Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Gentle Reader, How do you know God is speaking to you?
You will hear God speaking to you in that still, small voice that prompts you in your spirit. But, how do you know it is God who is speaking to you? God has given us some direction as to how we can determine His voice from any others we may hear, either real or imagined. These confirmations will strengthen our faith and enable us to hear God more clearly as we grow in our faith.
How do you know God is speaking to you? - The Tests
The following tests will help you determine if God is speaking to you. These methods should be accompanied by continual prayer and in some cases fasting.
The first test is the confirmation of God's written Word - the Bible. Everything that God says will agree with His written Word. He will never tell you to sin or go against a teaching in His Word. This simple test can clarify many "messages." We must, however, be careful not to read the written Word with any preconceived ideas of what it is saying.
The second test is the confirmation of godly counsel. God has placed people in our lives to help us to hear His voice. These people may include pastors, teachers, parents, and godly friends. In most cases, they will confirm the voice of God to you and help you to see His plan. This is not to say that you should rely on them solely. These people are human and can have their own feelings and fears distort their objectivity. However, they can be a very valuable source of confirmation when you are uncertain of God's voice.
The third test is the confirmation through circumstances. Christians can carefully studying their situation for indications of God's will. Some Christians have called this the Gideon method or "putting out the fleece." When God told Gideon that he was to lead Israel into battle against their enemies, Gideon put a fleece out on the ground in order to receive a sign that God was really speaking to him. If you feel led to use this test, come to God with a humble attitude and not a spirit of testing Him. Pray for God to reveal His will and carefully watch the circumstances that relate to that decision.
It is wise to not use any of these methods exclusively when trying to receive confirmation of God's voice. Most Christian leaders would agree that a combination of all three methods of confirmation is the best way to verify that the message you have received is from God. Each method is to be done with prayer. God wants you to hear His voice and He will reveal it to you.
Finally, remember that prayer is a conversation. When you ask God to talk to you, be still and listen for His voice. If you expect Him to speak and you are listening for it, He will speak to you regularly.