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How do I know it is God who I hear?

So, you feel that God has spoke

n to you . . .

or perhaps you sense his leading you in one direction or another,

how do you know it is God's voice and not your own or even someone else’s?

In an age of 'do what makes you happy,' 'God only wants you to be happy,' 'look within - you will find the truth' -- all of which are faulty thoughts, folks believe wrong things. Frankly, the stakes are just too high to believe lies of half truths.

Consider what you sense God has said, and interview yourself about its nature or content. ‘Is it consistent with Scripture? Does it line up with the character of God? Will the message potentially lead you down a wrong path? Is the voice gently leading, or is it commanding and harsh?'

Commanding, critical, harsh? Yes, perhaps words repeat themselves in your mind--words that tear you down like 'well, if you weren't so stupid, you would know what to do'. God does not treat his children like that, nor does he speak in such a way to them. You have internalized these words from another source--your critical father? Maybe your unkind spouse. Maybe your poor self image, feeling you have never measured up and never will. Your loving Heavenly Father would never speak to you like that.

->God's voice gently guides and encourages, gives hope, and always, truth--

Consider how David described this in Psalm 18.35

You have given me the shield of your salvation,

    and your right hand supported me,

    and your gentleness made me great.

>God leads; Satan drives--

Jesus self described as the Good Shepherd. I can settle myself right there.

In describing the Good Shepherd, Jesus said,

When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them,

and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10.4

There is another voice we sometimes hear--that of the deceiver, Satan himself.

>Whereas God convicts, Satan condemns and brings guilt; he accuses. One day he will be torn down forever; this from the revelation given to John, while on Patmos:

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God

and the authority of his Christ have come,

for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, 

who accuses them day and night before our God..." Revelation 12.10

When God speaks, He does not use fear to motivate.

If fear overcomes you, it is the enemy, Satan, not God -

Paul made that clear in these sage words:

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1.7

Remind yourself of the truth of that statement.

Some people do not want to even countenance the idea that there is such a thing as the devil; I think that quite foolish. You must be aware of his existence, his ability to steal and kill and destroy, the verbs Jesus himself used to describe Satan's activity in John 10.10.

Peter, knowing well how the devil had deceived him, (so much so that he denied his Lord even though Jesus had warned him that he would do so), later wrote,

Be sober-minded; be watchful.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,

seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5.8

Do not think for one instant that the great deceiver, who began his reign of terror with making Eve second guess what she knew to be true of God, is not still at work.

When the devil tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden1 he stirred up the sinful nature in her. He did this through a clever line of reasoning.

He questioned God’s Word.2 He did not deny that God had spoken. He simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought He had said.

He questioned God’s love for Eve.3 The way Satan asked this question implies that he was questioning God’s love. “If God really loved you, He wouldn’t keep something from you, would He?” As the author Tennyson once said, “A lie that is all of a lie can be met with and fought outright. But a lie that is partly the truth is a harder matter to fight.”4 Discernment is critical.

When you are trying to ascertain that what you are hearing or sensing is from God, your most important reference is the Bible, which describes who God is and how he acts; then the witness of the Holy Spirit within and finally, circumstances. Ask God for his direction, for answers to the questions you have in your life. Then look for his leading.

Similarly, when someone else tells you that God told them such and such, you must also be discerning! Some easily bandy about, ‘the Lord told me’ or ‘the Lord showed me in a dream,’ such and such. 'Seems to carry some authority, 'the Lord told me'—should it? Not necessarily. Please, Friends, be discerning. The message must line up with God’s Word, and be consistent with his character. Which again leads us back to being people of the Word, and people in the Word.

Next up - Black and White...I heard from God!

[the message of this song is really powerful; I hope you will listen]


1 - Genesis 3:1–7

2 - Genesis 3.1

3 - Genesis 3.1

4 - This great take is from "The Devil Tempted Eve" - Harvest, Greg Laurie.

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