Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Worship—Recognizing God’s Voice

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." John 10:4-5 (NIV)

Throughout my years of teaching—whether at a Christian Writers Conference or a Bible study—probably the question I’ve been asked the most has been, “How do I know it’s really God speaking to me?” The answer is at once very simple and very hard. You can tell it’s God’s voice, because you recognize it.

I’ve come to realize that voice is vitally important to a writer in two ways:
  • We have to come to embrace and utilize the uniqueness of our own personal voice when we write. This is a topic of craft.
  • We also have to come to recognize God’s voice so that we can share what He has for us to share. This is a topic of the heart.
So how do we recognize God’s voice? How do we recognize anyone’s voice—by becoming familiar with the timber, pitch and way of speaking. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of answering the phone and having someone begin the conversation without identifying themselves. Sometimes I can spend several moments wondering who they were. I’ve found this doesn’t often happen when the person on the other end is a close friend.

To recognize God’s voice we have to spend time with Him—quality time—in prayer, worship and study. With that commitment of time comes the reward of a deep relationship and the assurance of knowing whose voice we hear. This doesn’t mean there aren’t still times when I question whether or not it’s God speaking, but I can say with certainty that those times become less and less, the closer I get to God.

What are some ways you’ve found to recognize God’s voice? I’d love to hear your stories.

Don't forget to join the conversation!


  1. Thank you for a great reminder for us as writers and as people who love the Lord.

  2. Great post Edie. I've found I'm more apt to recognize God's voice when I pray specifically. When I do so, I believe He responds more specifically through His Word, through others, or perhaps through music. That's just one of the things I love most about Him. He's a Father who not only hears us, but also chooses to speak to us in beautiful and creative ways that sometimes only we can hear.

  3. marilynturkwriter.wordpress.comNovember 1, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Hi Edie,
    Although I may not always hear God's voice, I've learned to know when what I hear is NOT from Him - when the voice is self-deprecating, or reminding me of past mistakes, I know it is the enemy who is trying to steal, kill and destroy that joy and love that God is giving me.

  4. Edie,
    What a great topic - hearing God's voice, finding our own. Both require us to get to know the speaker and spend time learning what is important to them. Thanks for encouragement! - Cynthia Owens

  5. I love how you wove the topic of God's voice and a writer's voice together.
    And key to knowing God's voice is knowing his nature--similiar to what Marilyn said. Is this something God would say, based on who He is, who He reveals himself to be through the Word?