There are many ways for a Christian to hear God's direction for their life. The most significant by far, comes from spending time in the Word of God. It is important as a Christian, to take in large portions of Scripture - to soak in the Word of God.
Several other guidelines help when interpreting the direction God has for our lives in each new season:
1. First things first
Before we can hear God's clear directions for our lives, we must be careful to follow the basic instructions of his Word.
2. Growing Knowing
Many times God's plans for us come as we move forward to serve his Kingdom. We are not always sure of everything we are supposed to be doing, but we do what we can. For most of us, God increases this "growing knowing" in our hearts that we are right where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing.
3. Aha Moments
As in the Old Testament when God would speak audibly to the prophets, or the New Testament such as Paul on the road to Damascus getting blinded by the light from heaven and hearing the voice of Jesus ... there may come times where God's direction suddenly becomes crystal clear to us. God comes down in the sense that he very specifically calls us out for his service in some area.
4. Miraculous Provision
As we seek to move forward into God's plans, the financial obstacles can at times be daunting. A sudden financial gift towards a mission trip or new endeavor can be God's way of saying to move forward, especially when coupled with a sense he is speaking similarly to our hearts.
5. What's in your heart?
What makes you sad, mad or glad? in Acts 15, the Apostles of the Church state "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us," signifying that many times God will put his judgements and understanding within our heart to do what we ought to do. As long as it's "in the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:39), we can move forward confidently. It is good to always couple this with a heart of surrender to anything new the Lord might have for us.
6. Sacred Echo
Margaret Feinberg wrote a book recently entitled this. She explains that when God has called you to do something, you will often get the same impression, Scripture and opportunity. It's this idea that God doesn't want you to miss what he has for you, and will gently draw you his direction through this sort of sacred echo - each echo confirming the last and clarifying your call. Often God can use spiritual gifts such as prophetic words or words of knowledge within your community to confirm this sacred echo as well.
7. What did God last tell you?
And many times when we seek God for new direction we will sense we need to simply go back to what he last spoke to us, and continue on faithfully, steadily, passionately into his plans.