Since hearing the voice of God can be a wild ride, it beckons to ask, “Just how wild can this ride get?” Can this ride move beyond wild and into a danger zone?
Here’s 3 quick guidelines to reference that can help us throw our hands up and enjoy the roller coaster ride without having to fear that we’re going to fly off the tracks.
- 1. Listen to Wise Counsel
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” As we seek to discern and hear the voice of God, we do well to be in relationship with other believers who are wise and can offer us godly counsel. It is one of the beauties of the body of Christ. We are a family. We always have brothers and sisters who can help us as we seek to follow Christ. We can ask those who are wise if we have questions about how to hear God speak or what He is saying to us. We must be careful though, not to listen to the advice of those who are apart from Christ or not wholeheartedly devoted to Christ. The world will not understand the way God speaks or the things He calls us to.
2. Make Sure What God is Saying Coincides With His Word
Check everything against the standard of truth, God’s Word. Psalm 119:160 says, “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” There is one standard by which we must measure every voice we hear: God’s Word. If what we are hearing is contrary to the truth of God’s Word in any way, then we know that it is not the voice of God. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Things can seem right to us and sound right to us, but those very things that seem so right can lead us straight to the danger zone. Our safety from flying off the tracks rests in the protection and shelter of God’s Word.
3. Ask For Confirmation
God is never in a rush and He does not pressure or coerce. We see Him in His Word give clear, direct commands and instructions, but He doesn’t use fear, guilt or panic as tools to speak to His children or direct them. We can be sure that if we are feeling pressured or rushed into anything it is not our Savior’s voice we are hearing. He will give us time to process information and He is patient with us and will give us confirmation that what we are hearing is from Him.
We’ve been asked many times, “So, what brought you to Greenville?” We respond by saying, “God.” We were very happy living in Miami. We were growing in our relationship with the Lord, we had loving family and friends all around us, we attended a wonderful church and had a beautiful home, Harold had a great job and we had mango and avocado trees in our backyard. Who would want to move from a place like that? We sure didn’t! But we began to hear the voice of God saying, “I want you to move to North Carolina.” We thought we might be headed off the tracks with this one! We must be crazy! Yet, the voice remained consistent and relentless. We couldn’t get away from feeling that God was speaking this to us, and yet we couldn’t seem to escape the thought that we were nuts either! Harold decided to fast and pray for three days. During those three days, we asked God if He would be gracious and merciful to us and just make it certain and clear if this was indeed His voice leading us. On the second day of the fast Harold received an email from a hospital in Greenville, North Carolina asking him to come and work with them. This was back before iPhones and internet job applications. Harold had not filled out any applications or sought out jobs online, nor had he ever before received an email about a job. We knew God was confirming what He was saying to us. Harold applied for the job and here we are 12 years later. We didn’t fly off the tracks and it’s been a wonderful and exciting ride!
I Hope this helps you feel brave, and yet safe, as you seek to hear God speaking to you. Feel free to leave a comment sharing any examples you may have of how you have learned to discern God’s voice; it can be so helpful to others on the journey.