Before I was five-months pregnant, God told me that there was a Samuel in my womb. Later I found out that I was having a girl, so I knew He wasn’t referring to gender. Our daughter was going to be like Samuel in that she practiced hearing God’s voice and speaking what she heard. Since her birth, I’ve pondered how we should teach her to hear God’s voice. One night as I was going to bed, God spoke to me the following points. I scribbled them down in the darkness (you do what you gotta do!), and later wrote this detailed list. As I was creating this, I realized that it applies to adults just as well. We are capable, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to train ourselves! As children of God, we can’t afford to be weak in hearing God’s voice. Our lives depend on hearing and obeying well!
- Lead them to Jesus.
Leading your child(ren) to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior is the most important thing a parent will ever do. When it comes to hearing God’s voice, it’s a necessity. A child cannot consistently and accurately hear God’s voice unless they are born again. When they have God’s nature on the inside of them, they can communicate with God as His children, anytime, anywhere without fear. It’s more than just a mental recognition of God’s voice, but their spirit’s ability to hear the voice of God’s spirit in them.
- From the time they’re born, create a Christian atmosphere where God and the Word are honored and discussed consistently. This will prepare their hearts, even as infants and toddlers, to receive Jesus when they come to a place of understanding.
- Turn off any influence that would deceive them into believing anything other than the Gospel. This may include entertainment, books, friends, and even babysitters that would not hold your standard.
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7)
…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27)
- Train them in the way they should go.
When you train your children to live “in the way they should go,” you are training your child’s mind and body to conform to God’s nature inside of them. This enables the child to think and act as God does. That Christian lifestyle is a sign of good discipleship, and makes way for them to hear God’s voice.
- Consistently invest in their lives by spending quality time with them and investing in their goals and interests.
- As their behavior doesn’t match up with God’s will, exercise Biblical discipline through spanking or other forms of discipline.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)
- Teach them to value God’s written Word.
God’s written Word – the Bible – is God’s written voice, the basis for His will and nature. When children place value on what He has written, they will place value on what He speaks. The two are inseparable.
- Conduct daily devotions together as a family, and teach them to have their own Bible-reading time.
- When talking about the Bible, keep an excited tone to your voice and body language to help them realize how exciting and powerful it is.
- Physically care for the Bible in a way they can see your actions. Keep it in a prominent place where it can be noticed consistently.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth. More than my necessary food. (Job 23:12)
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
- Help them memorize God’s written Word.
In order to live right and make the right decisions, children need to not only read and value God’s Word, but to memorize it as well. When they have God’s Word in their hearts, it will give life to them. It will also give the Holy Spirit material to “bring back” to their remembrance when they need guidance and instruction.
- Create a game, contest, or reward system for Scripture memorized weekly or monthly.
- Ask them how the Scripture they memorized will help them in their lives.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)
For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:22)
- Teach them to know God’s nature.
It’s possible for a child to be saved and to know God’s Word with their heads, yet not understand God intimately as He is. He is a good Father, faithful and loving. Knowing this will enable them to trust Him as He speaks to them.
- Dig into God’s Word for stories that show God’s characteristics. Discuss them in your devotion time.
- To the best of your ability, exemplify God’s nature to them in your personal lifestyle.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (I Corinthians 2:10)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… (Romans 1:20)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Teach them to identify counterfeits.
The devil will try many avenues to get your children to stray from God’s will. One of those ways is by exposing them to various voices that contradict God’s Word. Culture, friends, entertainment, and even lying spirits can fall into the counterfeit category. Knowing God’s Word and His nature will enable a child to discern between God’s voice and man’s voice.
- Find stories in the Bible and current day scenarios where others have followed counterfeits. Discuss what happened to them as a result.
- Ask such questions as, “What does God’s Word say?” when they are challenged with a different view.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. (John 10:1-6)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons … (I Timothy 4:1)
- Teach them to pray and then listen for God’s voice.
Spending time in prayer is one of the greatest environments in which to hear God’s voice. As your children pause in their play and talk to God, their focus is on Him and nothing else. This gives God a chance to speak to their hearts. When you consistently encourage them to listen to what God might say, they will learn to expect to hear from Him. It will be to them a usual occurrence and lifestyle.
- Conduct your own prayer time with God. They will learn its importance from your example.
- Before they learn to have their own prayer time, schedule a daily prayer time that you hold together. Use that time to teach them to pray.
- Practice pausing during prayer to listen for God’s voice, and then teach them to compare what they hear with God’s Word and nature.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)