This has to be the singular major topic for many Christians – how do you know if you’re hearing God speak to you & if you think you do what is He saying & what is His Will for you. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s SIMPLE – truly!!! But more of that later.
In my own life, it happened on a couple of occasions that I learnt how to listen to God speaking. The first time was shortly after I’d returned from South Africa and realised I would be going back there again within the year. At that point, there was absolutely NO earthly reason for me to think I’d be going back other than an inner “knowledge” and a certainty I couldn’t explain. I’d no money left by then and no means of getting the nearly £1000 required to consider returning. Various events happened over the next few months which confirmed that I was to return and I’d be saving hard but was still well short of what I needed. During this time I’d been praying hard and seeking God as to the way forward, as time was running out – I’d a deadline of the end of April that year to buy my airline ticket and book things. God didn’t provide me any hints of what I should do other than a continued quiet reassurance that everything would come together at the right time.
I can’t tell you that I was perfectly calm at this point – a lot of me was getting hugely concerned & nervous about what to do. But as I’d little choice, I just worked on towards my return trip as best I could. Three weeks before my cut-off date for buying the plane ticket, an uncle I rarely had contact with, but whom I’d notified of my previous trip to SA in his Christmas Card, contacted me, wanting me to visit him & update him further on all I’d done on the trip. Part of me was thinking “I don’t have time” as I was frantically trying to figure out what to do if I had to cancel my trip, but I duly fitted in a short visit a few days later, as it was on my mind. (That’s hint #1 on hearing God speak!)
My uncle & I had an hour long of a chat at the end of which he absolutely floored me – he told me he’d something for me, went off, & a few minutes later came back & handed me a cheque for £1000!!!! I nearly fell through the floor as he explained to me that he’d enjoyed hearing of my fun on the previous trip & I absolutely HAD to return to fulfil my quest. I think he was equally shocked when I told him I’d been hoping to do so but just hadn’t the finance to until then! SO after a whole year of waiting God finally enabled me to do the one thing He’d previously “told” me I’d get to do.
What I learnt about hearing His Voice is firstly, you don’t hear an audible voice, nor words in your ear or any such thing – trust me, if you do, or think you do, be extremely cautious, as Satan is more likely to be behind such events than God – we don’t live in Old Testament times when God did speak audibly to His people – you read the NT & you’ll discover that apart from Paul on the road to Damascus, not even the apostles heard an audible voice when God spoke to them! Secondly, He will never tell you to do something that goes against scripture.
Thirdly, if you really want to hear God speak to you in any sense, the simple method is to READ HIS WORD!! I know many say that scripture doesn’t answer questions like “Should I move home” or “Is this job right for me” etc, but actually scripture still does hold the key to being sure of His Will even in those situations.
For example – if you’re contending with the option of moving home & wanting to be sure of the right path forward, you would know that God won’t honour you putting yourself into debt in order to buy a home beyond your means, so that’s the financial aspect sorted out to begin with. Once you choose a home, you’ll know the right one when the doors literally open & open easily for you to move forward on buying it.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Pro 22:7
Scripture will always provide a measure of God’s opinion on pretty much every facet of life, even in our incredibly complex generation, you just have to sometimes dig a bit deeper for it. Thus, once again, the importance of reading your bible and more so, studying the true meaning of what you read, is abundantly evident.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…..”2 Titus 3:16
On another note entirely, it reminds me of a well-known joke:
There was a very religious man named Jim, who lived near a river. One day, the river rose over the banks and flooded the town, and Jim was forced to climb onto his porch roof. While sitting there, a man in a boat came along and told Jim to get in the boat with him. Jim said, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”
So, the man in the boat drove off.
The water rose higher, so Jim climbed onto his roof. At that time, another boat came along, and the person in that one told Jim to get in. Jim replied, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”
The person in the boat then left.
The water rose even more, and Jim climbed onto his chimney. A helicopter came along and lowered a ladder for him. The woman in the helicopter told Jim to climb up the ladder and get in.
Jim said, “That’s okay.” The woman said, “Are you sure?” Jim replied, “Yeah, I’m sure God will take care of me.”
Finally, the water rose too high and Jim drowned. Jim got to heaven and was face-to-face with God. Jim said to God, “You told me that you would take care of me! What happened?”God replied, “Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?” :)
And if you’ve any stories of how God has spoken to you using scripture to confirm His Will, I’d truly love to hear them!!