In the last post, we established that God indeed speaks. He isn’t limited and he can speak to anyone. But we also established that for you to hear, know and understand God’s voice, you need to be in a personal relationship with Him.
Today, I want to talk about discerning God’s voice.
How can one Identify the Voice of God?
Someone can ask, ‘Why is it so important to discern God’s voice?’ Well, because there are other voices that speak to you and that you hear that aren’t God’s voice. Sometimes it’s your own voice that you hear, other times it’s the enemy’s voice, hence why it is important that a believer is able to identify the voice of God and distinguish it from all these other voice.
Then, the question is how can we as believers Identify God’s voice?
1)Like we said in the last post, a personal relationship with God.
When you draw closer to God, he draws closer to you [James 4:8]. As mentioned in the previous post, you begin to understand who God is, his attributes and his character. He begins to reveal himself and the mysteries of His word to you.
He becomes your best friend, your father, your confidant, your ride-or-die. Your everything. He is all you will ever need, all you want, and he satisfies your soul and the longings of your heart in a way no one and nothing can. And because this is personal; between you and God, and it is specific, there is a way he will speak to you- in a manner that fits your relationship with him, that fits your personality and because it is specific, you will know it is God.
You will just know. There is no textbook that dictates how you will know, you will know; believe me.
Remember John 10:27, ‘My sheep know my voice…’
Exactly. Spend time with him so that the two of you (because it is a relationship between 2 people) can develop that communication and TRUST. Trust that you are hearing God because many of us do hear God and we doubt and question it.
Cause there is the enemy’s voice.
Many of us are afraid to actually believe we hear God; his Holy Spirit, because we fear that 1)It isn’t God and we are hearing our own things or 2)We have had an experience where we thought we heard God (and we didn’t) and we followed that voice and it caused problems- we drifted from God, went through condemnation and it took you a long time to get back to where you were at with God.
It’s normal to feel this way; it shows that you really want to hear the right voice, but it shouldn’t control you.
I know, easier said than done.
But all my years that I have been a Christian, I have learnt that in this relationship, you got to TRUST God. Open and stretch your arms wide and free fall into his arms. Let him catch you as you let go of everything and choose to trust him. When you hold everything; rather try to hold everything, trying to be in control, that’s when you lose sight of Him. Let Go and Let God.
This is one of the simplest ways you can know if the voice you’re hearing is God’s. God will use His word to confirm that which He has spoken, meaning He gives you scriptures that support that which He said.
Ask God to lead you to a scripture that is tied to that which he has spoken to confirm his word.
This is tied to 1 John 4:1 AMP, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the Spirits whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world.”
The reason I bring this scripture up is:
i) The devil knows scripture. Matthew 4:6 while the devil was tempting Jesus, he quoted Psalm 91:11-12 because he knew and understood the power of Scripture. ‘Jesus has overcome my temptation with scripture. So, let me use that which he knows to tempt him.’ The devil will twist scripture to suit what you’re feeling, your situation and to suit your desires. This is where 1 John 4:1 comes in; test every spirit. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Furthermore, read your Bible. When you spend time in God’s word you can identify when it is being used in the wrong way.
And ii) False Prophets- people will come to you quoting scripture left and right and centre telling you ‘God has said’. No one is immune from this trap.
Test that Spirit- ask questions such as if that word is backed up by scripture? Does my spirit agree with that which the other person is saying or am I restless?
You know that it is God who spoke to you when you’re at peace.
What do I mean?
I once read a devotion written by Joyce Meyer and she talked about how when we’re in difficult situations that require us to make tough decisions, let peace be the umpire. That means when you want to choose between A or B, and you pray and ask God, the one you choose will result to you being at peace.
This peace is the one that surpasses all understanding, the peace that comes from God and your mind can’t comprehend it, but you know for sure that it is God.
“Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful always.”
~Colossians 3:15 AMP.
This principle applies when it comes to hearing God’s voice.
See how it says let this peace be the controlling factor in your hearts, deciding and settling questions that arise? Let the peace that God gives [John 14:27 AMP] which transcends all understanding [Philippians 4:7 AMP] decide and settle any questions that may arise about whether you’re hearing God’s voice.
It is guaranteed: When God speaks, it is accompanied by peace.
So, look out for that peace! If you aren’t at peace, you may wanna question that voice, better yet call a fellow believer to help you if you’re in such a situation.
4)Ask God to confirm if it is Him!
This is what I do all the time! I usually ask, “God, is this you speaking to me?”
I know some of you think that this means you are doubting God, or you don’t believe in Him but there really isn’t any harm in asking God to confirm what He said or what He has spoken. It’s actually very wise to ask Him to confirm or repeat that which He has spoken.
I mean, look at Gideon. Judges 6:17, he says, “If I have found favour in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who speaks to me.” In the verses to come, he asks for one of the craziest signs I have heard of: he puts a fleece of wool on the ground and asks God that if the fleece can be wet with dew yet the ground be dry, and vice versa. Then he will know that it is God.
Now I am not saying ask God for such a sign, what I am saying is that it is okay to ask God to confirm his word.
You can be specific (like Gideon) or receive confirmation through His word, peace or you can let God use whatever he chooses to use to confirm what he has spoken i.e. People (my mother always tells me God uses two witnesses to confirm his word), a post on Instagram, you name it! God isn’t limited.
All in all, all the above ways to discern whether God is speaking have one common factor: The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is at the core of everything. He is our helper, counsellor, guider. Develop a personal relationship with Him and let Him become your compass and assurance as you discern the voice of God and throughout your journey in Christianity.