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 frequency?

 Author Robert 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?

 As 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?"

 In my 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 God.

 What does the Bible say about Godís voice?

  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 follow Me."

How do you respond to people when they say they fervently pray but God is silent?

  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 voice."
  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 dialogue.

  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 require faith.

What do you mean by the general voice of God and the specific voice of God?

  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 voice.