“The next worldwide move of God will be marked by people who hear My voice.”
I heard this powerful statement back in 2001 from the Holy Spirit. He took me through a series of encounters and biblical studies that have caused me to be convinced that each Christian not only is called to hear His voice, but we are also wired with the frequency of heaven. We are tuned in to His Spirit in a way that is so supernatural it hits us even on a gut level.
Because of this word, I released books, taught at events around the world, and produced media and TV shows about this very subject. These didn’t stay in their little charismatic niche but have hit broad audiences, and I am blown away at how even our podcast on Charisma Podcast Network has regularly charted in the top 50 worldwide of Religion and Spirituality podcasts.
People are hungry for this subject because God is releasing this emphasis. I am now meeting people from all backgrounds who say they are hearing His voice, it is changing their lives, and they are changing the world around them.
We are also seeing great men and women positioned in politics, entertainment and business who share freely how God has spoken to them. This used to be controversial but has now become mainstream. Our previous U.S. president and vice president said they commune with God, listening for His voice to speak to them. Musical celebrities such as Justin Bieber—who has recently turned deeply to His faith—have shared on multiple platforms what God is saying to them. TV personality Kathy Lee Gifford released a book on her prophetic journey through Israel with Rabbi Jason Sobel that became a mainstream success, even achieving New York Times bestseller status—and it all came from God telling her to go to Israel. This is a new day in how mainstream Christianity sees the importance of hearing God’s voice.
Maturing in Faith
God will soon bring a great maturation to Christian believers of every background to tune us into this frequency and give us confidence—not only in what we believe but in our relationship to the one in whom we believe. This will happen as He encounters us in profound ways.
A great reformation is taking place in Christianity that may surpass the great Reformation period of the 16th century and bring a unity around the themes of our Christian faith among opposing denominations and believers. In the formation of Protestantism with Martin Luther we see a prototype for what God calls us to walk in today.
Luther’s reformation of Christian thought changed the way we perceive our personal relationships with God. His time in history also included a progressive maturation in understanding of how the justification process equipped individuals to relate to God. Luther proclaimed that Christians didn’t need another person to mediate between them and God but, as priests themselves, were to pray to Him directly. He then went even further, saying people should be able to read the Bible for themselves because we are justified by our own faith, not someone else’s.
Although these now sound like basic tenets of our faith, in Luther’s time, they were considered revolutionary. The fact that he was the first to mass print the Bible in common language and was almost killed for doing so reveals how seasons of great change can feel threatening at the time they occur.
The huge themes Luther presented changed the trajectory of Christianity forever. God wired us for these responsibilities and benefits in our relationship with Him, but someone had to restore them to us theologically and practically. Everything changed as believers were empowered by their ability to interpret what the Scriptures could mean for their lives and to pray boldly before the throne of grace, full of new confidence and faith.
Before every major move of God that involves additional global impact and reach, a period of tension occurs. We are now watching a spiritual deconstructing of weak faith, and we should be more excited about the strength God is bringing than concerned about the weakness some believers have shown in their journeys.
Connecting to Him
This is a prophetic moment. God is opening the eyes of Christians all around to see what is missing in the world, in the church, in society, in politics and all other human realms. We can either see this with God’s heart, knowing that Jesus came to restore all things, or we can view it with great dissatisfaction. Anger, disappointment, fear and mistrust often hit people hard as they realize what others are doing wrong or even how misguided religious ideas and elements of Christianity have caused harm.
When you look at these as gaps between what man has done and what God wants to do—both scripturally and in a more connected way through your relationship with God—you may go through many of the same emotions or searching, but you will end up connecting to His heart. There, the only things that will remain are faith, hope and love. Conflict connected to obligation, performance, identity issues or lesser goals than relationship leads to death. But conflict in connected relationship leads to health and life.
The loving Creator of everything calls us to hear from Him and understand that He had an original desire and master plan over everything He created. As we know Him through His Word but also connect to His heartbeat, we hear how to change things back to that divine intention and plan. We look with eyes of faith at the gaps in what is not happening and what He wants to happen.
We can only have this kind of connectedness through our own ability to relate to His voice, just as the early Protestants needed to understand they were justified by their own faith and could relate to the Bible in a personal way without the need for someone else to interpret it.
When we hear from God about ourselves, our relationships, our purpose and the world around us, we look at things through a lens of anticipation for what He wants to do, no matter how unsettling the landscape of life, politics or environment may be. Hearing from God grounds us in the live wire of hope through the Holy Spirit so we don’t just believe without vision but are pumped full of His intention and desire.
We have experienced a season of failure of prophetic voices in the church, especially in politics, the economy and promises about when the next move of God would occur. God has used this difficult time to heal any co-dependency we had in allowing others to take God’s place in speaking to us for our own life and faith. God doesn’t send prophets to stand between us and Him or to substitute for Him. Instead, He sends them to enhance and strengthen our relationship with Him. They are confirmers, encouragers, edifiers.
In this season when so many were desperate for answers and solutions, many tuned into a prophetic voice—one that gave them multiple perspectives and much information—instead of tuning into the Holy Spirit. As Scripture proclaims, God is a jealous God, and He will not give the place He made for us in relationship to Him to anyone else. Some people believed what the prophetic voices said and experienced real disappointment; as a result, we saw a clear drop-off in faith in some of the charismatic voices and theology. Just beyond that, however, stands a beautiful God who invites people to mature in their ability to hear Him, to discern His heart and to trust their own ability to relate to Him.
God is raising up multitudes of trusted, credible prophetic voices, but He is doing so within the context of the whole church taking responsibility as individuals to hear God for themselves. He raises up these voices as messengers, not saviors. Instead of serving as glorified problem solvers upon whom the church grows dependent in an unhealthy way, they bring confirmation that there is a loving God who longs to lead His people.
Hearing God’s Voice
Most Christians can relate to the practical ways the Holy Spirit speaks to us, such as when He convicts us of sin or bad behavior and we feel led to make it right. We know such a desire for restoration doesn’t come from ourselves. This type of inner conviction is a tenet of faith for Christians from the most traditional of believers to the most Pentecostal.
So how do we hear from God in an empowered way that brings solutions to practical problems, wisdom to daily decisions and guidance for our relationships and our goals? Scripture reveals all of these, but we often fail to see ourselves in those stories, and thus we discount our ability to tune into God’s frequency.
Here are three simple keys to track how you are already hearing from God and build maturity in your ability to hear Him.
Reverse engineer. Get out a piece of paper and write five of the greatest things that ever happened to you: marriage, career breakthrough, getting sober, increased finances, restoration of a broken relationship with a family member. Most of us would agree that God was working, but few would take responsibility with God for the way He was working through our faith. In looking for how He did the work, we can see how we participated by faith and how we followed His voice or prompting.
Identify how you hear. We all hear and pay attention to information differently, but most Christians hear God’s voice in similar ways, through an internal process rather than an audible voice. The God of the universe—the same God who doesn’t fit into time and space—proves that He lives within us. First Corinthians 2 is one of the clearest representations of how His voice comes. The Holy Spirit searches the deep parts of the Father and drops His thoughts and perception into our spirits. In other words, much of the way we hear from God comes through impressions, our intuition or a “gut feeling.” God has wired us for it, and as we live in relationship with Him, we sometimes have His thoughts overlapping our thinking process. We must slow down and realize He is present and speaking to us. When you are about to make a decision and experience an inner “knowing” of the right thing to do, is that your own wisdom manifesting? Perhaps, but as a praying Christian, look for a God result, not a human effort. When the decisions you make pay off, examining the decision-making process will help you learn how He speaks to you.
Incorporate intentional listening prayer into your daily routine. Most of you reading this have regular times of prayer and study, but do you have times of set-apart listening for the questions you are asking and the concerns you are pondering? Setting aside time to ask God questions and wait on His answers is a huge step forward in learning to hear His voice. He has so many things to say, and He doesn’t always speak back directly when you talk to Him. Growing in interpreting His voice takes intentional time and effort. I would encourage anyone who really wants to learn how to hear God to take 10 minutes a day after a devotional time in the Bible and ask Him about a concern that is important to you, then practice quieting yourself until you feel you have set an atmosphere of listening. Learning to listen takes time because it is an act of faith, but it can be one of the most rewarding things we do. Sometimes we ask about things in which we have a huge emotional investment and don’t hear God, so I encourage people not to get stuck there. There are so many things we can ask Him: “What are some of the things You created for me to do that You couldn’t wait for me to discover?” Or “Can You show me a way to love someone important to me today that will touch their life significantly?” Sometimes asking questions stimulates the conversation to a place where we won’t need questions to lead us but will truly learn to commune with God.
Knowing that Jesus was tuned into heaven’s frequency to the point that it became food for him (see John 4:34) helps us see how valuable and rewarding this process can be. He prophesied to the disciples three times in John 14-16 that the Holy Spirit would bring them the same kind of connected relationship to the Father’s heart and voice that He had, and we need to take this seriously.
I began this article with a prophetic word from the Holy Spirit: “The next worldwide move of God will be marked by people who hear My voice.” How well do you hear from Him?
He has already invited you; it’s time to tune in to heaven’s frequency.
READ MORE: Find out more about the Holy Spirit’s work today at holy.charismamag.com.
Shawn Bolz is a TV host, an author, a producer, and a prophetic minister who helps believers connect their faith to culture in a transformative way. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Cherie, and their two daughters.