Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

July 6, 2015

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 (ESV)

Maybe you’ve heard someone say, "The Lord told me _____" or "I’ve sensed the Lord saying _____ to my heart." Did it make you wonder if you could discern God’s voice too?

Maybe like me, you’ve wondered: Is it really possible to hear God’s voice? Can I know when He is speaking to me? Maybe that was just a random thought? What if I make a decision based on what I think God is saying and then discover I was wrong … then what?

I wrestled with these questions several years ago when our family was going through a tough time. Much was at stake, and despite numerous conversations with my husband, considering every option, it was clear that a sacrifice was required.

One morning, as I stared into my bathroom mirror — trying to ignore the knot in my stomach and holding back a wall of tears — I turned on my blow dryer and started drying my hair.

I asked again, "Lord, what if I can’t discern what You’re telling me? Will all the chaos and thoughts swirling in my mind drown out Your voice?"

As the high-pitched sound of my blow dryer blasted away, I began to hear another sound. It was muffled and faded, yet I was aware of it.

I ignored the sound at first, but even with my blow dryer going, I could still hear a familiar tone.

I turned off the blow dryer and surprisingly heard my friend Renee Swope. Confused at first, I walked into the bedroom and realized her voice was coming from the radio. She and Proverbs 31 Ministries President, Lysa TerKeurst, host a daily broadcast called "Everyday Life with Lysa and Renee."

Renee and I have been friends for years. We’ve spent lots of time together engaging in honest and transparent conversations.

As I listened to Renee’s voice, the thought came to me, "Because you know Renee so well and have spent a lot of time with her, you can discern her voice, despite the overwhelming noise of the blow dryer."

I realized God was teaching me a new truth about discerning His voice.

Just like my close relationship with Renee, God showed me that a close relationship with Him — based on truth, transparency and time invested — was essential to discerning His voice.

Over the years, as I’ve spent more time in God’s presence — through prayer, reading His Word and singing songs of worship — I’ve come to know Him better and recognize His voice.

Maybe you’ve felt like God has been silent lately. Like you’re not sure God actually speaks to you or that you’re capable of discerning His voice. If so, let me give you three things to consider:

Believe: Jesus said in John 8:47a, "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says" (NIV). If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you belong to Him. You already have the capability of discerning God’s voice when He speaks to you. This happens through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Anticipate: 1 Samuel 3:9b says, "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening" (NIV). What if we approached each day with an attitude of anticipation, making this verse a welcome invitation for the Lord to speak to us? Let’s set our hearts and minds to a place of readiness as we wait to hear from God.

Follow: Jesus said in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (ESV). God doesn’t just speak to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed. When we discern God’s voice of direction or correction, we have to be willing to follow in obedience.

That day in my bathroom was a defining moment. I didn’t receive a specific answer to what our family was supposed to do. But I did receive a beautiful promise from God, that when the time was right, He would let us know. And no noise from this world would block out His voice, as long as we stayed close to Him.

Dear God, help me discern Your voice. Give me an attitude of anticipation to wake up every morning and say, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." And when You speak, let me be faithful to follow and obey You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Isaiah 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’" (NIV)

Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)

Hear God’s Word first thing in the morning, by giving Him your first 5 minutes. The First 5 app will be available soon and will transform your time with God. Learn more here.

Continue your First 5 journey with the corresponding Experience Guide. The Experience Guide is beautifully designed to complement each day’s teaching and grow your faith, as you reflect on and respond to what you’re learning. Pre-order your guide today for a special price and receive it before the study starts!

Stop by Leah DiPascal’s blog today for more encouragement.

It’s important to remember that God does things in His own timing. Regardless of whether or not you’ve discerned God’s voice today, He is always working behind the scenes on your behalf.

Write a prayer telling God why you want to discern His voice.

© 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

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  1. I NEEDED to read this tonight. God’s timing is perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Johnson says:

    God particularly spoke to me this morning about my first 5minutes with Him and in every other thing I do. I can really sense God speaking to me this morning. Morever, I have an issue disturbing my heart, befor I presented that to Him prayer, He said; Peace be still. God is good.

  3. Loved this. Needed to hear this as well.

  4. I hear you Lord, just as you heard me:)

  5. Crystal says:

    May the quietness be found, for me to hear Jis voice, even in this storm I am physically walking thru of medical issues. May God not only read my heart but heal it also, knowing how much I want to hear Him!! I hold on to His promises, yet how I want to hear his voice, even in a whisper !

  6. Thank you, Leah, for this lesson. Our church is running a “Teach Us to Pray” Vacation Bible School this summer. I want to introduce the concept of listening to God–that prayer is a conversation, not a monologue. I, too, discovered how to recognize God’s voice for myself, decades after I became a believer. I only wish that I’d learned it sooner, and I’m passionate about teaching it to others. Your post is going into my arsenal of teaching tools.

    • Shirlee, it’s never too late to learn a new truth from God. The more we spend time with Him and dig deeper into Scripture the more He will uncover and teach us.

  7. What a powerful message to wake up to this morning. When you are busy with the everyday “noise” of life it can be so hard to hear His voice. When you Believe, Anticipate and Follow, his voice will undoubtedly become louder and louder.

  8. Today I am going on a job interview. This will bring huge changes to our family and my current employer. I wanted to hear something….anything from God. This devotional was so timely. Thank you!

  9. Just what I needed to hear!

  10. Awesome devotional! I am currently taking a bible course on the Holy Spirit. It has really been a blessing. I need to be more intimate with the Holy Spirit to hear His voice. He is our helper and he came to fulfill the will of God in our lives. Lord, please help me to spend enough time with you so I can hear your voice more clearly what’s the next step you want me to take that will bless your kingdom. Amen!

  11. Charmica says:

    God I need to hear your voice. I feel like a duck in a hole with no way out. I need to know You are there and the decisions I have to make line up with what You want me to do. Amen.

    The devotion today is exactly where I found myself this morning. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thank you for this devotion. It’s so amazing how much these devotions are right where I’m at every time I read them. I am so glad I found the Proverbs 31 site. God bless you

  13. When women encounter good friends on God’s side we clearly listen to The Lord,He can say power words through wisdom and teaches us how to make our own choice walking on God’s word I had felt forgiven,younger women when they find themselves into God’s word they are saved as long their faith lasts……Amen

    Thank you once again Debbie!!! God bless

  14. Lord, help me to hear Your voice daily and be ready to obey always. Please forgive me for being lazy to obey something You have called me to do. Please bless me with discipline to write and share the testimony of Your redeeming work in my life, for Your glory and to help others, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

    Thanks friends for the great article!

  15. He always finds a way to send a message.!! Needed to read this ♡♡♡

  16. No words can convey what I’m thinking, so all I can say is thank you for this!

  17. Love this illustration about discernment! It isn’t a question of whether or not God will speak, it’s a question of recognition. All of us have had a time when we sensed something from God, and for most of us, it isn’t God’s audible voice. Usually, it’s more of an impression or inner knowing like you described. Leah, Thank you for encouraging women who long to hear His voice today!

  18. This past April my husband grew ill and passed away suddenly. During those few weeks I was desperate to be near to God and to receive His “instructions” on what to do and how to proceed, but my mind was overwhelmed with stress, fear and worry. I prayed and prayed – Father, tell me what to do. A series of four devine gifts were given to me during that time – strangers and workers reaching out to me so share their faith and prayers with me – seemingly out of the blue! On the morning he died I stopped by the hospital restroom to gather myself and found two beautifully crafted fabric bagdes depicting Christ on the cross and The Resurrection. Absolutely no on around. I put them in my pocket. God “spoke to me” over and over during the most difficult 3 weeks of my life, reminding me that He was near, He was aware of everything that was happening, and that He was in charge. I had nothing to fear. Although I was unable to hear Him myself – others heard Him as He sent them to me. What a wonderful blessing.

    • Marcy, thank you for sharing this tender story with us. It’s a beautiful reminder of how God draws nearer to us when we’re brokenhearted. How amazing that you look back at that time of intense grief and clearly see God there with you. Yes, He will never leave or forsake us!

  19. Dear Leah, that was beautifully said! Thank you for encouraging my heart today with these truths!

  20. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this. Today is,the 3 year anniversary of my husband passing unexpectedly, I am so ready for someone to join my life and keep waiting and needing a,word from God. I know he is with me ,I know I have seen him move in my life. I am just looking for direction and purpose right now and feeling a need for discernment.

  21. I think it’s sometimes in the most desperate moments that we hear God more clearly than others. Maybe it’s because we are drawing close or maybe it’s because God knows we can’t take anymore chaos alone. Either way, I’m learning to embrace the difficult and lean in close no matter what life brings. Thank you for this reminder to listen and know the sound of His voice.

  22. Jessica says:

    Thank you for the beautiful verses and this beautiful devotion. I needed to read this. As always, God’s timing is perfect! The closer to God I get, I find myself questioning if it is His Voice or not. I think in my heart, I know. But, I think temptation and fear make it easy to question what I hear. Thank you for reminding me that I just need to pray and ask Him to lete hear and discern. I haven’t done that. I am forever grateful of our Ever Loving and Mericiful and Patient Father. The One True King.

  23. So many times we think God’s closeness is always available but we don’t realize that’s it’s conditioned upon our closeness to him. I loved this piece! Honestly, we can’t hear Him if there is too much noise going on in our lives.
    Thank you for sharing

    Happy Medley

  24. Kirsten Faith says:

    W-O-W i felt like this hit home for me, because I had been feeling like God just wasnt talking to me, but now I realize he has been talking to me. He has been talking to me through my heart and the bible. Thank God.

  25. Lisa Shemancik says:

    Thank you so much! So many times I question if it is Gods voice or the enemy. I realize that when God is ready it will be crystal clear, no doubt, no fear from what he is asking of me. Being human its hard to wait for his direction especially in times of crisis. I thank God for his love, guidance and constant protection.

  26. As I read today’s devotional all I could do was reflect on all of the times I clearly heard God’s voice – to the point it was literally knocking me over & booming in my head – and the outcome from each of those instances, which was absolutely for my good (even though I may not have seen it at the time). Just the devotional I needed to start of a new week:)

  27. Lynn Sauls says:

    Hello! Just had to share a word of thanks! I read your devotionals daily and they are such a blessing. I lead a senior’s bible Study at an assisted living facility in my town and these are soooo helpful. I often read them which then opens the door for great discussion and conversation. Thanks again for sharing your heart. Lynn

  28. Thank you for being God’s vessel to deliver this message today! Just last night I was talking to my husband about not being sure if we made the right decision buying our house and not knowing what we needed to do going forward. Should we be doing this or that? Is this is the plan for our future or not? Am I letting my desires cloud my judgement? All these thoughts swirl in my head constantly. I haven’t been reading my Proverbs 31 devotions lately but this morning I decided to. When I opened it up to read what you had written, I cried. It’s overwhelming to be reminded that the God of the universe sees me in my situation and meets me there with exactly what I need when I need it. Thank you for being His hands and feet working in my life today!!

  29. Melanie MSMD says:

    I agree that God speaks to most through other people or things, but don’t discount that He can and will sometimes speak in an audible voice. I know a few people whom each heard God’s voice unmistakably. For each it was preceded by a growing sense that something was about to happen. In my husband’s case, God clearly said and he clearly heard, “It’s time.” My husband responded, and our lives changed. This was not immediate but looking back 13 years, that was undeniably a pivotal point that changed our lives for the better and drew us closer to God. SO many blessings have come from my husband discerning and obeying His call.

    God is not a God of confusion. His speaking is unmistakable. If WE are confused, all we need to do is test what we’ve heard against Scripture. I pray we all position ourselves to hear, seek, believe and respond to His call: Here am I Lord, your servant is listening. He spoke creation into being…what wonders can He accomplish if we just listen and obey??

  30. Chelsea says:

    “Trying to hold back the knot in my stomach and holding back a wall of tears” – man, this really resonated with me. I’ve felt that feeling all too often. I liked this reading so much I shared it.

  31. I really enjoyed this today. I will be sharing this with my summer Bible study group.

  32. So glad to have read this today. I have wrestled with wondering ifGod was trying to tell me something – to obey – or if it was just me. I understand that to know someone is to spend time with them and I’ve shared this with my children. In order to know God is to spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer and worship. It didn’t occur to me that I would even recognize His voice, just like I recognize the voice of each of my children. Thank you, Leah. God Bless you and Proverbs 31 Ministries.

  33. Thank you I needed this. I thought God forgot about me and my prayers…

  34. Great devotion today. I visited Saddleback Church yesterday. The sermon was “Hearing the Voice of God” Read Habakkuk 2:1-2. Listen to Rick Warren’s sermon online, it’s a great message on this topic. This is an area of my life I have struggled with lately. Now to hear this message and to read this devo this morn, I realize more clearly God is listening to me. Why would this topic be the discussion in both, it wasnt by chance.

  35. Sometimes I have to get really quite to hear what God is saying. Other times, it sounds like He shouts at me. Those are the times when He is probably frustrated with me that I haven’t been paying attention to Him or making sure that He is at the forefront of my life. It happens and when it does I just have to remember to get back on track, pray my brains out and remember that having a conversation with God about what is going on in my life is so much simpler than texting or calling my friends. He already knows the good and the bad and He knows what to do to fix it or make it better. God is Good!

  36. Bridgette says:

    Write a prayer telling God why you want to discern His voice
    Dear God, I truly want to discern your voice because I believe that you know what is best for me. In and of
    myself, I am nothing. I neeed your voice for daily direction, encouragement, and even for correction. God you want the very best for me, and hearing your voice is crucial as I walk daily in you. I talk and hear from family and friends all the time, I need to near your sweet and gentle voice even more since you are my heavenly father. I have MAJOR decisions to make, some far beyond my comprehension, only your voice and your voice alone can help me in term of my going forward or otherwise as you speak to me. God I talk a great deal, help me to talk to you more and be quiet so that I can discern you voice speaking back to me in Jesus name amen!

  37. These are the words that I needed to hear this morning. I have been struggling with some personal and marriage issues. I continue to pray that this storm that I’m suffering shall pass and the rainbow will appear at the end of this storm. But I also have to stop and listen to hear God’s word to guide me in what is next. God’s word shall help and guide me through this storm.

    God is always with us.

  38. Pamela Bauder says:

    My daughter sent me your devotional this morning about hearing God’s voice.
    My first thought, ‘what is it with bathrooms?’.
    A stray cat had come to my back door, it was sleeting rain and very cold but I was able to entice her in with food. She was very afraid and I figured she was a mistreated throwaway. She was with us for several months when she got outside. I was terrified for her and was pretty much hysterical. We had workers coming to start building a screen room on our deck the next morning and I knew Ella Bella would be scared away. I had been waiting for this room for twenty years yet I wished they wouldn’t show up. They didn’t, even after confirming at the end of the week they would be here Monday morning. I was a basket case all day, crying and crying. I was ‘in the bathroom’ and decided to have a shower. While I was in there, I poured my heart out to God. She’s just a cat, you have much more important things to do but she is important to me. I finally gave up and this was the last statement I prayed.
    ‘God you NEVER answer any of my prayers, why would you answer this one?’
    His answer: ‘Every time you prayed for your family to arrive home safely, have I not answered your prayer?’ Pretty simple. The answer was not even about the cat! It was about faith and trust and my Father who hears me. I knew right at that moment my poor little cat that meant so much to me would be back.
    Ella Bella was sitting calmly on my back step at 11:00pm that night. She found herself face to face with a raccoon and flew through the door when I opened it. Thankyou God. Eleven years later she is still here but she stays clear of the door! Oh yes, the workers arrived the next morning!
    Thankyou for your devotionals.
    Pam Bauder

  39. Your post this morning struck a particular chord with me. We lost our daughter almost 8 years ago in a car accident. There was no time for final words, she died instantly and far from home. My husband and I were making arrangements for her services and I shared with the chaplain that we were very unsure of where she was in her personal situation with Christ and we knew that there would be many of her friends who may have never even considered their relationship with God in attendance. The chaplain listened patiently as I rambled and cried about my beautiful daughter and my disbelief that she wasn’t ever going to be at the other end of my phone call or sit with us for another Friday night meal or be here to celebrate the many milestones in the lives of her children. The day of her funeral the chaplain chose the same verse you discussed this morning and talked about his belief that we all know our Father’s voice, especially when it is time to return to our Shepherd, in life or in death. I have returned to this verse many times and, on days like today when it appears without me searching it out for comfort, I know my daughter heard His voice and returned to her Shepherd. There are still tough days we are so lonely for her, but we are at peace and can smile at the heavens.

    • Cat, may God continue to comfort you and your husband as you patiently wait to see your daughter again. Knowing she’s in Heaven with Jesus can help soothe some of your pain and feelings of loss.

  40. DebbieW says:

    I have a moment where I heard God’s voice loud & clear a few years ago on July 4th. After the fireworks display in our town my son & I drove home together in my car through a few side streets to get home to avoid the main road. I stopped at 4 way stop intersection and had planned to make a left turn. I then heard a man’s voice very loudly say “don’t turn”. I remained stopped and looked in amazement over at the front passenger seat because it sounded like a man sitting right next to me. When I turned back to look out the front window I saw a car speeding through the opposite stop sign. That car would have hit my car on the passenger side, the same side my young son was sitting in the back seat. Could have killed him or both of us. I asked my son if he heard the voice speaking to me and he said no. Only I heard it. To this day I am convinced God was sitting in that passenger seat and was instructing me not to proceed through the intersection because he knew the car coming would not stop. I can still remember that night like it happened yesterday. I have had a couple of instances where this has happened and I know it is God speaking directly to me. Amazing!

    • Debbie ~ what a powerful story. Thank you for sharing how God protected you and your son from a terrible accident. Reading it gave me goosebumps!

    • What an amazing testimony, DebbieW! Oh how much GOD is with us and speaks to us in many ways! His audible voice to you required a dramatic intervention from the LORD. Without it, you would not have this first hand witness of our LORD’S direction.

      The sentence that spoke volumes to me was “And no noise from this world would block out His voice, as long as we stayed close to Him.” This statement has blessed me so!

  41. Very good-thanks for sharing Leah.

  42. Great devotion!

  43. Just 2days ago I cried deep down from my heart and I specifically said to Him… “lord i just want to hear you again, I’m so sorry please just let me hear you again, I know you see me!!” I backslid for months and I couldn’t take it anymore being without Him. And my boss out of nowhere said “look into this website and read this very touching”. Wow! she did not know about my prayer and randomly before she left the office she came to me, I pulled this up and I just Smiled so HUGE with joyful tears in my eyes!! He heard me that day, He saw my heart, He saw ME.. He is still there…I heard him!

  44. Wendy Lockhart says:

    This devotional is so amazing! It spoke to the depth of my soul! We often make things so complicated. But this devotional gives a SIMPLE answer to learning how to discern God’s voice….simply spend time with Him! “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬a NKJV) Read His Word daily and “pray without ceasing,” (I Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬ NKJV). God spoke to me in the middle of this devotional, before I had even finished reading it, and placed a dear friend on my heart, a friend who is not saved, and He lead me by the power of the Holy Spirit to text her….just to simply remind her as I always do that no matter how distant we become, I will always continue to lift her up in prayer and that I am always here for her to talk, listen, and even to offer my shoulder to cry on. God’s love is so amazing and His presence is so profound! He gives true peace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it is such an amazing feeling. Amen! Thank you so much for this devotional! I absolutely loved it! To God be the glory forever and ever! 🙂

  45. Priscilla Jones says:

    This is very profound!!! We are in a season where things around us are in a disruptive state and we have to pray that His voice will dominate all other voices.

  46. I know I hear so many different voices I would like to know which one is from him. Have a blessed day.

  47. olive a. hamo says:

    I really thank the Lord for this message..its my first time to browse on this site and it helped me to be sensitive on how I can hear from God..

  48. Thank you for writing this. . . I have felt so burdened being a mom of seven and trying to homeschool. I have been so fearful I would miss God’s voice and my children would not follow God because of my failures. This has spoken to me, reiterating what God was whispering to my heart. I do hear Him. He is with me. Bless you for sharing the truth.

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  71. Benswife says:

    For some time now, my mind has taken over. I call out to God to take over my mind (“…for we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor. 2:16b) but nothing happens. I call out His Name for wisdom when I am stressed and can’t focus on what I’m doing, yet, nothing happens. I’ve tried to quote back scripture and still no relief from the never-ending flow of negative thoughts and frustrations that devour my mind. I’ll remind myself that I’m a Child of God, then a thought of “Sure you are, for now, but you’ll mess up again…then what?” Then I’ll reply, “Forever! Because God said so and I believe it!” Then comes, “Do you really believe it?” Then I’ll tell Satan off in Jesus Name and the thoughts keep coming. I don’t have anyone to talk with about this kind of stuff. I’ve tried to find a mentor for a long time now, but there aren’t a lot of mature Christian women in my area to gravitate to. I’m not very good with putting my thoughts into words when I’m having a conversation one-on-one with someone. So then I start feeling stupid because I can’t seem to get what I want across. I ask God to speak through me, and nothing happens. I just make a fool of myself and get more frustrated. What am I doing wrong?! I’ve repented for being selfish with everything (being a mom can do that). I’ve been on my face before Him crying out, then a kid walks in because taking a nap is too hard and interrupts. God knew what I was doing and knew I’d get interrupted so why didn’t He do anything before or after my child walked in?! I’ve been a Christian for almost 20 years now and this is the first time I haven’t been able to hear from God. I hate being frustrated towards God. It effects how I react to everything in my life; from someone stabbing me in the back to dropping clean laundry on the floor. My reactions are close in the same. I know all this is wrong, but I can not do this on my own and I DO know that God is suppose to help me, but why isn’t He?

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