A few years ago I was talking with two girls. In a period of one week, they both came to me and said clearly they heard from God and they both thought they were going to marry the same boy. One of them was wrong.
How does that happen? How does that work when they both really thought they heard from God?
Learning to recognize God’s voice and discern his leading is a really big part of exercising our prayer muscle. But it’s more like an art than a science. God doesn’t necessarily ever speak the same way twice. In just the Bible he has spoken face to face, with an audible voice, by angels, by dreams, by prophecy, by casting lots and by miracles.
The first key is practice. Might sound simple. But when I’m in a store and there’s music and other people talking loudly and distractions, I can call out Cecily’s name and she will dead stop. She knows my voice. She can pick it out, she hears it everyday. Same with God. Draw closer to him, hear him speak about the everyday things, then when a crisis/big decision comes up you will recognize his voice better.
Reading His word is key. Not because the answer to your situation may jump off the page. But because it will familiarize you with God’s speaking voice. God’s word gives us examples, helps us understand what he would say in a situation. Then we hear God’s voice, we can think….you know that sounds like something God would say. God will never say anything that contradicts Scripture. He never changes. It always aligns with his character.
Here’s an example. A friend of mine told me he had a dream about one of his children being hurt and he couldn’t help them. He was helpless, desperate and woke up terrified. He thought about the nature of the dream and how it was gruesome and despairong. How it impacted him with fear and grief. He reasoned that it wasn’t from God because God doesn’t frighten us for no reason, he doesn’t make us scared and grieving, that’s just not who He is. It sounded more like a message from his heart, which wrestles with the fear of a losing a child. Or from Satan, who is well known for lies and terror. Years past, and nothing ever happened to his children. They were fine.
A few years later, his daughter was in a car with friends and one of the friends said the night before she had a dream that they were in a wreck and she was the only one who survived bc she had her seat belt on. So the panicked teenagers all put their seat belts on. Moments later the car in fact, did roll into a grassy median. They were all un hurt but the police officer said, the seatbelts probably saved their lives. Where did this teenagers dream come from? A warning of danger that turned out to be real, an urging to do something that was right and reasonable, that saved their life. Who speaks in that way? A Father. That is God’s character.
Seeking godly wisdom and advice from people who can hear God’s voice is also scriptural. Comparing what you think God is telling you to what they discern can be a vital part of figuring out if that feeling inside you is God or bad pizza from the night before.
Conviction is God speaking. When we feel bad about something we’ve done or somewhere we are, that can be a clear prompting from the Lord. He makes us want the things He wants.
Sometimes hearing from God is more of “hunch” or a “pit of the stomach” concept. I like to describe it as a growing knowing. Sometimes going in the direction you feel led can be risky, and sometimes its wrong, but it can be God asking you to step in faith.
There’s many times we are faced with two good options. Whether that’s a job or school, or a girl. A lot of times we are begging God to tell us what to do. * Missouri.
God said to me, very clearly. You pick but wherever you go, serve me.
I think sometimes we are so afraid to pick the wrong path, to get out of the will of God we freeze. Kinda like what we talked about with prayer, we do nothing, because we’re afraid to do the wrong thing.
But what if working out God’s plan is more like flying a kite than walking a tight rope? In the sense that we’re not half inch decision away from falling out of God’s will. We are flying over head, twisting, darting from side to side, being reeled in sometimes as to get closer to the kite flyer. Wherever we may be, whether or not we are faithful to God’s leading, God will take us from there toward the place He desires for us.