The way a mother hears the voice of her child has always been insightful to me. That child can whisper the quietest sound and a mom hears it, even from a distance. Or if that child calls on the phone, they don’t have to announce their name, their mom knows their voice. While this may be true for dads as well, I can only speak as a mom.

Why is it that way? Because that mother intimately knows her child and she would know that voice anywhere. So, it is with God.

The first prerequisite to hearing God’s voice clearly is found in developing a relationship with Him. The only way you can learn to discern His voice is by spending time with Him, talking with Him and taking the time to listen to Him. Once you have an intimate relationship with Him, you will hear His voice more clearly.

John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. “

How can we follow God if we don’t hear His voice and how can we hear His voice if we don’t cultivate a relationship with Him?

God doesn’t always, from my personal experience, speak in a loud voice. Most often, I hear that still small voice spoken of in 1 Kings 19:11-12.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

God was not in the strong wind that tore into the mountain, nor was He in the earthquake or fire…no, He was the still small voice. To hear a still, small voice, we must listen carefully and know that voice.

Beyond that, we must remove any noise that is prohibiting the sound of His voice.

I once had a dream that people were calling me on the phone to give me important information, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. Why? Because there was so much noise in the background. There were people talking all around me, even when I asked them to stop. There were trucks driving by. There were all kinds of noise in the background. This happened several times in my dream. I woke up and thought, “I must get rid of the noise.”

Noise is defined as; a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance, and confused sounds.

Noises can be many things. They can be too much news media or social media. Noise can be the sounds of negative people around you. Noise can be the busyness of your world or workplace. As I said, it can be a plethora of things – if you want to hear God, you may have to shut out all the noise. What voices seem loud, unpleasant, and confusing when you are trying to hear God? Close those out.

So often I get emails from people who desperately need to hear God on a matter. I understand that as I have had such times. In those times I must check two things.

First, I have to make sure I am cultivating a consistent and continual relationship with God. That I am spending time in His presence, talking to Him, and listening to Him. That I am not just going to Him for a need but creating intimacy with Him.

Secondly, I must make sure to shut out all the noises that are trying to hinder me from hearing His voice. Whatever that noise may be, I must remove it. I remember one time I was seeking God for an answer to something. Everyone in my family wanted to give their opinion. One day, I couldn’t listen to all their opinions any longer, so I said, “I need you to stop giving me your opinion, I need the freedom to hear God for myself.” Sometimes, we are getting so many good, well-meaning opinions that we simply can’t hear God for ourselves amid the noise. While the Bible does say there is safety in the multitude of counsel – sometimes we need to hear God for ourselves first.

Are you hearing God’s voice? If not, make sure you are spending time with Him – in His presence. And make sure to remove any unnecessary noise – as you do – you will hear that still, small voice speaking your answer. We have a promise – we are His sheep – we know and hear His voice. May you hear Him clearly today.