Join some of our favorite Christian speakers on TBN’s Praise speak on their experiences on hearing the voice of God. Listen in as Priscilla Shirer, Jentezen Franklin and Shawn Bolz discuss how to discern the voice of God and how to practice audibly hearing His voice and not the voices of others.

sometimes you’ve got to get Jonah off

the boat

before the real blessing comes into your

life some of you need to throw Joan off

because your boat you’re hanging out

with the wrong people and they’re

rocking your boat the moment they threw

Jonah off and Jonas never jump off on

their own why didn’t he jump off himself

sorry that’s pretty sorry Jonas will

never jump off your boat you have to

throw them off in the book of Hosea

chapter 5 God said to Ephraim one of the

tribes he said I will come to you

as a moth

it’s the only time in scripture where

God says

Compares himself to a mouth you know

what a moth is it’s just a little insect

it’s just a little little flutter

something how do you describe them all

it’s just it’s so tiny it’s so little

you just kind of do like that and it

goes away

but then in the next verse he says I’ll

come to you as an eagle

lion and then a lion

wow and you know I tell people if you

open the closet and you saw a moth in

there it would be no big deal but if you

come back the next day day and you open

the closet and there’s a big old eagle

with sharp claws and a beak that could

rip your flesh to Pieces you’d get your

attention sure but if you on the third

day open that closet and there was a

vicious lion

looking at you it would really get your

attention so the point is this

notice the pattern God says

it’s a powerful thing to to be sensitive

to the voice of God that he you can just

have the gentle flutters of the Holy

Spirit he doesn’t have to scream God

seldom screams almost never he whispers

still Small Voice he wants us not to

have to have the lion not to have to

have the life just being torn all to

pieces in the eagle tearing our lives up

those things will come because whom the

Lord loves he chastens and if he has to

do those things to get you on the right

path he’s got Lions he can release trust

me wow

but his greatest desire this is this is

the tenderness of God that his greatest

desire is just to flutter wow just to

make us sensitive that oh I don’t have

to have some mighty thing I I’m reading

the word I’m praying I’m in touch with

his voice and just the flutter is the

strangest thing I was preaching for

um Craig Rochelle not too long ago and

his he had asked me to to come and

preach some sermons and and take them

and then stay over and do his staff

thing and he has like 1200 people that

that had gathered and I had prepared my

messages ahead you know the best I could

and all of that and I was prepared and

just before I walked up that last


I I don’t know how to describe except

that flutter it wasn’t like you know

just overwhelming thus saith the Lord in

Reverb it was just the flutter somebody

said something on the stage that mess

there was another message that I tucked

in my Bible and it and it just came

alive everything in it and I had that

one but it just it didn’t and the

flutter was over there I don’t know how

to describe it

and I walked up and I preached that

message this isn’t about me but I

preached that message and and and I’m

just telling you the it was it was

strong what God did I almost I could

have missed it I could have gone with

just an old program message that that

you know that but I I had that

sensitivity and to be gently impressed

to be tender enough to just have those

gentle impressions of the Holy Spirit

man that’s when you start walking

and I believe with all of my heart there

are hundreds of thousands of people

watching this program who don’t need

another year like last year this is the

year that God’s going to bring if you’re

single God has a bow ass for you come on

now if you’re a single God does God care

if you’re a widow does God care if

everybody else goes home after church

with somebody and you go home to that

lonely apartment does God care you

better The God Who said it’s not good

for man to be alone knows who you are

supposed to meet he knows how to put you


for Kingdom purposes this is your year

and I’m I’m praying today that hundreds

of you will respond that hundreds of you

at the beginning of the year will get in

an alignment with your assignment and

say I surrender myself completely and

God and this is big sometimes you’ve got

to get Jonah off the boat before the

real blessing comes into your life some

of you need to throw Joan off because

your boat you’re hanging out with the

wrong people and they’re rocking your

boat the moment they threw Jonah off and

Jonas never jump off on their own why

didn’t he jump off himself sorry that’s

pretty sorry Jonas will never jump off

your boat you have to throw them off and

that’s not being ugly it just means you

don’t belong in my circle right now

somebody else is assigned to you you

know and throw Jonah off the boat get

the wrong people out get the right

people in so this issue of Discerning

the voice of God first of all believing

that he does speak but second of all

trusting in the fact that as his kids we

have the privilege to actually discern

and just have a distinction of his voice

between all the other voices that also

want to get a word in edgewise that’s

something that really can change and

transform the trajectory of your entire

Christian experience okay let’s let’s

lay a little bit of the ground rule in

your in your world we’re you’re our

guest today you and Jerry uh Jerry jump

in anytime you want to you’re much

bigger than I am you can jump in anytime

you want and you know you’re a miracle

worker that you got him on the show

Jerry doesn’t want my buddy you guys

you’re just gonna have a good night

we’re gonna we’re gonna discern the

voice of God let me ask you a question

in the Priscilla Jerry world

yeah uh does God Speak audibly

does he only speak through his word does

he speak how how what are the different

ways that you certainly know of that God

speaks to you

um I’ve never heard the audible voice of

God babe have you I missed something I

have not no no not yet but I think there

is something internal yeah in you that

you that you feel the presence of God

and it lines up with scripture which

confirms okay this is what I’m hearing

that’s right so the holy spirit of God

illumines Scripture the book is alive

and he causes the the old presets of

scripture to have a now-ness and a

newness that applies and intersects with

our personal experience so as Jerry

mentioned the holy spirit in US confirms

and corroborates and connects with the

the word of God and causes it to

intersect with our experience so that

that verse that has something to do with

David and Goliath all of a sudden it’s

not about David and Goliath it actually

applies to what you’re facing right then

in your life and you understand it as a

directive straight straight from God and

then there’s the conviction you know the

conviction of the holy spirit that that

green light of ease and peace that says

go that that yellow light of warning an

uneasiness that says hold up a minute

till you get clarity and then that red

light that is a straight up no there’s

no peace there’s confusion there’s

dissension that’s the holy spirit’s way

of telling you no don’t go there there’s

a better yes for you if you’ll just wait

and be patient have you ever heard the

still small voice of the Lord in a

phrase and an impression what describes

some of what is in Discerning the voice

of God the how how the Lord speaks or

how this conversation unfolds with you

yes well most of the time most of the

time God speaks to me through his word

it is exactly what I described it is

reading through a portion of scripture

and on that day it’s like the Holy

Spirit has taken out a highlighter and

has highlighted this verse you have seen

a million times before but on that day

it leaps up off the page and it grips

you that’s the only way I can really

describe it is that it grips you in the

depths of your soul and causes you to

pause for a moment because it seems to

be literally speaking to something

that’s happening in your life most of

the time that is the voice of God we

have discounted I think the power of

scripture because if we say we want to

hear from God and we never actually read

the love letter that he wrote to us we

don’t want to really hear from God and

we rarely will because the Canon of

scripture is not only it not only

provides the boundary into which

everything God says to us will fall

because he’ll never say anything that

manipulates the scriptures or his

character as revealed in the scriptures

so it not only gives us the boundary but

it also provides for us the number one

mechanism through which we have the

privilege to hear him in the first place

start us out on um because I know so

many people wonder oh you know how can I

hear God’s voice for ourselves and I

know trust it or trust or trust it how

can I trust God’s voice when I do hear

it is that really him is it me is it

yeah well let me let me just start by

putting a little Grace over this entire

situation the reality is that sometimes

you do not know until hindsight that

what you heard was the voice of God

there you go and the reality is that

there is grace and mercy to cover our

missteps and that the Lord in his

graciousness toward us his knowledge of

our Frailty and our Humanity for the

Willing heart who desires to do his will

even when we make mistakes he allows

them to become our greatest teachers for

hearing him correctly in the future he

does not hold it against us because

we’ve misstepped along the way so

um just Grace for those of us yes who

have ever heard God wrong

and wish we could get it get it right

one of the people I sort of interviewed

when I was first writing that book many

you know over a decade ago now I

interviewed Henry blackaby who wrote

Experiencing God yes and I you know had

my notebook out my pen I was going to

take a seminary class from Henry

blackody you know and I said how do you

know when you’re hearing God and he gave

me lots of incredible answers to that

question but really he summed it up this

way he said The more you know God the

more clearly you can hear God

there was really nothing for me to write

down because it boiled down to Priscilla

it’s simple he said The more you know

him the more clearly you can hear him so

the reason why we go to the scriptures

the reason why we have quiet time the

reason why we fellowship with other

believers who are going to help us

remain encouraged in our faith is

because we’re just trying to get to know

God when you know his character

when you know the nuances of what he

does say and what he wouldn’t say

because how he spoke to our forefathers

because of how he handled circumstances

previously with people in the scriptures

who were going through some of the same

scenarios we’re going through now when

you see his personality and his

character then you know when you hear

the voice of fear uh-uh that don’t sound

like my god when you hear the voice of

your ego Pride jealousy divisiveness

stepping in all of that stuff that in

our flesh is also trying to get a word

in edgewise we can quickly quickly

pinpoint the voice of a stranger because

if we know God the more clearly we can

discern and divide his voice from a

stranger okay now you talked about

seeking God’s provision and His

blessings on our life and then knowing

who what his character is talk about

that because I found that fascinating

yes so God’s blessing um and I believe

his Provisions are a corroboration of

his word to us so in other words while

in the Old Testament there were external

means as a primary way for to hear God

in the New Testament and now in this

time frame as well we have something

they didn’t have we have the Holy Spirit

so the primary way he has speak to us is

that he speaks to us has changed but his

goal hasn’t his goal is still for his

kids to hear his voice so he’s chosen

the holy spirit of God to be the the way

that we uh hear and know what it is that

his will is for our life but he still

uses external means his provision His

blessings his aligning of Providence

some people would call it luck or

coincidence no it’s the aligning of

God’s handiwork in our life to confirm

that what we’re sensing on the inside is

indeed how he’s aligning uh the

direction for our life to just FB Myers

a great Theologian put it this way when

a big 747 is getting ready to land on a

Runway well well the plane better not

just be looking for one light somewhere

to land better not just look for two

lights somewhere to land there better be

several lights that are that are

aligning a Runway so that that 747 7

knows exactly to relent the bigger the

decision that you have to make the more

you need to trust in the mercy of God’s

external confirmation that aligns for

you where to land that plane in your

life beautiful um and and so that’s

important that we have external

blessings provision coincidence that

really shows us the sovereignty of God

aligning you feel like there are times I

have to hear God’s voice and so Sean I

would just ask you like what are some

practical things I can do as a Believer

I think one of the biggest questions

would be like how do I how do I decipher

the signal from the noise yeah so like

if you’re on a cell phone and there’s

you can hear in the background there’s

kids playing or there’s music or there’s

wind but you still hear the person

you’re talking to his voice separate

from that and our brain is able to do

that how do you do that in your spirit

well you know it’s God’s voice and not

just Bobby’s weirdness or your you know

you know what I mean you’re my like my

own thoughts you know it’s it actually

takes a while and it takes practice just

like it takes practice to learn how to

communicate when you’re first getting

married absolutely there’s something

about that the art of communication it

takes time and especially because a lot

of the way that God speaks is internal

it’s in our process I think if Solomon

when he asked God not for wisdom a lot

of us think he just asked for wisdom and

knowledge so he knew how to lead the

country he actually asked for a Jewish

Hebrew word that we don’t have the best

interpretation for directly it’s a word

uh the Shema which means I want to have

direct processes if we were sharing the

same mind and that was a Biblical

prototype for the New Testament of what

Jesus demonstrated which he walked with

the father and we didn’t see how the

father talked to him every time but

there’s this internal dialogue going on

and it was his sharing thoughts so when

you think about sharing thoughts a lot

of times you might think about you know

a married couple because there’s times

instinctually you know what your wife

wants she doesn’t have to say it to you

because she said it to you so many times

that that voice still speaks so there’s

that instinct to know how she’s talking

it there could be an intuition to know

because you know her somewhere there’s

so much connection to her there can be

an intuition to anticipate what needs to

happen in the situation and it’s because

you share Heart you share mind you share

ideas and that’s how we get as we read

the Bible as we learn how to pray as we

learn how to listen and Listening Prayer

has been a lost art in Christianity not

just Listening Prayer in a sense of a

devotional time but listening when

there’s decisions to be made that your

average human makes like 4 000 decisions

a day and a few of those are

consequential so how do we actually in

those times where it actually has

consequences stop for a second check in

with God just like I would with my wife

if I’m going to spend a lot of money I’m

going to check in with my wife first

because we partner on the finances so

learning where you’re partnering with

God which is everywhere but especially

the bigger moments throughout the day

checking in listening and then looking

for that voice some you know it’s yours

when it’s very self-centered and selfish

and doesn’t consider the world around

you you know it’s the enemies when it

comes to shame and condemnation but you

know it’s God when it feels like wow I

never thought of that or I wouldn’t have

done that or I wouldn’t have chosen that

myself that’s one of the early ways one

more time because I think I’m wondering

if people really just copy you said

those three things I think are going to

help people so much so much so the first

is you know it’s yourself when it just

means that gratification immediate

gratification it means it’s like I want

ice cream tonight even though I said you

know it’s like that kind of thing where

people do it’s just me talking it’s like

this is what I want I can lead myself

here and so you think so Satan speaks to

people too right I think Satan plants I

think it’s direct you know messages but

I think there’s some plans because you

said if it’s shameful what’s the

difference between like

the shameful thought or like conviction

you know well conviction leads us to

more of God it’s actually an exchange so

conviction caused us to go oh wait if I

don’t do this I get more of you wait

this is blocking my ability to keep

connected to you and shame says because

you do this you can’t connect to God the

very different conversations like me

looking at my child and saying you know

I’m going to punish you because what you

did was wrong and I want you to feel it

and I want you to feel bad versus saying

I want to give you choices so you can

make better decisions so if the voice is

ever like you’re the worst of course you

did this it’s accusing don’t worry it’s

blaming that’s that’s the enemy wanting

to keep you it’s a demanding voice a lot

of times people get into this

relationship where it’s like turn left

here you might miss your you know there

might be a car accident so go the long

way home tonight but there’s really no

fruit from it we’re looking to partner

with God’s voice and it’s hard for us

which is always good so that’s always

for us so those types of voices that’s

always noise but the signal so God’s

voice is always going to be what what

did you say it’s always going to be a

voice it’s going not where we could lead

ourselves but it’s something that we

wouldn’t have thought of and what it

doesn’t feel like it originated even

though it may be our thoughts it didn’t

kind of feel yeah it has a Eureka feel

or it feels like oh wow I wouldn’t have

considered that in my own desire even if

my desire is good because God always

upgrades our desires so even if we have

good desire when we include God all of a

sudden he leads us into place and we

talk about this a lot in the book where

he leads us into a process we wouldn’t

have put ourselves in nor would we have

chosen directly that process to get to a

god result because we’re not looking for

a human result we’re looking for God

result especially when we talk about the

marketplace career when someone’s trying

to figure out their career path we don’t

think like wow you know I’m going to go

work here to get here to get here to get

here to get here and end up here that

sounds great no one no one chooses that

but when you walk with God sometimes

that’s how it is it’s like he leads you

a different way than a corporate ladder

would lead you don’t you think and Bob

this is a good question for you I mean I

feel like as just as a believer

and the way the world is I mean there’s

so much interesting stuff available you

know I’m even on your phone you’ve got

Instagram and Tick Tock and Facebook and

everything it to hear God’s voice you

need to be listening and to listen you

have to kind of stop doing things which

seems like an obvious thing to say but

like I know like if I’m sitting with my

wife and she gets up and goes to the

bathroom the very first thing I’m going

to do is reach for my phone compulsively

not because I somebody called me not

because I got a text I don’t even know

why I’m reaching for it it’s because I’m

so trained to always be doing something

as a business guy I’m sure you’re going

in a million miles an hour all the time

you feel there’s always an email you got

to respond to a text you got to respond

to a contract or a payroll or whatever

to hear God’s voice you have to is there

is it hard to to find that kind of I

almost want to call it boring

silent quiet place to hear God’s voice

and how do business people is it worth

doing that I mean is that a key part of

hearing God’s voice in business well I

think it’s a practice

and I think we have to practice

listening to his voice and Sean said

earlier uh Listening Prayer is a lost

art but how many times do people go to

their prayer closet and play two worship

songs read two chapters of the Bible and

then get their list and pray their list

and then say Okay Lord I’ve got

two minutes left so I need you to answer

my prayers

two minutes yeah and what we’re saying

here in this book is Adopt a lifestyle

of hearing and listening and so you

might drive down the road and the

billboard might answer your prayer or

you might be in a conversation with

someone who doesn’t know the Lord and

they might be talking and answer your

prayer of course you could read

scripture and get a prophetic word and

hear something in a worship song all the

normal ways but God’s speaking to us all

the time and we we need to be listening

we need to tune our antenna we’re wired

to hear God in a different way and

John 14 18 says fear and love can’t

coexist because fear has to do with


and so lots of business people lots of

people in their careers

are worried about like I was saying

earlier making payroll going bankrupt

losing their job having somebody climb

over them and and so if we’re if we’re

set in this place with the Lord that we

are loved Sons and Daughters first and

nothing that we can do is going to

change that then we get this peace that

comes in Walking In partnership with God

Sean and I spend a lot of time talking



planning for different things and it’s

the same with the Lord we can have

physical conversations my wife and I can

have physical conversations we can have

the same thing with the lord it’s a

little different because normally

we don’t hear an audible voice but like

Sean was saying earlier we get

impressions we have Instinct we have

intuition we have discernment at TBN our

mission is to use every available means

to reach as many individuals and

families as possible with the

life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ

thank you for helping make the gospel of

grace go around the world

without you we couldn’t do it God bless