Every believer wants to hear from God.
Why would you attempt to follow God closely if you didn’t want to know His voice or hear what He has to say?
Jesus said, “ My sheep know my voice .” (John 10:27)
That’s especially true in the circumstances of our life. When life is happening ,we want to know: Is this God? Is this what He is telling me to do? Is God trying to get my attention?
And, I believe, sometimes life if just happening. It’s not at all that God isn’t interested or in control. He counts hairs on our head and stores our tears in a bottle,He cares. But, sometimes life is life. Things happen. Doors open. Doors close. Jobs are lost. Health changes. The deal on the house we wanted falls through. We don’t get the scholarship we hoped we would. Life happens.
And, yet, I do believe God will use our circumstances to speak to us. He used a burning bush to speak to Moses.
I wish He’d use one to speak to me sometimes. I think I’d pay attention to that.
And, I think that’s part of the problem.
One thing I’ve observed is that we often expect God to speak in the grandiose voice of God. And, sometimes God speaks that way, but many times at least in my life God is more subtle than that. Often God speaks through those quiet moments, through other people, and through ordinary life’s circumstances.
In a crowded world of noise and life distractions sometimes it’s hard to understand what God is saying. Isn’t it?
How do we in the midst of our circumstances as mixed up and confusing as they can be figure out what God could be saying to us?
How do you know God is speaking to you?
QUESTION: How do you know God is speaking to you?
You will hear God speaking to you in that still, small voice that prompts you in your spirit. But, how do you know it is God who is speaking to you? God has given us some direction as to how we can determine His voice from any others we may hear, either real or imagined. These confirmations will strengthen our faith and enable us to hear God more clearly as we grow in our faith.
How do you know God is speaking to you? - The Tests
The following tests will help you determine if God is speaking to you. These methods should be accompanied by continual prayer and in some cases fasting.
The first test is the confirmation of God's written Word - the Bible. Everything that God says will agree with His written Word. He will never tell you to sin or go against a teaching in His Word. This simple test can clarify many "messages." We must, however, be careful not to read the written Word with any preconceived ideas of what it is saying.
The second test is the confirmation of godly counsel. God has placed people in our lives to help us to hear His voice. These people may include pastors, teachers, parents, and godly friends. In most cases, they will confirm the voice of God to you and help you to see His plan. This is not to say that you should rely on them solely. These people are human and can have their own feelings and fears distort their objectivity. However, they can be a very valuable source of confirmation when you are uncertain of God's voice.
The third test is the confirmation through circumstances. Christians can carefully studying their situation for indications of God's will. Some Christians have called this the Gideon method or "putting out the fleece." When God told Gideon that he was to lead Israel into battle against their enemies, Gideon put a fleece out on the ground in order to receive a sign that God was really speaking to him. If you feel led to use this test, come to God with a humble attitude and not a spirit of testing Him. Pray for God to reveal His will and carefully watch the circumstances that relate to that decision.
It is wise to not use any of these methods exclusively when trying to receive confirmation of God's voice. Most Christian leaders would agree that a combination of all three methods of confirmation is the best way to verify that the message you have received is from God. Each method is to be done with prayer. God wants you to hear His voice and He will reveal it to you.
Ways to hear from God
1. God can speak through circumstances.
God spoke to Jonah first with His voice, but Jonah didn’t heed God’s voice. So God spoke to Jonah through circumstances first, being swallowed by a great fish, and second when a vine grew up to shade Jonah, and then the vine withered ( Jonah 1–4 ). We need to examine our circumstances and ask if we are hearing the Lord through these circumstances. Ask yourself two questions: What’s happening in my life right now? What is the Lord telling me through these circumstances?
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2. God can speak through wise counsel .
This is shown all through Proverbs.When we seek godly counsel we can hear the voice of God. This counsel always complements Scripture. When we seek wise, godly mentors in the Lord, we don’t ask them to hear from God for us, but to prayerfully confirm that what we’ve heard from the Lord is correct.
3. God can speak through peace.
I mentioned Colossians 3:15 in an earlier chapter that God’s peace can rule in our hearts. The word rule doesn’t simply mean to merely exist. It means to reign or to be a deciding factor. If we don’t have peace about a decision, then it isn’t from the Lord. Don’t move forward unless you have peace.
4.God uses people to confirm His voice
Even in circumstances, in my experience, God often sends people into our path to confirm His will for our life. People who attempt to follow God with their life can help us to hear from God.
Every time God has called me to something there have been others to confirm they are hearing the same calling. I’ve often had to cycle through the naysayers to hear them, but they are there. I seek out wisdom of others.
When we went to plant a church I thought that’s what God was doing the doors certainly kept opening, but one loud voice of God were the number of people who kept bringing it to my attention unsolicited including one prophetic pastor (who claimed to not be a prophet) who spoke directly to a 10 year old vision of the plant exactly as God had originally shared it with me. That was my burning bush, but they don’t come along often. Probably only when you’re as stubborn as I am.
5.God can speak through dreams and visions. This pattern is shown in the lives of Joseph, Solomon, Jacob, Peter, John, and Paul.This method is available to us today too (see Acts 2:17 where Peter quotes Joel 2:28 ).
6. God can speak through our thoughts .
Amos 4:13 says that God makes known His ways to us through our thoughts. In Matthew 1:19 –21, while Joseph thought about things, God spoke to him. We need to be careful here because not every thought in our minds comes from the Lord. Thoughts can also be placed in our minds from the Devil. And we can simply think up things on our own. So every time we get a thought, we need to judge if it is from God. Does it align with Scripture? Does it in any way contradict the character of God?
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Romans 1:18 –20 states clearly that God can make Himself known by nature. The voice of God can be revealed through mountains, water, trees, meadows, landscapes, and more. In John 12:27 –30, God spoke from
heaven , but when God spoke in this incident, some people who stood nearby thought they were hearing thunder. There’s the possibility that this could happen today. Sometimes if we hear thunder, or see floods or hurricanes or high winds or volcanoes, it may actually be the voice of God.
8.God can speak through supernatural manifestations.
God spoke to Moses through a burning bush ( Ex. 3:1 –4). He spoke to Gideon through a fleece ( Judg. 6:37 –40). He spoke to Saul on the Damascus road through a bright light ( Acts 9:1 –5). He even spoke to Balaam through a donkey ( Num. 22:1 –35).
9.Find His Frequency
“They know his voice” –John 10:4 (NKJV)
There was once a time when you had to work to tune in to a program on the radio or television set. You had to find the right frequency. You never questioned if it was broadcasting,you knew it was,but you had to do your part to find the frequency and tune in.
How do you locate the frequency God uses to speak to you?
Most often, we miss His frequency because we’re tuned in to hear some huge revelation; when, in fact, He is giving simple instructions. That’s what He will do when you first begin to hear from Him,and He will continue to do this for the rest of your life here on earth. Obedience in the simple things is very important to God.it reveals the willingness of you heart.
So, if you’re waiting for God to send you out to part the Red Sea, you may be missing what He’s saying to you right now,which might be to clean out your closet or stop watching certain television shows or spend more time with your children. He will talk to you about the small things in your life that you need to change,adjustments you need to make. He will begin to deal with you where you are, which most often involves helping you walk in God’s best by getting rid of things that are holding you back.
God wants liberty and freedom for our lives, and that begins with training. He teaches us how to be led by the Spirit. But, if we disobey these promptings in the little things, we won’t graduate to the bigger assignments. Sometimes, the small things He asks of us may seem unimportant, or involve giving up things we think we enjoy. But to reach a level of intimacy with God where we hear His voice and are launched us into new places in the spirit, obedience must become a non negotiable in our lives.
That’s why Matthew 18 tells us to become like little children,which means not to be highs minded and think we’re all knowing. To find God’s frequency, you must be willing to hear His voice in the small things.
10.God can speak through a whisper.
We discussed in an earlier chapter how God can speak through a still small voice. He spoke this way to Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:12 ).
Again, the point here is that if we are going to hear God’s voice, then we need to listen to Him. We need to tune in to the frequency of heaven and hear the voice of God. Note the warning held out in Jeremiah 7:13 : “While you have been sinning, I have been trying to talk to you, but you refuse to listen” (CEV). Essentially, God is saying to the Israelites that they did any number of wicked things, and He was speaking and speaking to them repeatedly about it, but they did not listen to Him.
I love the promise held out for us in Romans 10:17 : “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you’ve ever met a person of great faith, then you’ve met a person of great hearing who knows how to listen to the Word of God.
11.God can speak through the Bible.
Scripture is always the voice of God in the general sense that God inspired the words of Scripture ( 2 Tim. 3:16 ). God can also speak specifically to us through the Bible, by drawing a particular passage to our attention, because the Word of God is living and active ( Heb. 4:12 ).
Note: We need to truly listen to God. Once we hear from Him, then we need to act in faith. Have you heard from God and truly listened to His voice?Then good, now is the time to move with confidence.
Finally, remember that prayer is a conversation. When you ask God to talk to you, be still and listen for His voice. If you expect Him to speak and you are listening for it, He will speak to you regularly.
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