Questions from Fuse – #2 – God’s Voice

We had an amazing night at Fuse last night answering great questions sent to us by our fuse students.  There were so many great questions that we just could not answer them all.  There were 4 questions that I saw specifically that we didn’t get to, but that I wanted to take a few minutes and offer some thoughts on:

Question #2 – How do I know God’s voice?

What a great question.  This is something I have asked with for a long time, trying to figure out what it means for God to speak.  As I read the Bible, I came to understand that the whole book was about God speaking to people and those people either listening to God or not.  At the end of the day, I know God speaks because I have a relationship with Him and He often speaks to me and guides me in my daily life and decisions when I am seeking Him and asking for wisdom.  James 1 tells us that when we lack wisdom, we can ask God and He will speak it to us.

In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus tells us clearly that He speaks.  The first step to hearing God’s voice is believing that He speaks to us. This scripture tells us that if we belong to Him that He will speak to us and we will know His voice. As His sheep we can hear and recognize His voice, because we know Him as our shepherd and know His voice.
So, how do we know when God is speaking?  The first thing I would ask is are you listening?  I have found in my life that God wants to speak way more than I want to listen to him.  Often times I miss what God is saying because I am distracted, choosing not to listen, not spending time in scripture, or because I am listening for what I want God to say or expect Him to say instead of what He is really saying.  And sometimes we know God has spoken and directed us to do something and we are choosing to be disobedient in the hopes that He will speak something different. 

How do we know when a thought or impression is from the Lord or from somewhere else?  I believe that we receive thoughts from 3 places…Ourselves, God, and the enemy. Thoughts from God are what we need to listen to and act on. We can receive thoughts/temptations from the enemy that we must recognize, avoid, and fight against. Finally, we have our own thoughts and desires from our flesh that we must also control and deal with based on the truth of scripture. I think the most important part in understanding this issue is that we are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We can’t just act on every thought, we must weigh them and compare them to scripture.  That is the best way to handle thoughts no matter where they come from.

If we are really wanting to hear God’s voice, the main way we will hear from God is through the Bible.  Scripture is our standard.  We can even be deceived in our thoughts and experiences, so we must always go to the word of God to be our standard on what truth is.  God will never speak anything that contradicts what the Bible says.  We have to read, study, and meditate on the word of God.  The main way God speaks to us is when we are reading and meditating on His word.  His word is living and active.  That means when I spend time in scripture, the Holy Spirit will teach me and reveal things to me that He wants to speak to me.  A majority of the time when God speaks to me, it is when I am reading scripture.  And other times when He speaks, He often reminds me of scripture that I have read previously.  He brings to mind passages I have read that speak specifically to the situation I am dealing with.

We also hear His voice when we spend time in prayer.  God will speak to us when we pray if we will take time to listen.  The more time we spend with God and in scripture, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives.  When we know the way God speaks in his word, then when He does speak to us and give us a thought or impression, it will be clear that it is Him speaking.

So the main thing I will say to this question in closing is that Yes God speaks to us!  He loves us and wants to talk with us and guide us in truth.  The main way he does it is through His word.  He also will speak through the Holy Spirit to our minds and consciences, sometimes through circumstances, and through other believers.  We must weigh what we hear against the word of God.  But, we must believe that God speaks and be willing to listen and be obedient.  God is speaking, are you listening?

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