How Do We Distinguish God’s Voice From Others Around Us?

That’s a long title, eh? We talked a little about this during band rehearsal on Tuesday, and I got some really good feedback from my band and production crew. I’m going to touch on just a few of them as to not make this post incredibly long.

John 10:4 (is it ironic that it’s 10/4?) states:

When he has brought out all his own he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

If we are Christ’s sheep, how to we know His voice? Here are a few points:

His Word.

We can easily distinguish whether or not God is speaking to us by measuring everything by the truth of His word. For instance, last week, spontaneously we began to sing:

When You walk in the room
When You walk in the room
When You walk in the room
There’s nothing like it
Nothing like it

Now this wasn’t something I made up. It’s part of another worship tune I’d been listening to that week as I was grieving the loss of my grandmother. But the Lord spoke those words to my heart as clearly as I can ever remember Him speaking to me. I knew it was His voice, because I know what happened throughout the Bible whenever Jesus showed up on the scene. Everything changed – the atmosphere, people’s bodies were healed, people’s eyes were opened to the fact that He is the Messiah. His word declares the truths that He speaks to our hearts.

Prayer

The Bible says that we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This means that as we go about our business throughout the day that there is a never-ending dialogue between us and our Father. I talk to Jesus just like I talk to friends. During the day, at times I do get really serious with God, and my tone may take on a more formal approach, especially when one of you may be requesting prayer for something. But for the most part, the dialogue that carries me through the day helps me learn what His voice sounds like, because it’s not a one way conversation. . .ever! When Jesus ascended to heaven, he left us with the Holy Spirit – part of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is as much God as God, the Father and Jesus, the Son. The Holy Spirit is known as the Comforter (John 14:26). That what Jesus called Him as He prepared the apostles for His departure. He actually said that it was better for Him [Jesus] to go so that the Holy Spirit could come to us (John 16:7).

Spiritual Gifts Like Discernment

 

Uh oh, we’re going there, aren’t we? The ever controversial spiritual gifts like prophesy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discernment (distinguishing between spirits), faith, healing, miraculous powers (1Corinthians 12: 4-11). How quickly we negate the importance of spiritual gifts. These gifts are for us to practice today! Let me say that again: These gifts are for us to practice today! They didn’t go out of style. Discernment is one of my favorites, because it really helps us to see and understand who is talking to us. We use things like His word and prayer in this practice, but there are moments when we just know we’ve heard His voice, because the Spirit has born witness to that in us. Don’t be afraid of the gifts. Rather, allow the Holy Spirit to use them and manifest them in you in your daily lives that you may grow closer to Him and have a better understand of the world around you.

I could keep going here, but I’ll save it for another day. Maybe one day, I’ll devote an entire post on the spiritual gifts, how they’ve been used/misused. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of feedback on that one. 🙂

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