How to Know God’s Voice

By Anne Graham Lotz   •   March 15, 2017   •   Topics:

Have you ever been confronted by someone who said something like, “God told me to tell you”? Such statements often are followed by a “word of knowledge” such as, “If you only had more faith, you would be healed.” Or, perhaps, “If you were living right, you would not have lost your job.”

Someone, with compassion clothing his or her words, might even say, “God has told me that He doesn’t mean for you to be unhappy. He would never want you to stay in this miserable marriage; He wants you to be happy.” Or, “God has told me He wants you to be healthy (or wealthy or prosperous or problem-free).”

Such words spoken by sincere people within our circle of Christian friends can put us into a tailspin of emotional devastation and spiritual doubt. It is especially traumatic and confusing when those words are uttered by someone in a position of religious leadership.

How can you and I know which voice speaks the truth, which voice is authentic? Learning to recognize the voice of God is critical, not only for our own peace of mind but also for developing a personal relationship with Him and for living a life pleasing to Him. Yet how can we be sure the voice we hear is His? Jesus answers that question using the illustration of the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

Read John 10:1-10


What does God say about the importance of determining which voice is authentic among the cacophony of voices clamoring for our attention? See Deuteronomy 18:18-20 and Galatians 1:6-9.

What event in John 9 revealed that the shepherds, the religious leaders of Israel, spoke with false voices as Jesus describes?

In John 10:1-5, what are some of the criteria that Jesus gave for determining a false shepherd? A true shepherd? Give a practical application for each criterion.


According to John 10:3-4, what is the basis of the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep?

In the parable Jesus gave, who is the Shepherd? Who are the sheep? What is the Shepherd’s voice today? How do we, the sheep, hear His voice? Give an example of a time when you have heard the Shepherd’s voice.

According to John 10:5, why do the sheep run from the false shepherd? Give an example from your own life.

What is absolutely necessary if you and I are to discern between the voices of the true and the false shepherds?

How does the reaction of the religious leaders in verse 6 reveal their identity as false shepherds?


What is the Good Shepherd able to do that the false shepherd cannot? See John 10:7-10.

How does Jesus’ claim disqualify the pluralism of our day? See John 10:7.

Give phrases from the following verses that confirm the uniqueness of Jesus’ claim: John 1:1-3, 9, 14, 18; John 3:2, 15-18; John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

What practical steps will you take to make sure that the voice you are listening to is that of the Good Shepherd?

This article first appeared in the May 2003 issue of Decision Magazine.

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    I’m blessed by the ministry

  2. stephen john says:

    How to Know God’s Voice
    By Anne Graham Lotz • January 2, 2014
    The ‘Good Shepherd’ John chapter 10 is a very good passage of scripture which helps believers in Jesus how to know God’s voice… and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out…(KJV John 10:3). We are not vulnerable to life’s dangers when we follow Jesus’ call friends, he always leads us to safety. Jesus speaks to us in the Holy Bible, especially the Gospels, and we follow his voice because we know and trust his teachings, and God our Father resides within our lord and saviour. Amen.

  3. Julie Delk says:

    he talks to you through your conscience… you know the difference between right and wrong tell you discern his Voice

  4. janet neal says:

    You know when you get that feeling your doing something wrong. God is talking to us then. He talks to us all the time. When you get that jolt of happy and put a smile in your face for no reason. Hes with you. Hes with us all the time. But when you get that turning in your stomach, hes talking to you to make the right decision. God bless and have a great day..

  5. David Schone says:

    This actually happened to me once.

    Therefore I live for today – Certain of finding at sunrise
    Guidance and strength for the way.
    Power for each moment of weakness, Hope for each moment of pain, Comfort for every sorrow, Sunshine and joy after rain!

    – Anonymous

    Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    Saturate yourself in the Word!

  6. Deby Kalush says:

    Thank you very much.

  7. iva j johnson says:

    i lost my son on dec. 17,2013, my only son. i still have my daughter. he had h1n1. laid him to rest on dec. 19,2013. i need help to get through this. a lot has happened to me in the last three years. divorce after 36 years of marriage he is married to what was supposed to been a friend of ours, 6 days after the 60 days were up.i still have not got over that yet and now i have lost my only son. please lord i need helplpp to get through this. please pray for me so i may have some comfort. my son was only 35 he was to be married this year. please help me lord

    1. Charlen Carignan says:

      Dear Iva, You are going through so much. Dear Lord, please give Iva the strength to get through each day. We know that nothing will be the same for her, but we know that You are the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In you we move and breathe and have our being. Please give her the peace that passes all understanding. Please let her know that You will never leave her or forsake her. Thank you Father God, in Jesus name we pray.

  8. Cindi Jacobs says:

    Good Reminder that God does speak to us through His word, but we must be in His Word, and seeking Him to hear and know His voice.

  9. Zoraida Perez says:

    Thank you because I have always doubted when people use to say to me “God said” because if we are not close why would God give you insights of what is happening or should happen in my life. God bless you.