How to Recognize God's Voice
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Luke 21:33, NIV)
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize God’s voice. When an idea comes into your mind, you wonder if it’s an instruction from God, a deception from Satan, or just something you want to do. But it’s important to know how to discern God’s voice, because it can have eternal consequences.
A lot of evil gets blamed on God when people say, “God told me to do it!” The Bible says in 1 John 4:1, “Don’t always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is” (TLB).
God will never contradict his Word. So you can ask yourself: “Does that idea in my mind right now agree with the Bible?”
God doesn’t say one thing and then change his mind and say something else. If he said it, it’s true -- and it will always be true.
God is consistent. He isn’t moody. He doesn’t change his mind. He will never tell you to violate a principle that he’s already given in his Word, the Bible.
So, when you’re wondering whether you’re hearing God’s voice, the first question you need to ask is, “Does this thought line up with what God has already said?” If what you’re thinking contradicts something that God has already said in the Bible, then you know it’s wrong.
Jesus said in Luke 21:33, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). God’s Word is eternal, because truth never changes. If something was true 5,000 years ago, it was true 1,000 years ago, it is true today, and it will be true 5,000 years from today.
People might say, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” No! God said it, and that settles it -- whether you believe it or not!
God won’t contradict himself. So, when you’re trying to recognize his voice, the best starting place is to ask yourself, “Is this idea in harmony with the Word of God?”
Talk It Over
What do you believe God has been telling you to do?
Do those instructions contradict any part of the Bible? How do you know?
How can you develop a deeper walk with God so that you more easily understand and discern his instructions?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.