4 Keys to Recognizing God's Voice

Four keys
Used by prophets, apostles, and fathers of the faith from Genesis to Revelation, these four keys are crucial in recognizing God's voice in the daily chaos of life. (Flickr/Brenda Clarke)

Question – Is it really all that important to use the four keys to hearing God's voice? I mean, some people have five keys, and some have three keys, and some just say do it. This whole formula thing doesn't really work for me. I can hear God's voice without using any keys--I just listen and hear. The vision and journaling doesn't sit too well with me either...

Answer – I believe these four keys were given to me through divine revelation and that they make hearing God's voice easy for naturally analytical people to do, while at the same time making it possible for more naturally intuitive people to communicate to others what they instinctively do. And yes, since God can do anything, He can also speak through other means; I am simply saying this is an easy way for all believers to daily hear God's voice.

When you begin to intentionally use these four keys, you should give yourself a couple of weeks to become fully comfortable with purposely using them. If you do, you will hear God's voice daily and easily and so will those to whom you teach the four keys. Let me explain why.

The Night God Chased Me Down

In 1979, the Lord woke me up with a booming bass voice (the only time I have ever heard God as a booming bass voice!) and said, "Mark, get up, I want to teach you how to hear My voice." This was after six months of intense searching to answer the question of how I could hear God's voice. I sat bolt upright in bed, wide awake. Then I lay back down and said, "You can teach me here." He again said, "Get up and go to your office! I am going to teach you to hear My voice."

So I got up, went to my office, and He showed me that Habakkuk did four specific, simple things to hear God's voice (Hab. 2:1,2). They are: stop, look, listen and write.

  1. Stop – Become still – "Went to my guard post" means he quieted himself down to listen and hear.
  2. Look – Look for vision – "Kept watch to see" means the prophet was looking for vision.
  3. Listen – Recognize God's voice as spontaneous thoughts – "What He will speak to me" means he recognized God's voice. We define God's voice as flowing or spontaneous thoughts, because John 7:37-39 says the Holy Spirit within is sensed as flow. Likewise God's vision is flowing pictures.
  4. Write – Two-way journaling – "Record the vision" means he wrote down the flowing words and flowing pictures (visions) that were coming to him.

If you think about it, this is what we naturally do when conversing with a friend. We stop thinking about other things and put our focus on them; we look at them; we listen carefully; and when it is important, we write down what they are saying so we don't forget it. It is completely normal and accepted to record words that we consider important, as for example, a stenographer would do in a courtroom. We are simply saying why not apply these steps to our conversations with God? Are not the words of our Lord to us the most important words we will ever hear?

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