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Tune In-Hear God:
An Interview with
By Jonathan Petersen
Believers in Jesus want to
know how they can hear God's voice.
Does God speak? Is it like a radio
host broadcasting his voice into the
airwaves? Perhaps the question is,
are we tuned into the right
Morris' book, "Frequency: Tune
In. Hear God," is currently #7
on the Christian Bookseller's Top 50
list. Another of his books,
"Truly Free: Breaking the Snares
That So Easily Entangle," is
right behind it at #8.
Morris talked about "Frequency."
What idea are you trying to convey
with the title of your book?
believers in Jesus Christ, we
naturally want to know how we can
hear God's voice. Does God speak? Is
he speaking to me? The good news is,
yes; he is speaking. And like a
radio host broadcasting his voice
into the airwaves, God speaks all
the time. The question is, "Are you
tuned in to the right frequency?"
new book, "Frequency," I
share about how God communicates
with us in multiple ways - through
the Bible, circumstances, and even a
whisper. He demonstrates how we can
mature from hearing his voice as
sheep to hearing it as His friend to
conveying His voice to others. When
we begin to understand the general
and specific ways God speaks to us,
we cultivate a life of deeper
connection with our creator.
What do you mean when you write that
hearing the voice of God is about
"who you are"?
Hearing God's voice is a question
of identity. Who are you at your
core? The answer is this: you are a
sheep. Hearing God's voice is not
about something we do. Rather,
hearing God is about someone we are.
Hearing God is not primarily a
behavior. It's a reflection of our
identity. We hear God because of who
we are, and because of whose we are.
In John 10, Jesus explains this
idea in depth. Jesus calls Himself
the Good Shepherd, and He contrasts
the work He does with the work of
Satan, a thief and a robber. Satan
comes only to steal, kill, and
destroy. But Jesus the Good Shepherd
comes that people might have life,
and have it abundantly.
The whole idea of us being sheep is
that our identities are rooted in a
shepherd-to-sheep model. Being a
sheep is what a human being was
designed to be. Sheep, by nature of
being sheep, need a guide. It's not
that we hear God because of some
action we take. Rather, we hear God
because we were designed to hear
What does the Bible say about
God has always been a speaking
God, and God still speaks to us
today. Fifteen times in the New
Testament alone, Jesus says, "He who
has ears, let him hear." In John
8:47, Jesus says, "He who is of God
hears God's word." And in John
10:27, Jesus says, "My sheep hear My
voice, and I know them, and they
How do you respond to people when
they say they fervently pray but God
That's why I wrote "Frequency."
I want to help provide a fuller
answer to this question, because the
explanation as to how to hear God's
voice can't be given in a quick
formula. Rather, it arises
intrinsically as part of a genuine
and ongoing relationship with God.
If you want to get to hear God's
voice, then you must get to know God
as a person - and this takes time
and intention; much the same as it
takes to know any friend.
How is God's voice distinguishable
from our own subconscious thinking?
Both the old and new testaments
clearly describe God as a speaking
God. The real task - and wonderful
opportunity - is for us to learn to
hear His voice.
If you want to get to hear God's
voice, then you must get to know God
as a person - and this takes time
and intention, much the same as it
takes to know any friend. John 10:4
says, "When he brings out his own
sheep, he goes before them; and the
sheep follow him, for they know his
Jesus calls us to a close relationship with him where we instantly
recognize his voice. The God of the
universe invites us to enjoy a
familiar relationship with him, a
relationship where we pray to him,
and he listens to us, and where he
speaks and we listen to him. A true
When God speaks to you today,
chances are that he won't speak to
you in a big booming voice. Instead,
God will speak to you by the moving
of the Holy Spirit in your life
(John 16:12-13). He'll speak to you
by his still small voice. And what
you do after he speaks to you will
What do you mean by the general
voice of God and the specific voice
When talking about God's will,
there's a general will and a
specific will of God. When we have a
job change or we're buying a new
home or we have an important
decision to make concerning our
marriage or family or future, we
want a specific word from the Lord.
And we need one from him, too. And
he will give us one. But my concern
is that we sometimes try to hear a
specific word from God without first
developing the habit of hearing a
general word from God every day.
That's an important part of the
process of learning to value God's
we're just checking with God every six months or
so whenever a big decision comes up, then we
will not only miss out on knowing God's general
will, we will also miss out on a close, everyday
friendship with God. So we must learn to value
his voice, his general voice, on a regular basis
if we want to hear his specific voice from time
to time. If we're not in the habit of meeting
with him and hearing from him on a regular
basis, then it will be much more difficult to
hear a specific word from God.
There are four practical steps to do this, and
are listed in much greater detail in my book:
an appointment with God.
Be still and worship.
Pray and read.
Listen and write.
It's important for us to set regular
appointments with God in order to learn from his
Word and to hear his voice. To develop a regular
time with the Lord, set an appointment, be still
and worship him, pray, and read the Bible. Write
down your prayers. Listen for his response.
How should people read the Bible to best hear
the voice of God for themselves?
There are so many time in life when I need
wisdom, and I wonder where to go or what to do.
The imagery of brightness and guidance is found
in Daniel 12:3: "Those who are wise will shine
like the brightness of the heavens, and those
who lead many to righteousness, like the stars
forever and ever." That verse along with James
1:5 are two of my favorite verses: "If any of
you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it
will be given to you." That answer is so
straightforward: ask God, and wisdom will be
given to you.
Your invitation is to read God's Word
consistently, diligently, prayerfully, and
fervently. Read the Bible with your heart wide
open in prayer and in communion with God. Read
and pray at the same time: "Lord Jesus, what are
you saying in your Word about yourself? How does
this passage teach me to love you and to love
others more? How does this passage apply to me?"
to the Bible. Begin by worshipping him and
seeking his face. Listen for his voice. You can
have confidence knowing that the Lord will
What do you mean that people should be stewards
of God's voice?
Stewardship means we manage well someone else's
property or resources. As believers, our lives
are not our own. We belong to Christ (1
Corinthians 3:23). That means our time,
treasure, talents, and even our futures are not
our own. So it's important that we live as good
stewards of what belongs to God. First Peter
4:10 says, "As each has received a gift, use it
to serve one another, as good stewards of God's
Stewardship relates to hearing the voice of
God, too. Think of it this way. God blesses
faithful stewards (Proverbs 28:20; Luke
12:42-46). If God gives us time, treasure, and
talents, and we're faithful with those, then he
gives us more. If we're not faithful, then God
doesn't give us more. The same is true of
hearing God's voice. When God speaks to us, if
we're faithful with the word he gives us, then
why would he give us more? Mark 4:24 says, "Take
heed what you hear. With the same measure you
use, it will be measure to you; and to you who
hear, more will be given."
you catch the last bit of that verse? "To you
who hear, more will be given." That's the result
of good stewardship. We must be good stewards of
what we hear from the Lord.
Here are three ways we can be careful stewards
of God's spoken words:
We are careful stewards of God's voice when we
truly listen to Him.
When we respond in humility.
When we heed his words.
God is speaking all the time, but the only ones
who hear are those who tune in to the right
frequency through humility and obedience.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway
and the Bible Gateway App?
Bible Gateway is such an important free
resource. It allows people all over the word to
have access to the Word of God at any time. It's
a great resource for training and teaching as
well as personal study.
there anything else you'd like to say?
want every believer to have an intimate,
ongoing, and passionate relationship with Jesus
Christ so that we will all love and serve and
follow His voice.
Bio: Robert Morris is the founding senior
pastor of Gateway Church (@GatewayPeople), a
multicampus church in the Dallas-Fort Worth
Metroplex with more than 36,000 active members.
Morris is featured on the weekly television
program The Blessed Life and serves as
chairman of the board of The King's University.
He's the bestselling author of 13 books,
including "Blessed Life," "The God I Never
Knew: How Real Friendship with the Holy Spirit
Can Change Your Life and Truly Free:
Breaking the Snares That So Easily Entangle.
He and his wife, Debbie, have been married 36
years and are blessed with one married daughter,
two married sons, and six grandchildren.
From biblegateway.com -
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God's Perfect Plan to Overcome All
Looking for guidance in becoming a good steward of your resources? In this
follow-up to The
Morris shares biblical principles, personal stories, and practical insights
to help you overcome debt, reach your financial goals, experience the joy
God intends for you, and bless others with the gifts he has given you. 224
pages, hardcover from Faithwords.
Tune In. Hear God"
Listen . . . God is speaking. Do you hear him?
Encouraging you to open your spiritual "ears," Morris helps you determine
which channels God is using to broadcast his intentions. Discover how to
discern his specific vs. his general voice, recognize the multiple ways he
communicates, draw closer to him by reading his Word, and more. 240 pages,
hardcover from Nelson.
Breaking the Snares
Are you entangled in long-embedded patterns of sin? In this practical book, Morris reminds us of a glorious truth---God promises to liberate us from the slavery of sin completely. Learn how to break the snares of pride, greed, lust, and more---and live in the freedom that God desires for you. 231 pages, hardcover from W.
"The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living,
Revised & Updated Edition"
Discover the joy of giving and reap the rewards of receiving! Teaching from personal experience, Morris presents a biblical message of blessing in terms of abundance and God's supernatural power working for you. Certain to transform all of your life---marriage, family, health, and more! Includes some new content, updated illustrations, and testimonies. 240 pages, hardcover from Baker.
When You Don't
Simple Secret to
I Never Knew: How Real Friendship with
the Holy Spirit Can
Change Your Life"