Fine-Tuning Your Natural Instinct to Hear God’s Voice

Julie Blim - 700 Club Producer


Shawn says that all believers are spiritually “wired” by the Holy Spirit to hear God’s voice. “God wants to talk to us more than we want to listen to Him,” he explains. “We are created not just to hear His voice but also to know His heart. Beyond giving us His mind, nature, and revelation of His heart, we are also given the gifts of the Holy Spirit – powerful tools that all believers have access to use.”

Shawn states that God desires to speak to us about every area of life, not only those we think of as spiritual. “People hear from God about the things that are most important to humanity because God cares about everything: finances, resources, social equality, branding, personal struggles, family, politics, social justice – all of it,” he says.  

There are a number of ways God speaks to His people, Shawn says, and he points to them in Scripture: dreams, visions, angels, trances, impressions, a still, small voice, memories, flashbacks, divine revelation, scents/smells, divine translation, thoughts, and visitations. As an example, Shawn tells the story of a highly-successful businessman and friend, Mark, who told him, “I don’t hear from God.” Shawn offered to show within 15 minutes that he did indeed hear from God. “Fine, try me,” Mark said.  

Shawn asked his friend to tell him about some big decision and how he came to it; in this case, the largest financial sacrifice he’d made for one of his children and why. Mark told him that when his son married a girl from a third-world country, he and his wife decided to give the young couple enough money from their inheritance to buy a nice home.

The new daughter-in-law’s family had never owned their own home, and she was highly career-oriented. Having the means to buy a home made them feel comfortable enough for her to work just part-time and start a family much sooner, which they did. Shawn pointed out how the idea, which changed the trajectory of the couple’s lives, came from God, and therefore, Mark did hear His voice, just not in the way he recognized before.  


Shawn teaches that learning how to hear God’s voice is the first step in growing closer to Him and finding one’s purpose. Recognizing that He has individual plans and a process for each of us, and trusting them, he says, is the next.

Discerning God’s process for us is based on several steps that Shawn shares in Wired to Hear: Accepting that one’s process will look different from that of others; learning obedience to His process, even when we don’t understand or like it; making clear plans while seeking God’s wisdom; becoming teachable; and choosing God’s plans over our own. “God knows how to strip us of our carnal natures: pride, self-reliance, lack of emotional intelligence, lack of empathy. He puts us in positions that cause the best in us to come out and the worst in us to be stripped away,” Shawn believes.

To illustrate these steps, Shawn points to the biblical story of Joseph, who endured the rejection and betrayal of his brothers, the false accusations of Potiphar’s wife, and undeserved prison time. As he submitted to his painful, unfair process, Joseph had no idea he would one day be second-in-command and save the land of Egypt - and his own family.   

Another example Shawn offers is the process of a friend of his named Susan. In her thirties, she was finishing a Master’s degree in hopes of reforming the education system in her Midwest area. Everything changed, however, when she sensed God clearly leading her to become an actress to minister to others in the entertainment industry in L.A. Baffled, frustrated, but wanting to obey, Susan eventually moved to L.A. and started acting classes.  

As she was running out of money, Susan decided to become a substitute teacher.  She asked Shawn to pray with her about it, who asked her if there might be a different job that would further her acting career. They prayed, and she strongly sensed she was to work as a barista instead. This made no sense to her, and seemed like three steps backward. Susan reluctantly applied at a coffee shop, was hired with no experience - despite hundreds of other applicants - and quickly became a “den mother” to her co-workers, young acting and music hopefuls.  

Most were not believers and Susan was able to share her faith and encourage them. Months later, one of the young co-worker actresses landed a role on a TV show. When the girl went to the table to read for the show, she learned that another one of the actresses had to bow out for emergency surgery.  The girl thought the role would be perfect for Susan and asked the producers if they would consider her. Desperate, they agreed and Susan was hired on the spot! In the nine years since then she’s won role after role and feels she found her calling in her ministering to others in entertainment.       


“Having the mind of Christ means knowing how to choose things that are the right things for us,” Shawn says. “We not only get to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit and know the thoughts of God, but we are also wired with intuition and instinct that will help us understand what God is saying.” He quotes Webster’s Dictionary’s to help us understand the two terms: “Instinct is a natural ability that helps you decide what to do or how to act without thinking: a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity.

Intuition, on the other hand, is an ability to understand or know something immediately based on your feelings rather than facts.” Shawn says that most of us have simply become too busy and overwhelmed by information to develop our God-given senses of instinct and intuition. He gives five ways to help us develop them:

1.    Take time and pause. Especially when we’re in the middle of big decisions. Shawn says, "we need to meditate and simply be quiet."
2.    Recognize mistakes as a vehicle for learning. We don’t need to dwell on our failures, he says. Instead, we should repent when we need to repent, seek God’s healing, and examine our hearts for the motivation that led to the failure.  
3.    Recognize wins and when things went right. Shawn says, "we should ask ourselves, 'Does this current moment feel like that time you made a good gut decision?'" 
4.    Detach emotionally and look from many angles. “Sometimes we are so obsessed with the outcome that we cannot truly hear,” he says.  
5.    Listen to the people God has put in your life. Even when things seem clear to us, Shawn advises seeking the wisdom of those who know us and our situations best.          

Loading Webform
Get Email Updates
Give Now