My friend pastor John Piippo says the only way to recognize God’s voice is to spend time with Him. John writes:
“The more I spend time with Linda (his wife), the more I not only recognize the sound of her voice but also become familiar with the heart behind the sound of her voice. This comes by personal experience, and much of it. There is no substitute for this. You cannot get this out of a book. Second-hand experience will not do. The testimony of someone else cannot substitute for first hand, personal, experiential knowledge.
“Someone who does not have time to pray should not expect to recognize the voice of God, any more than spouses who have drifted apart would be familiar with each other’s hearts. Only familiarity breeds discernment. (Emphasis mine.)
“Familiarity in the sense of recognition and understanding is directly proportionate to the amount of time spent together, and spent in a certain way. That’s how it is with people. It is the same with God. We come to recognize God’s voice by personal experience.”