How the Heck Do We Know?
. . . show me a sign that it is you who speak with me—Judges 6:17
“That was God . . .”
“I felt God nudging me . . .”
“I got the sense that God wants me to . . .”
We hear words like these. Sometimes we say them ourselves. But, how do we know it’s God? Well, rarely can we ever know conclusively; there’s mystery with God. There are times when we intuitively just know, down deep somewhere. And often, this “just knowing” is enough. Other times though, things are less clear and we must ask: Was that you, God? Or was that just me? In those situations, we need to be able to recognize his voice—to identify it.
Fortunately, his voice is unique—whether it comes through his still, small voice or through the words of others. It’s something we can come to recognize. So, what we need to learn is to identify the unique characteristics. We do that by reading Scripture. Fortunately, not all methods of hearing God are equal. Scripture, the method by which we hear his voice indirectly through the Biblical authors, sits above all others in importance and authority. As such, we have something against which we can run tests.
On a practical level, therefore, when we try to hear God by any other method, we simply need ask ourselves whether what we think we’ve heard fits within the principles set forth in Scripture. Indeed, that’s exactly what we are listening for when we listen for his voice—thoughts and words that fit within the principles of the Bible—not thoughts, nor words, by contrast, that contradict or add to Scripture.
Okay, so what do we do?
Are you spending enough time reading Scripture, brother? Do you have a reading plan? If not, get one going, today. Do it with friends. For if you come to know him in Scripture, you’ll begin to identify God’s voice in other places too.