How to Discern God’s Voice

Discerning God’s voice gets easier over time.  When you first meet someone, you may have trouble distinguishing their voice on the phone. But over time, you know who you are speaking to from the first hello. It takes a relationship.  Yet, there are strong indicators to help you discern God’s voice from the enemy’s or your own.  Today we are going to look at discerning God’s voice.

Here is a simple sentence that describes what God’s voice sounds like or how it comes to you:

“God’s voice sounds like spontaneous thoughts that arise in your mind when you put your eyes on Jesus.”  Mark Virkler

Approach God with a question or a concern. He is always with us. Picture Him in your mind as right there listening. Come with the expectation that He is there, He is listening, and He will answer you.

Instead of an audible voice, words may come spontaneously to your mind—write them down.  It is usually the first words you hear that are God’s.  If you sit there analyzing, what you heard can be twisted, watered down, or completely dismissed.

God doesn’t always wait for you to come to Him with a concern or question. Sometimes He speaks to grab your attention about something. For example: Have you ever had the thought—“Call John,” or someone else you know? Then the thought continues to come across your mind until you respond. – You are hearing God.

Once, you hear something or see something in your mind, ask questions.  And, this is the most important question of all.

Does what I heard line up with the Bible? Does this line up with the God that I know?

It is of utmost importance that you are as familiar as possible with God’s Word. He ALWAYS speaks in alignment with His Word. Too many people tell me they heard God tell them something and they make decisions completely contrary to God’s word. 

A man once told me, “God told me to marry this woman, and we will be happy ever after.”  At the time, he was married to another woman and she was married to another man.  They broke up both marriages and married each other.  This was not God at all.

Was what I heard wrapped in the fruits of the Spirit?

Is what you heard full of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control?  These should be evident in what you heard.

How did His words make me feel?

Do you feel loved, heard, relieved, instructed, at peace, convicted but loved?   Or do you feel confused, stressed, upset, angry, or depressed?

Here is a shortlist of how God speaks unless you are in outright rebellion:

He Stills you

He Leads you

He Reassures you

He Enlightens you

He Encourages you

He Comforts you

He Calms you

He Gives you hope

He Refreshes you

He Clarifies

He is Patient

He Forgives you

He is Kind

He is Gentle

He Leads you in holiness

He Is Full of Love

He Convicts you

And when He convicts you, He always gives you a way to repent and come back to His ways.

I grew up thinking that God’s main focus was to punish me if I did wrong.  My mom told me that an angel followed me around with a clipboard and wrote down everything I did wrong. So, I grew up with a skewed vision of who God was and not liking angels much either. I’ve since found God is love and all that He does is because He loves us.

The best way to learn how to walk in the Spirit is to act on what God speaks to you.  What if He highlights a scripture and there aren’t instructions connected with it?  Ask Him what He wants you to do and do it. The more times you put what you heard into practice the quicker you will learn the joy of obedience. And you will learn to trust what you hear.

If He tells you to do something, go back and ask the questions we covered.  If it lines up with the Word, God’s character, and the fruits of the Spirit, go for it. You are building a relationship with God Almighty.

The truth is, you will get it wrong sometimes, but that is okay.  He often starts by telling you to do things that are very low risk.  Let’s say you are at Walmart and He tells you, “Go tell that clerk that Jesus loves her.”  Even if you tell her and she isn’t happy about it, you still will be okay. But what if when you tell her she breaks down crying because she needed to hear that? 

You can argue with God forever, but the only way to discover what you heard is true is to act on it. Regardless of their response, you are sharing God’s love and that is always good.

Next time we will look at the voice of the enemy and how it differs from God’s voice.

Shalom for now. ♥

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