Stepping out of the boat – those familiar boundaries that you live your life within – begins by standing and recognizing that God is speaking to you.
There’s no one way or “right” way to hear God’s voice – God speaks in a number of ways:
1. God speaks through His Word
There is no substitute for God’s Word – the Bible. It is our instruction manual for daily life. If you are seeking answers for a particular situation, ask God to speak to you through His Word and then keep a journal of what He shows you over a period of time.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
2. God speaks through prayer and quiet reflection
Our lives are so busy – it’s hard to sift through our own thoughts, let alone hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Schedule concentrated time to spend with God each day. Sometimes we’re so busy and concerned with our needs that we use our prayer time to talk at God instead of also listening to Him.
“Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.” – James 4:8
3. God speaks through close friends and family
Many times, we’re confronted with a situation, questioning a decision, or thinking through an issue, and God will speak His Truth through a family member or friend. Remember: a true word from God will always align with the Scriptures and who God is; it will never go against His teachings.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17
4. God speaks through situations and events
Nothing that happens in our lives is by accident. God knows every detail of our lives and nothing is a surprise to him. Seek the Scriptures and pay attention to what is happening around you. God will bring people into your life and bring you into and through various situations and events that will help shape your walk with Him.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.” – Psalm 37:23
5. God speaks through wise, Biblical counsel
After you’ve searched the Scriptures and prayed about what God is asking you to do, don’t seek advice from a million people. Instead, seek wise, Biblical counsel from your Pastor, or a deacon/elder, or a close Godly friend with those characteristics.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:20-21