‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: ‘ John 10:27 ASV
If you have ever found yourself saying any of these words “I’m not sure if this is God or the devil”, or “maybe God is saying”, then you should definitely read this. Discerning the voice of God is easier than what people make it to be. And being unsure of God’s voice is evidence of a lack of intimacy in your relationship with Him.
The more you know God, the more you are able to recognize and distinguish His voice. It’s like any earthly relationship whether with your spouse, your pastor, your friend, a family member, or even a work colleague. One of the things that help us discern the voice of someone we are familiar with, is how constantly we relate to that person.
Sometimes two people can sound the same. However, what distinguishes them is their character which we learn about that individual through interaction and intimacy. Take this for example; suppose someone close to you were to stand behind a wall, without you necessarily seeing them, how will you be able to tell it was them? You would probably pick them out by the tone of their voice, their dialect, and/or their vocabulary, right? In the same way, God uses similar avenues to get His message through to us.
The enemy disguises himself as an angel of light out to counterfeit God. According to Wikipedia “to counterfeit” is defined as imitating something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than the real thing.
This cannot be any further from the truth. The devil comes in and counterfeits all that God has already given us. You may be asking, if the enemy imitates God, how are you able to tell the voices apart? There is no way you can shortcut the process of discerning the voice of God. It all stems from a relationship with him.
What does discerning the voice of God really look like?
Here are three sure ways to know the voice of God for yourself:
Know His CHARACTER
‘ “I am the Lord, and I do not change. ‘ Malachi 3:6
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will not acclimatize to the changing cultures and norms of the modern age. Therefore, whatever channel God uses to speak to you, remember that He will not instill fear, instead, His goal is to restore and redeem you to himself, bringing peace back into your life.
Know His WORD
‘The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son. ‘ John 1:14
One accurate way to tell if an instruction is from God is to run it by His Word. Furthermore, the only way you can know His Word is to study it. God and His word are one. The words He speaks are words of life. If the world says one way is right, it does not mean His Word adapts to the new norm. God is sovereign and has exalted His Word above His name. Therefore, knowing His word gives us insight into who He is.
Know His WAYS
‘The man who goes in through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out. ‘ John 10:2-3
Have you ever read a portion of scripture and it literally jumped at you? God’s ways as mirrored in our lives. Our own past, and present, are reflective of how He operates. Some of the moments we overlook are sometimes where He exhibits His ways. He is a God who extends mercy to his own people who disowned him and served other gods and did evil. First, God provides a way, and walks through it to lead us out. Then, He protects us from the evil one lurking in the darkness.
There are certain things, no matter how good they seem are not synonymous with God’s character, word, and ways. I hope this sheds some light in silencing all other voices and discerning the voice of God well. For more understanding of this topic, I recommend Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.