How to Respond When God Speaks

By Henry Blackaby   •   May 29, 2014

When God spoke to Moses and others in the Old Testament, those events were encounters with God. An encounter with Jesus was an encounter with God for the disciples. In the same way, an encounter with the Holy Spirit is an encounter with God for you.

Now that the Holy Spirit is given, He is the One who guides you into all truth and teaches you all things. You understand spiritual truth because the Holy Spirit is working in your life. You cannot understand the Word of God unless the Spirit of God teaches you. When you come to the Word of God, the Author Himself is present to instruct you. You never discover truth; truth is revealed. When the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you, He is not leading you to an encounter with God. That is an encounter with God!


When God spoke to Moses, what Moses did next was crucial. After Jesus spoke to the disciples, what they did next was crucial. What you do next after the Spirit of God speaks to you through His Word is crucial. Our problem is that when the Spirit of God speaks to us, we go into a long discussion with Him questioning the rightness of His directions.

Moses went into a long discussion with God (Exodus 3:11-4:13), and it limited him for the rest of his life. Because of his objections, God gave Aaron to be a spokesman for Moses. Moses had to speak to the people through his brother Aaron (Exodus 4:14-16).

Aaron was the one who made the golden calf for the rebellious people. Aaron, together with Miriam, led a challenge to Moses’ leadership. Moses paid a high price for arguing with God.
I challenge you to review what you sense God has been saying to you on a regular basis. If God speaks and you hear but do not respond, a time could come when you will not hear His voice. Disobedience can lead to a “famine … of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11-12).

When Samuel was a young boy, God began to speak to him. The Scriptures say, “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19). Be like Samuel. Don’t let a single word from the Lord fail to bring adjustments in your life. Then God will do in you and through you everything He says to you.

Luke 8:5-15 records Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seeds. The seed that fell on the good soil represented those who heard the Word of God, retained it, and produced fruit.

Jesus said, “Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18). If you hear the Word of God and do not apply it to produce fruit in your life, even what you think you have will be taken away. Be careful how you listen to God! Make up your mind now that when the Spirit of God speaks to you, you are going to do what He says.


We usually want God to speak to us so He can give us a devotional thought to make us feel good all day. If you want the God of the universe to speak to you, you need to be ready for Him to reveal to you what He is doing where you are. In the Scripture, God is not often seen coming and speaking to people just for conversation’s sake. He is always up to something. When God speaks to you through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, the church or in some other way, He has a purpose in mind for your life.

When God spoke to Abram (Genesis 12), what was God about to do? He was about to begin to build a nation. Notice the timing of God. Why did God speak to Abram when He did? Because it was then that God wanted to start to build a nation. The moment Abram knew what God was about to do, he had to make an adjustment in his life to God. He had to follow immediately what God said.


The moment God speaks to you is the very moment God wants you to respond. Some of us assume that we have the next few months to think about it and to try to decide whether this is really God’s timing. The moment God speaks to you is His timing. That is why He chooses to speak when He does. He speaks to His servant when He is ready to move.

This article is taken from Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God, by Henry Blackaby, ©1994 Broadman & Holman Publishers. Reprinted and used by permission.

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  1. Ann Robbins says:

    Billy Graham is a godly man and his sole mission in life has been to spread the Good News, the Gospel, to the four corners of the world. Not only that, but his ministry has provided follow up materials to help Christians grow in their faith. May God bless Billy Graham as he approaches his 96th birthday! And may God bless those who are dedicated to continuing his ministry.

    1. Judy B Harris says:

      Ann, I couldn’t have said it better! I am truly blessed because Billy Graham and his family as they have been steadfast in my life with the word of God through hope, faith, strength, and love, always love!
      Thank you Henry Blackaby for your insight in keep us to listen and do what the Holy Spirit is asking us to do on a daily basis. Through His word, action, and deed!

  2. Margareta Cronholm says:

    Thank you Mr. Blackaby. I understand your writings. I am in a odd situation, a God made situation. Now I am going to work as a volunteer in the Salvation Army, here where I live. My Master needed to make the situation as painful as it could be to make me willing to take this step. There is more my Lord want to give me, and I begain to love Him more and more. He is realy my Savior and Lord af all.

  3. JACK WOLTZ says says:

    IT is best for me in the MORNING, I thank GOD for another day, And ask if HE HAS ANY DOORS OPEN FOR ME TODAY, Reading the BIBLE, Also gets us ready, HE PUTS WORDS IN OUR MIND, AND ALSO PEOPLES NAMES, The fact that we want to spread the WORD, Will make HIM SMILE, I know it works for me, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, GOD BLESS ALL.

  4. ANTHONY MAVIS says:

    I recently lost my wife to demetia. She is no longer with me but in a nursing home. I see her constantly and it hurts because we both were long time believers and love to share in our common belief about the Lord. I’m carrying on however and pray that the Lord will again bring us together.

    1. JULE KOCH says:

      Father, we claim the promise from your word that “Love never fails” (1 Cor 13). I pray you would comfort our brother at this time. We thank you for his and his wife’s lifelong faith, their enduring love for each other and his faithfulness to visit his wife in the nursing home. It means a lot to her even though she might not seem to be aware. I pray that you would give them supernatural moments of grace and encouragement, even now in this life, and we thank you for the hope of heaven. In Jesus name, Amen.

  5. Bee says:

    i <3 this..we are currently reading Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God, by Henry Blackaby, in Sunday school

  6. Sussy says:

    This was a confirmation and encouragement to me. On May 6 The Holy Spirit spoke to me to resign from my job and enter into His business to reach the lost; Isaiah 61 to be exact. . I was reluctant and wanted proof that what I heard it was God although I knew He was who spoke to me. I became ill and had no choice but to resign. Now I am seeking God to lead me in the ministry he wants me to follow. He has call me to be a preacher of righteousness; to become the one who stand at the gap at the expense and cost of anything. I will response to His call and never hesitate any more. Praise be to God! He cares for us all so much that he gave us His Son that who ever believes in Jesus will not perish but will have Eternal Life!!

  7. Richard Combs says:

    I really enjoy reading an watching them BGEA iv learned a lot since i tuned in over two years ago

  8. Patrick says:

    Dear Reverend Franklin Graham and Reverend Henry Blackaby of the BGEA, Amen, God does speak to us every day. God call us to be holy as He is holy. God does not want us to live a sinful life. A good way we can answer God’s call to be holy, is to give thanks, pray always with joy; and to celebrate the remembrance of Christ until God comes again.

  9. Jack Woltz says says:

    Many times in our life, We are faced with a DECISION, And at that time, We do not know how to respond, Most of that time we will say I need to think about it, I would Say, PRAY, now matter who it is from, Our GOD will help us in all DECISIONS, The BIBLE also tells us, What to say, How to react, And what we think, or even what we will say, It is part of life, From day to day, We all are in the same boat, First and for most, Pray to GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, HE WILL GIVE YOU THE ANSWER YOU NEED, PRAY. PRAY, PRAY, GOD BLESS ALL.

  10. Ernest W Kamber Sr says:

    Experiencing God is one of the great studies of all time. I promise you that if you get involved with this study and do your homework, God will speak to you. Not because of the excellence of the teacher or even the excellence of the study but because God will speak to those who earnestly seek him.