Where is God Amidst All This Chaos?
Special: Counseled by God Free Video Event and up to 50% off!

How Did Over a Million People Learn to Recognize God’s Voice?

Mark Virkler's picture

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 people 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.

Jump to

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. StopBecome still – “Went to my guard post” means he quieted himself down to listen and hear.
  2. LookLook for vision – “Kept watch to see” means he was looking for vision.
  3. ListenRecognize 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. WriteTwo-way journaling – “Record the vision” means he wrote down the flowing words and flowing pictures (visions) that were coming to him.

Keep a reminder of the 4 keys to hearing God's voice, continually before your eyes. Click here to get free 'Four Keys' downloadable wallpaper for your computer desktop (shown below). Click here for instructions on setting the wallpaper for your computer or phone.

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?

So Who Else in Scripture, Besides Habakkuk, Used These Four Keys?

It is now 35 years later, and I hear the Lord speaking within me that I should take note that the four keys that Habakkuk used were used by others throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. So let’s take a look at ten individuals in the Bible who used these four keys and wrote over half the Bible.

The Apostle John used the same four keys when he wrote the book of Revelation. In Rev. 1:9-11 we see:
  1. Stop – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”
  2. Listen – “I heard a voice behind me saying”
  3. Write – “Write in a book”
  4. Look – “what you see”

King David was a man after God’s own heart and he certainly used the same four keys:
  1. Stop – “Be silent my soul before Him” (Ps. 62:1).
  2. Look – “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Ps. 16:8); “I saw the Lord always in my presence; for He is at my right hand” (Acts 2:25) means he saw the Lord with the eyes of his heart, with him constantly.
  3. Listen – After King David would quiet himself (i.e. Selah), God would speak. “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God” (Ps. 50:7).
  4. Write – David journaled out the details of the Tabernacle, and as he did, he said it was the Lord’s hand upon him (1 Chron. 28:19). In addition, he recorded many of his prayer times in the Psalms.

How about the Apostle Paul, did he also use these four keys?
  1. Stop – “… appeared to Paul in the night” (Acts 16:9)
  2. Look – “Was caught up into Paradise” (2 Cor. 12:4)
  3. Listen – “Heard inexpressible words” (2 Cor. 12:4)
  4. Write – Paul prayed for revelation (Eph. 1:17,18; Col. 1:9), and then wrote Ephesians and Colossians which are both FULL of divine revelation. I am convinced his epistles record the revelation Paul received from God during his prayer times.

How about Abraham, the Father of Faith – did he use the four keys?
  1. Stop – “A deep sleep fell upon Abram” (Gen. 15:12,13)
  2. Look – “The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision…” (Gen. 15:1)
  3. Listen – “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country…’” (Gen. 12:1)
  4. Write – Since Genesis 15 was written by Moses, I am going to assume that Abraham recorded it in some way so it was available later for Moses to draw upon.

Moses used the four keys (Ex. 3:1-5).
  1. Stop – Moses said, "I must turn aside..." 
  2. Look – He looked and behold the bush was burning.
  3. Listen – God called to him from the midst of the bush and said...
  4. Write – Moses wrote out this experience in the book of Exodus.

Did Isaiah use the four keys when he heard God’s voice?
  1. Stop – He wakens me morning by morning (Isa. 50:4)
  2. Look – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw” (Isa. 1:1)
  3. Listen – For the LORD speaks… (Isa. 1:2)
  4. Write – Obviously he is writing it down, as that is how we got the book of Isaiah.

Jeremiah used the four keys to receive from the Lord.
  1. Stop – Jeremiah was a priest who was ministering before the Lord (Jer. 1:1)
  2. Look – “What do you see, Jeremiah?" … "I see a rod of an almond tree." (Jer. 1:11)
  3. Listen – "The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying” (Jer. 30:1)
  4. Write – “'Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book'” (Jer. 30:2)

Ezekiel used the four Keys (Ezek. 1:1-4).
  1. Stop – “While I was by the river …”
  2. Look – “As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming …”
  3. Listen – “the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel …”
  4. Write – He wrote the book of Ezekiel.

Daniel used the four keys.
  1. Stop – As he lay on his bed (Dan. 7:1)
  2. Look – "I was looking in my vision by night” (Dan. 7:1)
  3. Listen – “I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things” (Dan. 7:16)
  4. Write – He wrote the dream down (Dan. 7:1)

Peter used the four keys.
  1. Stop – "I was in the city of Joppa praying” (Acts 11:5)
  2. Look – “I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet” (Acts 11:5)
  3. Listen – “I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’” (Acts 11:7)
  4. Write – We have a biblical record of his encounter.

These biblical writers composed 663 chapters of the 1189 chapters in the Bible (over 50%). That is not to say that the rest of the writers didn’t also use these four keys. If we explored the Minor Prophets and discovered they also used the four keys of stop, look, listen and write that would add another 68 chapters to the total.

Should We Be Using the Four Keys?

If God models a behavior from Genesis to Revelation, is that something we are to do? If God is a God who hides himself, and it is the glory of a king to search a thing out, then we have searched this thing out and found that these four keys are prevalent in Scripture, which means we ought to be following this pattern.

We stop, look, listen and write. Not too hard to comprehend. We teach our children to stop, look and listen before crossing a road. Now we need to teach ourselves to stop, look, listen and write. If we do, we will receive daily revelation from the Lord just as these did: Habakkuk, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John, Paul and Peter. I know there are many others from Scripture whom we have not even mentioned in this article.

Will YOU Use These Four Keys?

Keep a reminder of the 4 keys to hearing God's voice, continually before your eyes. Click here to get free 'Four Keys' downloadable wallpaper for your computer desktop (shown below). Click here for instructions on setting the wallpaper for your computer or phone.

How many of these keys can we neglect and still expect to receive the fullness of God? My guess is none! So let’s take the time to train ourselves and our people that hearing God’s voice is as easy as quieting yourself down, fixing your eyes on Jesus, tuning to spontaneity and writing.

Isn’t it time for you to stop, look, listen and write? Isn’t it time for the church to train its people to stop, look, listen and write? God certainly puts a huge emphasis on writing (Deut. 17:18,19). Rather than saying, “I can’t write,” we should be saying, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Phil. 4:13).

Rather than saying, “I can’t see,” how about if we say, “God heals the blind with just a touch. Lord, I ask for You to touch my blind eyes and heal them so I can see. I command blindness to go, in Jesus’ name. I command the eyes of my heart to see in Jesus’ name! Muscles in these spiritual eyes, be strengthened in Jesus’ name. Lord, I receive Your healing touch. I look and I see (Dan. 8:2,3; Rev. 4:1). It is Your will for me to see (Acts 2:17). Thank You, Lord.”

It is time for the Church to arise and be the Church and receive revelation knowledge and divine visions on a daily basis.

We Saved the Best for Last – The Example of Jesus

“Jesus is perfect theology” according to Bill Johnson, and I certainly agree. Jesus did nothing of His own initiative, but only what He heard and saw the Father doing (Jn. 8:28).

  1. Stop - Jesus went alone to pray (Matt. 14:23)
  2. Look – “I do only those things I see the Father doing” (Jn. 5:19,20; 8:38)
  3. Listen – “I do only those things I hear from the Father” (Jn. 5:30; 8:26)
  4. Write –  Jesus wrote in the sand (Jn. 8:6)

Make this golden pattern a part of your daily life!

Hearing God's voice is as simple as quieting yourself down,
fixing your eyes on Jesus, tuning to spontaneity 
and writing.

Which Leaders Down Through Church History Used the Four Keys?

We haven’t even started this discussion, so let’s begin it…

  1. Stop –
  2. Look –
  3. Listen –
  4. Write – 

Would you help by adding to this blog (below) an additional example from either Scripture or Church history of individuals who used the four keys to hear God’s voice? Thank you for the additions you provide. Let’s let this blog grow. Let’s be doers of the Word! Let’s stop, look, listen and write.

Closing Prayer – Lord, bless and anoint Your Church as they follow this biblical pattern, found in hundreds of chapters of Scripture, and modeled by essentially all great spiritual leaders from Scripture and from church history. Lord, we thank You for patterns and examples in Your Word which instruct our lives. Thank You for this pattern that has taught so many of Your children to hear Your voice in recent years. YOU are restoring truth to Your church. You are restoring our lives! You are taking us back to the pattern in the Garden of Eden where in the cool of the day You appeared, and walked and talked with Adam and Eve. You are our Wonderful Counselor. We worship You. To God be glory forever and ever, amen!

Resources Which Train You To Hear God's Voice

The Four Keys Expanded

  1. short article on these four keys is available here.
  2. An 8-minute TV interview is available here.
  3. A complete training package is available here providing instruction for every age level from 3 years old through adult.
  4. An electronic training module, Hearing God's Voice can be obtained here. Listen to week one of this training module for free.
  5. Wallpaper: Keep a reminder of the 4 keys to hearing God's voice, continually before your eyes. Click here to get free 'Four Keys' downloadable wallpaper for your computer desktop (shown below). Click here for instructions on setting the wallpaper for your computer or phone.
  6. The voice of God applied to all of life through these 1000+ blogs.
  7. Examples of Two-Way Journaling

People all over the world have learned to hear God’s voice through these tools and many have now written books of two-way journaling demonstrating that God still speaks today and ministers His grace and healing love to all. What an amazing God we serve!

Eighty Plus Books Containing Two-way Journaling

Click here for a listing of 85+ books which include the 4 keys to hearing God's voice and lead people into two-way journaling.

Free eBooks of Two-way Journaling

We also post a number of free books and articles of two-way journaling which are available here. They include: Belief and Unbelief, Come Away With Me, Communion - Me and Jesus, Dialoging With God Through the Tabernacle Experience, How to Experience God, Passionate Intimacy With God Through Dialog, Robe - Crown - Nails - Cross, Seek My Face and Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as It Is in Heaven.

Testimonies of lives transformed by hearing God's voice

Endorsements and 95% Success Rate


Related Resources: 

How to Hear God's Voice!   

Related Blogs: 

How to Hear God’s Voice   
Add new comment


Anonymous's picture

Awesome post Dr Virkler! I would like to add that it is recorded that Jesus wrote something he heard from His Father.... He wrote in the sand when the men were accusing the woman of adultery! Whatever He wrote was powerful enough to turn them all away! Also, He is the Word, every word written in scripture!

blessings to you and thank you for all you write for us!

Lori Jett

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Results 1 - 10 of 479


4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages | Retail: $16.99

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?

Price: $14.95

Dialogue with God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 296 Pages

This top seller for 30 years from Bridge Logos provides a narrative, right-brain presentation of the principles of how to hear God's voice. Especially enjoyable for personal use, it makes a great gift for introducing a loved one to the voice of God. This book teaches the four keys to hearing God's voice in readable style, and also devotes two entire chapters to moving samples of people's journaling (i.e. their two-way dialogue with God).

Price: $17.95
Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

9 Books | 10 CDs | 10 DVDs | Save Over 20%

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

Price: $175.00

How to Hear God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 317 Pages

We recommend that you order the newest revision of this book titled 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. It includes 95% of the content of How to Hear God's Voice but is reorganized so it fits perfectly with the 10 DVDs on this subject by Mark Virkler. In addition, it gets you started using the four keys earlier in the book and gives you more journaling samples and exercises. Since we have removed the large margins, it is a smaller and less expensive book.

Price: $24.95

Prayers That Heal the Heart - Revised & Expanded 20th Anniversary Edition

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 320 Pages

Prayer counseling that breaks every yoke! Everything you need to experience deep healing of your soul and spirit.

Did you know that you don’t need to be continually plagued by negative thoughts, feelings, pictures or memories?

It is not part of the "human condition" to feel the constant nagging of doubt, insecurity, or anger. No matter what sin you are trying to overcome, what lie you think you’ll always believe, or what traumas your heart has suffered in the past, you will receive total freedom and restoration by praying these prayers in faith. 

Price: $19.95

Twelve Weeks to Spiritual Mastery - Group Coaching

A group coaching experience with Mark Virkler

Because I could not find a Spirit-anointed teacher/coach, I spent ten extremely frustrating years seeking to hear God’s voice!!! Suggestions offered did not help me, things like: “You just know that you know. It is a still small voice. He speaks from your heart.” No one could give me the answer I needed which was: Hearing God’s voice is as simple as quieting yourself down, fixing your eyes on Jesus, recognizing His voice as spontaneous, flowing thoughts and writing down His flow as it is coming. Test what you have written after the flow is done, NOT while it is occurring.

Price: $1,200.00

Counseled by God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 146 Pages

Have you ever been defeated by negative emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, inferiority, condemnation or depression? Have you tried to fight them off unsuccessfully? Is there an answer that is deeper than simply trying to mentally reason yourself out of these emotions? Is there a way that Jesus can speak a word of life into the depths of your emotional despair and bring healing on a deep level? Is there a form of Christian counseling that begins and ends with the movement of Christ within your heart, rather than simply with the words of man?

Price: $10.95
Hear God Through Your Dreams Workbook Cover

Hear God Through Your Dreams Workbook

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 92 Pages

A newer book has been released that accompanies this workbook: Click here for Hearing God Through Your Dreams by Charity Kayembe and Mark Virkler (featured on Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural", with almost a million views just on YouTube).

Do you often wake up feeling there was a significant message in your dream, but you’re just not sure what it is? Like Daniel and Joseph, do you long to be able to help others understand their own dreams and win them to Christ as you explain His night messages to them? Wouldn't it be nice if you could receive mid-course corrections from the Lord while you sleep? Do you wish you could be receiving divine inspiration, creative solutions to problems, and direction from the Lord during that third of your life that you’re “just” sleeping?

Price: $11.95

Hearing God Through Your Dreams

by Mark Virkler and Charity Virkler Kayembe | 292 Pages

Learn How to Hear God’s Voice, Even When You Are Sleeping

It is always fun to be on the winning team. Well look what God has done with Charity's new dreams teaching. It has taken off like a rocket with a live TV interview on Cornerstone Network and her Sid Roth interview which has almost a million views on YouTube!

Price: $16.99

Everyday Angels

by Charity Virkler Kayembe and Joe Brock 289 Pages

You can partner with Heaven’s angelic hosts!

Do you have guardian angels? Does God want you to know them? Find out what Scripture reveals and how YOU can interact with the company of Heaven!

The supernatural realm permeates our natural world! Therefore, experiencing angels should be an everyday occurrence–we simply need to open our spiritual eyes to their reality and role in our lives.

Price: $16.99