Have you ever wondered how people could say, “God spoke to me today.” Teens often hear this in church or among family or friends and wonder, “How did God speak to them? I don’t hear from God like that.”
Here is the good news. You CAN learn how to hear God’s voice. It is not as hard as you think so let’s look at several different ways that God speaks to us even today.
In 1 Kings 19:12 it says, “And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” God doesn’t need big noises like an earthquake to have you hear Him.
Sometimes when it is quiet and not a sound is heard, we often times will hear God speaking to our heart with a flowing of unspoken thoughts. It pops in your head and it is clear and precise and you understand that this could not have come any other way other than God.
For example, there have been plenty of times in which I was doing the dishes or driving the car and someone’s name would suddenly come to my mind. Then with urgency, I would pray for them at that moment. It did not come from an audible voice where you can clearly hear the sound of that person. It came instead, with a spontaneous thought. That is one way that God is speaking.
Reading the Bible every day is another key way to hear from God. You are inviting God to speak to you while you are learning from Him. John 10:27 shows us that as we learn about Jesus, He sees us as His sheep. He wants us to listen to His voice. He knows us and when He calls us, we in essence follow His voice. II Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” This scripture shows us that by reading His Word, God can impart teaching, correction, and encouragement.
God also speaks to us through nature and teaches us little lessons in life such as the little caterpillar that must eat itself in the cocoon in order for it to become a butterfly. It will release enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues until all that is left are the cells to make imaginal discs that produce the new body parts. But after a time, all those imaginal discs change the stage of the caterpillar from something old that must die to something new and life changing to begin. Isn’t that true as a teenager, you struggle and wonder why you have to go through such difficulties. But when you get through it to the other side with God’s help, you attain a new life, vibrant and growing for His glory.
God may also use images and music to speak to you. God’s creativity in these areas can be like a picture with a thousand words. When we praise Him through our art, poetry, song, it becomes an open doorway for God to speak and minister to us through the Holy Spirit. Just like King David in the Psalms, he used the creative arts to share God’s glory and to speak to the people. Allow God to speak to you through your music and artistry.
Lastly and most importantly is prayer. Romans 8:26-27 shares, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The more we pray, the more our hearts are sensitive to what the Lord is saying to us. Through His Spirit, situations can become clearer or confirm something within our heart. As a teen, you don’t need to have a perfect prayer. You only need to be open and honest with God. Use your own words the way you would speak with a family member or friend. God is not looking for perfection, just a humble heart waiting on Him to hear His voice.
Do any of these ways happen immediately? No. But always keep your heart attuned to His voice, seeking Him daily and before you know it, you will hear God’s voice speaking to you.