Last week we started talking about hearing from God, how it is for our benefit and how we are to follow Him when we hear Him. The next question you may have is, “How do I know it’s God?” The first thing to do is run it by the Bible. What does the Bible say about this situation that I am in? Is what I am hearing contrary to what the Bible says about this? If the answer is yes, then you are likely not hearing from God.
Example of this is, say Sally meets a nice young man. This young man goes to church and everyone likes him. After several months of dating, said young man says to Sally that they should probably get intimate as a sign of their love for each other. Sally prays about it and feels that God is saying that it’s okay because they love each other and are going to get married anyway.
The next thing Sally needs to do is go to her Bible and find verses on her situation to see what God says about it. Because, like I mentioned last week, there are no exceptions when it comes to the word of God. It applies to all of us, all the time. So, Sally reads verses like, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, 1 Corinthians 6:9-19, Jude 3-4 etc.
I will not go into those verses because that’s not the point of this post. When Sally reads the Bible she realises that what she is hearing “from God” contradicts what the word of God says. Then, it is safe to say that what Sally heard did not come from God. There are two other sources where it could have come from, herself or the enemy. Also, sometimes we want something so much that we believe that our own thoughts are “God speaking to us”, but if what we are hearing goes against God’s written word in the Bible, it’s not God.
As we learn God’s word, we will find that we can discern more quickly when God is speaking and when it is not God speaking. I’ll give another example, say Sally heard about tithing in a sermon and she felt that God was speaking to her to start tithing as she is not a tither. She goes to read the Bible and comes across Malachi 3, Luke 11:42, Mathew 23:23 etc. After reading those verses on tithing, Sally realises that what she heard is in line with God’s word. The next thing for her to do is follow what God has asked her to do, because 2 Corinthians 13:1 tell us that, “…The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”
I think that verse is so freeing. God does not mind repeating Himself, so if it is God speaking sometimes you will hear the same word from two or three different sources or you will find the same principle repeated in two or three different places in Scripture. Then the next thing we need to do is follow Jesus. Like with the sheep, they hear the voice of their shepherd and they follow him (John 10). Likewise, we hear the voice of God and we follow Him. James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” So, after we hear, we do.
As we learn to hear God’s voice, He will keep teaching us how to hear Him in different ways. He helps us build our confidence in hearing Him by speaking to us about different things at different times. Isaiah 28:10 says, “He tells us everything over and over—one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!” He is good like that. He wants to help us hear and discern His voice.
If you are struggling to hear from God, the easiest way to hear from God is through your pastors or spiritual leaders. Pray with them, especially when it comes to the big decisions. Proverbs 11:14 offers us some wisdom in this area and says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” And in Proverbs 15:22 it says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
Don’t make big decisions on your own, Proverbs tells us that it is unwise. If you are hearing from God about a big thing (or anything you are not sure of because the enemy loves to bring confusion) before you quit your job and tell everyone at work how you really feel about them, pray about it with your pastors and see if they are hearing the same thing over your life. This is why it is so important to trust your pastors. The good under shepherds hear from God about your life and they are there to help you. Don’t submit to the wrong voice because you are afraid to ask for clarity. We are to use wisdom in everything and the Bible says there is wisdom and safety in obtaining counsel.
Love and blessings,