Today’s post is a simple devotional on discerning the voice of God.
As I began to mature in faith, I wanted to know that I was hearing from God. I remember getting so frustrated when my pastors would tell me that in order to discern the voice of God, I had to study His Word. How else would I know who was speaking? Was it my own thoughts, the enemy or was it truly God?
That was sound advice. I have now learned that in order to discern the voice of God, we must study His Word so that we will know what God actually sounds like. God is a spirit and he communicates with us through the Holy Spirit. What we’re listening for is that inner unction we receive from His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) to ours. All believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside.
Now, let’s tackle a question a lot of believers have asked at one time or another, and that is “how do I know when it’s God speaking to me when there are so many voices vying for my attention?” Many fear that it could be the devil whispering in their ear and not God.
First, Jesus tells us in John 10: 1-5 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
Jesus is our Shepherd, and He lets us know in the above verses that those who are His, meaning those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and savior, know His voice and follow His voice only. Sounds simple enough some might say, but for some of us, it is cause for all kinds of anxiety. There are many voices competing for your attention, those are the thieves and robbers that Jesus speaks about, including the enemy.
One way to tell who is speaking to you is by paying attention to what they say. Jesus will never tell you to do anything that does not line up with His Word, so that means you must be a student of God’s Word. The devil loves to mix a little truth in with his lies, making those who lack knowledge the most susceptible to mistaking his voice for the voice of God. Therefore, God lamented in Hosea 4:6 (NASB)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
We also have an ever-present help that lives in all believers, the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us in the Word that when He left that God would send another comforter to lead us into all truth.(John 16:13) When you hear Gods voice you here truth, and the Holy Spirit gives witness to the truth and with truth comes the freedom to be obedient to whatever God is telling you to do or say. As you grow in Christ and his Word you will learn to trust Him more and you will know whose sheep you are, and who’s voice you are hearing.