This is a really important question. The Bible tells us that God will speak to us when He wants to guide us and we want to follow. John 10:3-5 says: “His sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name, […] they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
Jesus expects us to hear His voice
Jesus compares us to His sheep. A sheep knows the voice of the shepherd, will trust him and follow him, but they won’t have the same response to a stranger’s voice. So we know that Jesus fully expects us to be able to hear His voice and follow Him.
You heard Jesus’ voice at least once
If you are already a Christian you have already heard His voice. He called you to be his child. Think back about how this happened. How did you know the Christian way was right? What made you follow and accept Jesus as your savior?
How can I hear God’s voice?
Someone shared with you the Christian message, you read it in the Bible, or someone showed you different places in the Bible. This is exactly how God can speak to us. Through someone else, or through the Bible. It is His Holy Spirit working to attract your attention.
Sometimes God will use a really strong conviction/feeling in your heart, urging you to do something, or helping you to understand what you have read in the Bible. Sometimes you may hear His voice audibly, (probably not very often) or you may have a thought come into your head that makes you surprised and wonder where that came from.
Learn to understand when He speaks
These are other ways that God can talk to us. As His sheep, we will get to recognize His voice, the words in our hearts, the convictions/feelings that He causes us to feel. All of these will be in line with what the Bible teaches. If you are not sure if something is from God or not, ask Him to make it clear to you – you can be sure that if He is speaking He will definitely help you to be sure.
How can I talk to God or Jesus?
How did you let God know that you wanted or needed His forgiveness? You prayed. This is how we talk to Jesus. Many people when they first become Christians they say I don’t know how to pray. I’m afraid I’ll use the wrong words, I don’t know the right formula. God is not so much interested in the words we say as much as what is in our hearts. A child who loves his father will not hold back, afraid to talk to him in case he doesn’t say the right words, he just says the things that are in his heart. How he feels, his requests, what he plans to do or is doing. A child can often keep up a conversation even though others may not be interested, fathers love to listen and talk to their child.
Be like a child and talk in prayer to your Father
The same is true of God. Every time to talk to Him we are praying. It may be a quick prayer “Lord, what should I do?“, it may be longer telling Him what we’ve done, and how things are going, and just thanking Him for His help or telling Him about the problems of our friends and family and asking God to help them. Thanking him for our food, His help, His love, praising Him, this is worship. This is how we talk to God, it is simple, so even a child can do it.
We hear God’s voice through friends, reading the Bible, having a thought in our heads which comes from Him, but all of these ways need to be in line with what the Bible teaches about Him. He will never ask us to do something or say something unless it is in line with what the Bible says. We can talk to God and Jesus by just speaking out the things we think and want Him to know. This is called praying. We don’t need special lessons or words to be able to pray – all we need is a desire to talk with Him. You can be sure He is listening.