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Online Course

Session 1: Am I READY to Hear God’s Voice?

How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture

How can we really know when God is speaking to us? Before digging into God’s Word, it’s important to prepare our hearts and minds. In this session, Chip will teach us how to develop the proper attitude so that we can hear God speak.

Welcome to the online course, How to Hear God’s Voice in Scripture. All of us probably have a friend or met someone who said, “Wow, God really spoke to me and He let me know that I really need to be dating so and so” or “He spoke to me about one of my kids” or “You know, the Lord clearly directed me to a new job.” I don’t know about you, but I long for God to speak to me. How does that work? How do you really hear God’s voice in scripture and, honestly, how do you know when it’s really God speaking?

I ask myself probably four or five questions on a regular basis to connect my heart with God, my mind with God, and to really hear Him. The first question I ask is “am I really ready to hear God’s voice?” At the heart of hearing God’s voice is we’ve got to pull the lens back of “why am I even meeting with God?” What the scripture says is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” What I want to do is I want to ask myself “Do I want to have an ooey, gooey, warm kind of spiritual experience or do I really want to hear God’s voice?” I literally pause and I ask “Okay, am I ready to hear God’s voice?”

Every morning I get up pretty early, so the stars are still out and I go out and I look at all of those stars. You know what I remember? God spoke the world into existence. Then I go where I have a little place where I personally meet with God and I’ve got my Bible and I’ve got my coffee. I quiet my heart and then I say, “Okay, Lord. You are the living Word. I’m not coming to some book, I’m not just going to pull a verse out of here or there, but I want my heart ready. I want to be surrendered to whatever you want to say to me. I want to hear your voice, but I want to hear your voice with a sense of reverence for your Word. You spoke the world into existence.” Then I think, “Jesus, you’re the Logos. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and all things came into being through you.”

Then I have this sense and I want you to get this. We need to have a reverence for the Word of God. This isn’t just a book, this isn’t just going through the motions. I want to have a sense that, as I hold this, this is the living Word of God. “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joint and marrow. Able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” What I really want to ask myself is am I really ready to love God by hearing His Word and submit to it?

One of the things that has helped me the most is looking back through scripture and seeing that the men of God and the women of God, when God speaks, they have this reverence for His Word. Jeremiah would say, “Thy Word was found and I ate it and it became the joy and the delight of my heart for I’d been called by your name, oh, Lord.” David would say, “If your Word had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” All I want you to do, as we start, is not think “okay, is there a little trick? Do I read through the Bible and I’m going to hear God’s voice?” I want you to understand you prepare your heart.

Second, we have to prepare our mind. There are two ways that we read the Bible. One is we need to study the scriptures, we need to know the framework. Right? There are key doctrines, books were written, they all come together, so there’s a bit of an academic way. Let me give you an example. I want to study the book of John, so I want to read all of the book of John. I did, I read all 21 chapters. Then I decided how do I remember what’s in each chapter? I wanted to get a framework of this is what John teaches. There’s seven interviews, there’s seven miracles. The purpose of the book is that we might believe. All I want you to know, all scripture, right, is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

When we come to the scriptures, we always want to remember that there’s a bigger framework, but what you and I are talking about today is I imagine a heart inside that framework and it’s Jesus saying, “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I’ll refresh you. Take my yoke upon you. Learn from me.” When I hear His voice, when I hear the whisper, when sometimes we talk about it seems like the scriptures come off the page, when the spirit of God takes the written Word and makes it the living Word and He’s speaking directly to me, I always want to check that with the doctrine and the bigger picture.

As we begin, here’s what I want to ask you. When you come to the scripture, are you ready to hear His voice, are you living in submission to it, do you have a sense of reverence, or are you just looking for sort of a spiritual high? Second, whenever God speaks to me – this is very, very important – I’m not going to grab a verse here, it’s not something out of a devotional over here, I’m going to take the whisper of the spirit of God as I’m in His Word and I always measure it against my study of God’s Word. Does that make sense?

Now, here’s what I want you to know. As we go through this process together, God longs to speak, and this is a sobering moment, but He doesn’t speak to people who are not ready or willing to hear. Jesus said, “They hear, but they don’t perceive. They listen, but they don’t get it because their hearts are hard.” So the very first step is saying, “Lord, I’m here to learn.” In our next time together, I want to teach you how to know for sure whether it’s God speaking to you or not. We’re going to have a great time together and thanks for joining me.


Welcome to the interactive Digital Session Guide

This contains the teaching outline and personal reflection exercise.

You can use this section to take notes and answer questions. Your notes are private, no one from Living on the Edge can read them. When you are finished, you can download them, email them, or save them for later--don't leave the page without saving! If you prefer pen and paper, you can also download and print the notes.


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94 comments on “Session 1: Am I READY to Hear God’s Voice?

  1. I am hopeful for a deep relationship with Jesus through His Word. I am longing to be teachable like Samuel and hear God speak.

  2. I sent it to email I thought it was going to you but it came to me instead. Is that ok.

    I am happy for the session I now have a new outlook on the word. It is alive and active.

  3. I realize that I am usually not ready to hear God through scripture. I am typically in a rush and do not adequately prepare my heart. It is my desire to make this a priority so that my reading of God’s word is more fruitful in my life.

  4. In only the first session I am beginning to grasp the way in which I can prepare my heart and hear God’s written word become His living word in my life. I get distracted alot with so much noise in my head. I pray these sessions quiet my heart and mind so I can hear God’s voice throughout my day. Thank you for this wonderful resource!

  5. This session reaffirms for me that to truly hear God’s voice in our life requires a soft, seeking heart. It is much more than just “studying” His word. To truly hear from Him requires much more than “head” knowledge of Him, we need authentic “heart” knowledge of Him in order to truly connect with Him!

  6. What a challenge…after all these years, am I ready, am I willing, do I trust You and can I relinquish fear to be clothed in the beauty of your will? My heart’s cry – where else can I turn, where else can I go?

  7. That God, is my strength, my provider, protector, for me not to lean on my own understanding but on him who supply all of my needs in Jesus name .

  8. I was struck by the “am I ready to hear from God”. I thought I was always ready, but there is more that goes into being ready than just starting to read the word.

  9. It’s amazing to me how God is in control of each aspect of our lives. Yes He rules from above, but also as close as our breath. When I take in His Word and ponder it, I find Him there in the midst of it all waiting more patiently on me than I wait on Him. And yet He smiles and his face shines upon us, saying “with you child, I am well pleased.” And I am flooded with all that I know of Him and His Character and want to remain there and learn more.

  10. There are so many voices. Lord teach me to turn off the others voices and hear only Your voice. Help me to not have any preconceived ideas of what I am reading and hear the Holy Sprit.

  11. Thank you for informing me that there is no trick to hearing God’s Voice. I must be ready to hear His Voice, prepare my heart and my mind. And let the Lord know that I am here to learn.

    I am ecstatic that I now know what I need to do in order to hear God’s voice.

  12. I see How my heart needs to be ready to hear from God. Also to truly reverence the Word of God Not taking it for granted or just going through the motions but truly seek after God wholeheartedly. Trusting in Him completely

  13. I’m so looking forward to finishing this series. I want to Learn to listen and hear the voice of God and obey it.

  14. I find it interesting that even Eli, a priest and one who knew God, also had a hard time recognizing what was happening in Samuel’s life. This challenged me to be more attune to God’s voice in my own life so that when others whom I mentor come to me for help, I will be ready. I also want to more actively listen for God’s voice, reading the Word expectantly.

  15. I realized how important it is to prepare my heart and mind to hear from God as I go into the scriptures. I also noted that study of God’s word is crucial.

  16. Hey Chip! This was a great start. Just a few things, backed up by the word of God, to think about before reading the Bible. Thanks and God Bless You!

  17. I love listening to your lessons they make so much sense and help me read and hear God’s word with my church Family.

  18. I am inspired to read the word of God and to search for him. I’m excited to see what he has in store for me and just how he will speak to me

  19. Than you Lord for you word. It is alive in my soul! His timing is perfect! I am so excited about this study and digging in.

  20. I have tried to read the bible, but have difficulty understanding it. This session inspired me to open my spirit to listen to his word!

  21. I felt inspired to learn more about the Word of God and to really delve into His Presence. Without Him, we are nothing and we cannot DO anything without Him being present in our lives.
    For WITH God in our lives, we are able to DO exceedingly, abundantly, ALL that we could ever ask, think or even imagine.

  22. The timing of this study is perfect for me as I am at a turning point in life and seeking God’s direction. I am ready to hear his will for my life! I am realizing I need daily quiet time with God so my spirit is in touch, in tune, and open to hearing the voice of God. The commotion, deadlines, and distractions of the world pulls me in different directions weighing me down – even more reason why quiet time with God is so important.

  23. I just recently went through a period of such anguish and depression. God brought me through and showed me that He loves me no matter what. This session gave me more encouragement on His love and caring for me.

  24. I am at a phase in my life where there is so much chaos going on. I feel lost and this session has helped me learn to be humble and be ready to open my heart in order to hear God’s voice.

  25. There are times I want to know if God is speaking or is it just my thought. Yet I am afraid to know if God is the speaking that He might ask something that I am not comfortable with. I also know that God will prepare me for whatever task He wants me to do. So I am asking myself “Am I really ready to hear God speaking?”

  26. Reminded me that my mind must be engaged when I read God’s Word… sometimes I read while my mind is on future or past events…

  27. I am grateful for the lesson guiding me to recognize the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Taking the time to really reflect on the scriptures and answer the questions made all the difference.
    I’m looking forward to continuing the course!
    Thank you

  28. This session reminded me to be humble to hear His voice. To refuse to be the shepherd of my own life & let Him be. Refuse to take control and let Him take control. Doing life my own way makes me undone. But doing it His way is always lighter and freeing for the soul.

    Without you, Jesus, I cannot do anything and how foolish of me to think it could be done any other way apart from you! Lord I possess nothing. You are LIFE. I need you!

  29. I get excited about learning the word of God. This is a major step for me to hear is word and rest in him. In life I need to hear God,s voice to make sound decisions, I do realize your needs to be changed

  30. Im really looking forward to learning from this study and my hope and prayer is that I’ll learn to love reading the Bible. I love reading devotionals or listening to Chip’s messages but just reading the scriptures is difficult for me, I don’t have the same passion for it. I think it’s mostly bc I don’t have the framework, background, and or context that Chip talks about having which is necessary to really understand the writers’ message.

  31. Thank you Lord for providing everything I need in the Person of Jesus Christ. Thank you for patiently teaching me how to rest in Him.

  32. I hear and listen but I also interrupt God when He speaks. I need to be still and let Him finish before I speak. I love that if he doesn’t get our attention the first time, he will persist, He is indeed patient.

  33. It is awesome to know that a supreme, eternal God who created the universe wants to speak to me personally through the Bible if I am ready and willing to listen. Wow.

  34. I have to be ready to listen and have a reverence for God’s word , I can’t just be flipping from page to page to find a verse to meet my needs .

  35. It was refreshing to again realize that it is within my reach to have a better relationship with Jesus, to hear His voice more clearly and have the assurance that I don’t have to do it all on my own and that He is there to take care of me and protect me.

  36. Jesus is always there waiting for us regardless of what we have done. We just have to be willing to love God, hear his word and submit to it.

  37. This was my second time in this one. Wanted refresher. I was impacted in a way that told me to move something out of my life to allow for quality time in God’s Word! I’m on it!

  38. Made me understand he does talk to me , I just need to learn how to listen. Also I am NOT alone he is there right next to me. Did also realize I need someone look for and ask for guidence and don’t be ashamed.

  39. The Holy Spirit is really working on me. I am doing several studies thru my church on discerning Gods voice and discovering his will. Then i opened mailing from LOTE and happily registered for this study. I come with the humble and reverent heart of a sinner, asking for Gods forgiveness and to tighten my yoke to Jesus. Thank you, Chip, for your active faithfulness to God. I am looking forward to all God wants me to learn thru your study.

  40. I am excited to go on this journey to learn how to hear the voice of my father. Life has been overwhelming for about 6 months and I have felt so alone and defeated. Thanks Chip for reminding me how much God is with me, looks after me, protecting me from the assaults of the enemy and I matter to him. Can’t wait to hear his soft whisper.

  41. Total surrender comes to mind. I am so excited to take this journey in discovering His path for my life. Knowing His voice and which road to take to further His kingdom would be the ultimate joy. Thanks Chip for such great teachings.

  42. I must continually be obedient in my heart, thoughts, words, and actions…and be patient in order for Him to work His plan even when others succeed in their unGodly actions. If I bulldoze my way through, I am not sharing the burden with Him and allowing Him to lead and carry the heaviest weight.

    1. Obey God
    2. Enables ability to Listen to God
    3. Be patient for His guidance and plan
    4. He will protect me throughout the process and my present and future life.

  43. It reminded that I am yoked with Jesus (wow) together and if I will work with Him and learn to listen to His led then good things will happen.

  44. Last 6 months has been some of the most challening months. I began a new journey during this time to really build an authentic relationship with God that never truly existed. I’m ready to slow down, spend time in the word and continue this journey.

  45. Constantly reminded of how literal the Word needs to be taken. Not just parts but the entirety of the Word. Verses I never understood before that when I read again from a literal perspective jump out and come alive. These are not just mythical writings and God does not do magic tricks. He created everything and everything works together for those who love God. God is good!

  46. Ah this was so good- eye opening. The Lord has been speaking to me and I’ve been hearing “reverence” so this session was very confirming for me.

  47. I want so DESPERATELY to hear and KNOW that it’s God speaking to me. Because I don’t always know that it’s God speaking. I’m excited to keep going with these lessons in hopes of coming to an expected end.

  48. I was challenged with the thought of being yoked with Jesus. The mental image that came to mind for me was, how many times do I strain against that yoke and try to control or fight the battles in my life, rather then staying as close to Jesus as possible and allowing Him to shield, protect, and fight the battles for me.

  49. This session has regrounded me in God’s truth. Knowing he wants to care for me and seeing that he desires to have fellowship with us has reopened my eyes to the fact that God is continually speaking and I just have lost focus on his word.

  50. It’s been a pleasure to find this. I love studying God’s word. This reminds me that there is hope as long as we can trust in Jesus.
    I love hearing from the Lord. I can do nothing with out him.

  51. It reminded me to trust in Jesus and to wait patiently. To know he will never leave us or forsake us. He is very interested in us and he is ready to help us.

  52. It reminds me that there is hope as long as we can trust in Jesus.
    I love hearing from the Lord. I can do nothing with out him.

  53. In Matthew 11:29 31
    We will be yoked with Jesus. Most often a young oxen are yoked with one that ‘knows the ropes’. Not only will Jesus take the larger load He will teach,show,guide and lead the way. These verses give me confidence that He is always yes always by my side and will show the WAY.
    Looking forward to the next session

  54. It is encouraging. It is so easy for me to worry about things. I need to trust in the lord. I need to continue to spend time in the lords word. I can get busy and let the important things go so I can accomplish the unimportant things. It is just so hard. I want to do a good job. I so miss being part of a bible study where we talk about the scripture.

  55. Very encouraging, I have been reminded of just how Jesus is Tenderhearted, and Ready to meet me where I am. My Heavenly Father cares deeply about and for me,

  56. It had a great impact on my prayer life. I consider myself as a baby in the word, and I’m milking from those that are mature in God’s word. This session has enlightened me to see my weakness, and strengthen me when I’m in the presence of God praying and studying his words.

  57. How do I truly know I’m ready to hear his voice? I think I am because I’ve been going through a lot in my relationship life… I’ve been in the dumps some and started to seek him because of it.

  58. I just completed the first session. I am very excited to see what the Lord will do through this series. What an incredible way to study and learn!

    I’m thrilled that this session helped me to “zero-in” on areas where I can be easily distracted. So much of my Christian walk has been about “doing”…you know the adage…”You were saved to serve so get busy!” or “Burn out for God”. Neither of these is the way He wants us to be in relationship with him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light…and we don’t have to do it alone!

  59. Yes it did and I thank you for that. It reminded me that God is waiting for me! Tools, like making my heart ready to study and listen for God’s voice and quieting myself are valuable to me. I look forward to session 2.

  60. It showed me that God can speak to us in many ways, but I don’t think I’ve heard him through his words or I was distracted in some way by something else. I have heard him through the books and writings of others but can’t remember the last time I heard him while reading the Bible. So that is the next step I must take for my walk and journey with God

  61. God is telling me to slow down, truly focus on Him, seek His will, make Him and time with Him my priority. Session 1, Come to me all you who are weary…and i will give you rest…

  62. It is a solemn thought to think when I read the scriptures. It is the very words of the God of the universe and that alone demands my reverence

  63. I need and want to spend more time in His word.. I think the greatest impact for me in this first session was having The Word become His Living Breath

  64. The story of Eli and Samuel really spoke to my heart in regards to listening to God. I’m a lay speaker and I might just use 1 Samuel 3:1-10
    as a message. I too enjoyed the reflection questions with scripture. Already this study is changing my life. This year is the year of the Bible, where I’m digging deeper into Gods Word and learning better to hear and obey His voice.

  65. I love the mention of Samuel’s calling in the notes section. Samuel was already working and ministering for the Lord even though he did not yet know the Lord’s voice. In other words Samuel was being obedient. Although he didn’t known the Lord yet, he was positioning himself to be able to hear the Lord. We too must position ourselves to hear God’s voice.

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