Last month I encouraged you to listen for God's voice. Today am going to give you six safeguards for hearing God's voice.
Once we acknowledge that God speaks to us and that we should be listening, the next step is to protect ourselves from false messages. How do I know if the message I think I hear from God is really from God? The best way is to make sure you have these six safeguards for hearing God's voice in place:
- Be a Faithful Christian. John 10:27 says that Jesus' sheep hear his voice. Only Christians are guaranteed to hear God's voice. A Christian in rebellion, though, is not in good fellowship with God, so why expect to hear anything other than "repent"?
- Believe the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible is inspired from God. If we do not believe God's Words as we read it in scripture, then why should we expect God to tell us anything else? The Word of God as found in the Bible is our authority. The Spirit's voice will never contradict scripture!
- Know the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to rightly handle God's Word. Before you can discern God's voice you need to know it. Gain a basic understanding of the New Testament and be working on the whole Bible. The more you know of the Bible the easier it will be to recognize God's voice and discern whether a message fits with God's revealed Word.
- Obey God's Word. Whatever God has shown you to do, do it. If you are not obeying God's last message to you, then why should he send you another?
- Attend Church. Hebrews 10:25 warns us to not neglect meeting together. Sometimes we need the help of others to discern God's message.
- Find Spiritual Covering. This final safeguard is related to the last. Sometimes we may feel we have received a life changing message from God (for example, quit your job and become a missionary). In this case we need to seek spiritual covering. Find a person who knows you well, is a solid believer, knows Gods voice, is submitted to others and is committed to your spiritual life. Seek their advice. Do they feel this is God's message to you?
How can you know if you have really heard God's voice? Put these six safeguards into place in your life and you will be better able to discern the voice of God.
Have you every had a life changing message from God? If so, how did you know it was from God? Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory