"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).
I have discovered a pattern in the way God speaks to me when I'm faced with major decisions. I will spend a great deal of time seeking direction from Him and asking Him to speak to me regarding a decision. I spend time in prayer and Bible study. Many times I have suddenly had a rush over me with an overwhelming feeling of His presence. The feeling is usually so intense I will begin to cry, sometimes uncontrollably. (Thank God this doesn't happen too often, because it is rather embarrassing in a public setting.)
I recall one time when I was praying about whether I should make a commitment to work for a ministry that would involve at least a one-year commitment. It seemed like the right thing, but I was still awaiting confirmation. One morning during my quiet time, the situation I just described came over me. It was a great release in my spirit and confirmation of what I was to do. Two years later, I was able to look back and see that God had led that decision which resulted in much fruit.
One night as the famous Bible teacher F. B. Meyer stood on the deck of a ship approaching land, he wondered how the crew knew when and how to safely steer to the dock. It was a stormy night, and visibility was low. Meyer, standing on the bridge and peering through the window, asked "Captain, how do you know when to turn this ship into that narrow harbor?"
"That's an art," replied the captain. "Do you see those three red lights on the shore? When they're all in a straight line I go right in!"
Later Meyer said: "When we want to know God's will, there are three things which always occur: the inward impulse, the Word of God, and the trend of circumstances. Never act until these three things agree."