I used to go night hunting with some friends and we all had our hounds that went with us. It was a delight to ramble around in the dark most of the night and then go to work the next day with very little sleep. When one of the dogs would strike a trail the barking would begin and the interesting thing was we could tell which dog or dogs was hot on the trail by the sound of their bark. I could recognize my dogs by their bark even if there were other dogs barking along with them.
Another amazing thing is, even with all the voices in the world once you become accustom to someone speaking over the phone you know who you are talking to.
In the tenth chapter of St. John there is several verses that addresses the importance of recognizing whose voice is speaking to you.
John.10:2-3 "The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." Through out this chapter Jesus emphasizes the relationship between him and the father and the shepherd and the sheep and the recognition of the voices.
In the realm of the spirit it is essential to know who or what is speaking to you.
1 Corinthians 12:2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. Paul speaking of the Gentiles past reminds them of the voices they listened to in the past and the results from following them.
"Notice that He said in verse 3, His sheep hear His voice. He didn’t say His sheep CAN hear His voice or SHOULD hear His voice. He made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice. Most Christians would question the accuracy of that statement since their experiences don’t line up. But it’s not what Jesus said that is wrong; all true believers can and do hear the voice of God; they just don’t recognize what they are hearing as being God’s voice." Womack
Jesus says in John 10:26-27 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. Here Jesus contrasts those who are not his sheep and those who are. 1 Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
There are voices from without and those from within. God can use all of them. It may be a word of wisdom from a friend, from a scripture, or more importantly from out of your spirit. The key is to recognize the source and then the validity of what you are hearing before letting it take on any importance in your life.
Isaiah received some good advice Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." This is another way of being led by your spirit in harmony with the Holy Spirit. When GOD speaks it will be Spirit to spirit. There will be an inside knowing of what is right.
This is where a debate commences between the mind and the spirit. There are times where the mind must yield to the spirit and is the time when you must have a trust relationship with your inner man.
There is another dimension to this subject and that is hearing the wrong voice. It will be like trying to listen to a radio broadcast and having static overpower the voice on the radio to the point you can't hear anything but the static. If you are led by your spirit instead of outside forces there with be peace. The question arises how do I know it is the wrong voice?
The first step is it in any way contrary to the word of GOD, if so it is the wrong voice. Second if peace doesn't accompany the consideration of it then it is the wrong voice. Third will it harm others due to no fault of their own then it is the wrong voice. Fourth is can you live with it and be in harmony with GOD and the world around you if you can't then it is the wrong voice.
Knowing the voice of the Lord is both an inherent result of being born again and a learned response by walking in fellowship with Him daily.