Originally published Wednesday, 04 September 2019.
Have you ever thought you heard from God but then doubted yourself later on? “Was that really God,” you question.
“Maybe that was just my own thought or, maybe that was the enemy trying to trick me,” you wonder.
I’ve been there more than I wish to admit. If you have too, I want to encourage you that knowing and hearing God’s voice is a process. As we develop more in our faith and grow more in Christ, it becomes easier to hear from God. To help you further in this area, here are five ways to recognize God’s voice.
1. God’s voice brings peace.
Unfortunately, many people view God as this mean and angry dictator in heaven. If they expect to hear from God, they think the voice will be startling and fearful. However, one thing I’ve learned about hearing from God is that His Word always brings peace.
Yesterday while praying at church, I asked God for guidance with a decision I need to make. As I felt him move my heart in a particular way about that decision, I instantly felt my shoulders relax, my jaw unclench, and my breathing slowed down. Moving in this direction brought peace, and I knew God was directing me.
Hearing from God may not always immediately result in peace, especially if He is asking us to do something we don’t want to do, but eventually, it will. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 6:9), and His Word will always lead us to peaceful lives.
2. God’s voice never contradicts the Bible.
God will never conflict what is in His written Word. He will not tell you to sin or go against His commands. Anything that encourages you to do so is not God.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:13-14 ESV)
3. God’s voice brings clarity (not confusion)
Confusion does not come from God.
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV)
A word from God can bring clarity and hushes all the other voices that bring doubt. Confusion is a tactic of the enemy; clarity and discernment is a gift from the Holy Spirit to help us live the lives God's calling us to live.
4. God’s Word comes true.
There are many people out there who will tell you what God said about your life. If it never comes true, however, then it’s not from God. God is not a liar.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 ESV)
If God says something will happen, it will.
5. God’s voice brings change.
As God speaks to us we're motivated and empowered to change. His Word strengthens us to do the things and be the women we never thought we could.
With His words, God created the heavens and the earth. Image what one word from God could do for your life.
A final thought:
God is not like man. He will not shout and yell to get our attention. He doesn’t need to. One of the main reasons I believe Christians today don’t hear from God is because our lives are too busy with noise to quiet ourselves enough to hear God’s still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
This stillness requires rest — something many of us avoid. We trade stillness for rush and rest for more money. But it’s not worth your peace. It’s not worth missing a word from God. Work is good and of course, and is a gift from God. (Genesis 2:15) At the same time, rest has its advantages, and we’re also commanded to rest. (Exodus 20:8-10) Rest and work are not enemies. They go together.
As we approach a more healthy view of rest, we position ourselves to hear from God. I encourage you to take some time today to be still. Put your phone down, turn off the computer, and let your soul rest. Turn off all the noise that may be drowning out God’s voice and let him speak to your soul.
Find more encouragement from Christina Patterson at www.belovedwomen.org and learn more about "Soul Rest" at this year's Beloved Women's Conference. If you desire to hear from God through the study of His Word, the LIFE Bible Journal was designed to help you do just that. Get yours today at www.thebelovedboutique.com.