to get to the point where i belive i am fogiven i belive It can be do e to other and get so happy when i se someone truely loves God and stuff but i get heartbroken cause i want to be close to my Abba Father my everything. But my guilt is holding me back making me think that who am i to recieve His mercy. I cry every day now i am still living with my boyfriend who i really got to love deeply and feel guilty to love him. I dont want to live in sin anymore and feels like im not going to be forgiven as long as i stay here. But i promise you reallllllly reallly i have no place to go. No family no friends no church people will help me cause im the evil one if you know what im saying everyone judged me and the wait of there judgement is very bad but i judge myself aswell but somethimes i think if they just knew thr truth. But i dont mind im noupset and i forgive them. I just want to breath again. But im blinded and cant see the grace of God for myself. Please help me please what should i do i dont want to live in sin. And i dobt want to watch tv anymore my eyes have been opend about the bad bad bad thing it is. But my boyfriend watches it the wole time. I feel like suffecating. Please please please. I dont trust people i need awnsers from the bible just a guide to see what i must do cause my feeling for this mand is makeing my mind distracted and not thingking clear. A heart can be decieving.

  • Thecla

    God speaks to us through nature itself ,the birds, the sea, the trees the animals even a new born baby etc , nothing will exist or survive without him ,he provides, he gives new life ,he keeps these things shows that he is speaking to us if he wasn’t everything will fall apart ,and as you rightfully said he speaks to us through his word any situation we are going through we can find it in his word we just have to believe and trust him..

    • Appreciate you reading and thanks for sharing.

  • This is a very good article. According to research about this subject, there are many people who will admit to “hearing” God’s voice. Usually it is inside their own mind, in the form of thoughts. Often people claim that the thoughts seem to be very much coming from outside themselves.Distinctly outside of themselves. The point is that “hearing” the voice of God is more common than most people think. And the counter claim that this means you are CRAZY seems not to add up. But it is obvious to me that if you think you are “hearing” God talk to you…please make sure you clarify, confirm and verify. One way you can do this is to suck it up and consult people who have some mileage on the old spiritual journey and also have some common sense, too. This doesn’t mean you have to NOT do what God is telling you to do. It just means, “What’s the rush there, Super Spirit?”

    Final comment on all this is, IF God is telling you to do something that is harmful to yourself or other people, like, “…pick up the knife and sacrifice your first born….” you can be pretty sure that ain’t God talking to you.

    I know that there is Biblical precedence for the God telling someone to kill their son with a knife…but it might just be that guy was crazy. What do you think?

    • Hey there, thanks for sharing. I agree with you that we always need to take what we are thinking God is telling us and line it up with Scripture. If it lines up with what the Bible says, then we can be confident that He might be speaking to us. If it doesn’t line up with Scripture, then we know for sure He is NOT speaking to us.

      I’m not sure what you mean at the end but if you’re talking about Abraham and Issac, it’s true God did call Abraham to sacrifice his own son, but never made Abraham follow through with it…He was seeing if Abraham was willing to be obedient to God’s calling and to trust Him in everything.

      Thanks again for sharing!

      • Hello Mike.
        Yes, I was referencing Abraham. It is a dramatic example about how you can line up what “God” is telling you to do with scripture. I know that in the story of Abraham and the human sacrifice, at the last moment God told Abraham to NOT kill his son.

        So…here is the thing: IF someone today gets guidance from “God” to kill their son…maybe that isn’t “God” guiding them.

        I am a big fan of the Old Testament. There is a lot of gore and slaughter depicted in the Old Testament. Plenty of examples of people messing up, and the consequences that come from being out of tune with God…especially deliberately going against God.

        It is really important to make sure that the guidance you are taking is truly the real thing, the whole thing.

        Sometimes scripture tells us some really gnarly examples of what to do when x, y, and z happens.

        When I apply the two laws that Jesus Christ gave…”Love God with everything you’ve got, 24/7…” and, “Do that with everyone else, too…” (my quick interpretation of how it is translated)…anyway, this is not easy for me to do. But it sure helps to filter out some of the blood lust calls that come to me by way of my more primitive instincts…while living in this world.

        What do you think?

        • Oh ok I see what you mean. Yes agreed at the end of the day we have to be really careful to claim what God is telling us to do and should do the due diligence of checking everything thoroughly with scripture. Thanks for sharing!