How can you tell God is speaking to you? How do you know it’s His voice and not the enemy’s?
Is It Biblical?
I have often heard people say that God “spoke to them,” but it was contrary to what the Scriptures say. God will never ask us to do something that is contrary to biblical doctrine, speaking to us by His Spirit. For example, a man I was counseling once told me that God told him that he is to divorce his wife. I asked him if his wife was committing adultery. He said no. I told him that God hates divorce and that, except for adultery, there should be no divorce because he didn’t have biblical grounds for it. Why would God “speak” to him and tell him that He wanted him to divorce his wife when the Bible clearly teaches that this would be sin? If you feel that God is speaking to you–and I don’t mean in an audible voice you can hear–and that He is telling you to do something the Bible is against, don’t believe it! That’s a lie. It’s likely from the enemy or your own selfish desires.
It Glorifies God
We know it is always God’s will that His name be glorified. If you believe God is telling you to do something and it will result in His being glorified, it could well be that God is speaking to you. A good example is found in Psalm 145:11-12, where it says, “They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men God’s mighty deeds and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.” If you are endeavoring to do something for God’s glory, then it is very likely God’s trying to speak to you.
God Does Speak to Us
One of the most overlooked things believers do when seeking the will of God is want Him to speak to them, but what they don’t realize is that God has already spoken to them, which is in His Word, the Bible. God’s Word is alive, active, and living. It penetrates the stony human heart and makes the simple wise. Why do we seek to hear God in a quiet, still voice when he boldly and plainly speaks to us in His Word? If you’re not reading the Bible regularly, then don’t expect God to speak to you in a voice because you are not even hearing Him speak to you in the Scriptures.
Seek Godly Counsel
Sometimes you need another set of ears from a close and trusted Christian friend, counselor, or pastor to see if what you believe God is speaking to you is the enemy or God Himself. The Bible says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). The Christian life is not intended to be a solo act but one in which we are connected to other believers and to be in community and fellowship so that we can gain wisdom through their experiences. If you really want to know if it’s God’s voice or not, bounce it off a couple of Christians and see what they think. It surely can’t hurt.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
Orig. image by seyed mostafa