As Christians, hearing from God is real.
How do we hear God’’s voice? There’s no magic formula.
But, His Word promises that we can hear Him.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NKJ).
His voice connects us to His Spirit. God is a Spirit and Christians are “born again” by the Spirit of God.
Being “born again” connects believers to the voice of God and the gifts of His Spirit. I believe that God speaks and that God’s children hear His voice.
The holy scriptures validate this.
Hearing God’s voice is personal. I have seen the value of hearing His voice. I have also seen believers assume they know the voice of God. It would be nice if everyone who hears God’s voice is healthy, mature, and trustworthy. This is not the case.
The church has failed to properly train believers in hearing and testing the voices we hear.
We must improve our training. We have trained poorly and failed even more at holding people accountable for their misguided behavior and sharing words that have no biblical validation.
Sam (not a real name) needs to speak with His Pastor. Sam thinks he has heard a legitimate word from God. The problem is Sam has no accountability and has not tested His word or sought any advice.
This is a major problem in the Body of Christ.
The Elders made a decision that upset Sam. Sam disagreed with the decision, and now he thinks God is mad. Sam tells the Pastor that God is not happy with some things happening around the church. He informs the Pastor that God will judge the matter.
Have you ever experienced a Christian similar to Sam?
Sam may have heard something from God, but he adds his own emotion and his own outcome.
Sam needs a mentor, friend or advisor to share what He’s hearing.
Everyone has a gift. We have learned much about our gifts and failed to develop the character of the believers to match the level of their gifting. We see the demonstration of gifts without the character to sustain the level of the gifting. And strangely, God gives gifts to everyone.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (I Peter 4:10 NKJ).
Gifts do not prove maturity, wisdom, or measure our spiritual level. So, Yes, believers can possess spiritual gifts and not understand how to use these gifts properly.
“Have you had an encounter with a believer that believed it was their job to tell you what God was saying? This is not always bad. But it can be.
Discerning what voice we hear is difficult. If it’s God, great. Knowing what to do with what we hear from God is even more difficult.
Possible ways we hear from God
Inspiration is inspiring. It is not revelation. But it feels similar.
Inspiration can happen at any meeting. Business meetings like Amway or the office Christmas party. Inspiration stirs our emotions and stimulates our intellect. Christians confuse inspiring moments as God moments.
We must be careful. Every moment that feels inspired is not a God moment. Moments of inspiration are not a sure sign that God is present. And certainly not a sign you should share a word from God to others.
Providence is tricky. It can be God ordering specific moments. But it can also be coincidental.
When believers take coincidence and make it providence strange things happen. When Christians put out fleeces for guidance it’s dangerous. So they pray things like; if I see this girl at the store, she’s my wife. Then it happens.
Wow. Houston, we have a problem.
So, now the moment validates the prayer and the prayer becomes a prophetic occurrence. Do we know that coincidence happens without God being involved? It is very dangerous to order our lives from coincidence or providence. There is a better way. Keep reading
It is confusing to convince others that meeting a person at the store is proof of your marital future. Think about it.
Revelation means to unfold or take off the cover. This is where God removes the lid of intellect and reveals greater understanding. It may be a moment the Holy Spirit enhances a scripture to your understanding.
I like to say that revelation occurs where the mind catches up to our Spirit. So God removes the lid and reveals a new measure of truth. This is sometimes personal. And other times it is to share with other people.
Many make the mistake of sharing a personal revelation as a word From God to others. This creates chaos and confusion.
4. Prophetic Words
Prophetic words reveal the heart of God over a matter. It is predictive. God often reveals His prophetic intentions to His people.
“Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar” (Acts 11:28).
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless he interprets, that the church may receive edification” (I Corinthians 14:1–6 NKJ).
Amazing. I absolutely believe in these manifestations. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly from them. I am persuaded we can avoid the bad and the ugly.
There is a way to handle God’s word with integrity. The scripture instructs how to handle gifts properly.
Prophecy must be judged. 1 Corinthians 14 explains that the church must judge prophetic words. Judging prophecy creates a safety net. We must exercise discernment and wisdom when people use spiritual gifts. God has provided us with tools to measure and confirm His Word.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; Hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:21–22 NKJV).
5. The Word of God
The primary means of hearing God is through reading His Word. The Holy Spirit inspired the Word of God to the authors.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV).
Do you want to hear God’s voice? The best place to hear God’s voice is through reading His Word. God’s Word is the best tool to prove that God has spoken.
If “a word” violates “the Word”, it is not a word from God.
We must create safety zones for misguided or unlearned believers. Hearing God is serious. Speaking for God even more so. There are methods that God has in place to guard us against deception, confusion and chaos.
First, don’t be a lone ranger.
I have never seen a healthy Christian that has no pastor or no accountability. The first step toward deception is to think you know God more than others.
And there he went into a cave and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” I Kings 19:9–10 NKJV).
Elijah thought He was the only one who served God fully. God tells Him He has 7,000 others. God always has a remnant. You are not alone and never the only one.
Second, submit your words to mentors or leaders.
One of the greatest examples of accountability is the Apostle Paul. He travels to Jerusalem to be accountable to the teachings he received from the Holy Spirit. His entire purpose in going to Jerusalem is to be accountable to what he is teaching.
Paul seeks confirmation and models humility.
“Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain” (Galatians 2:1–2 NKJV).
Third, be accountable and find a mentor.
Mentors are advisors, teachers, and offer wise counsel. Mentors are life savers and rescuers. They save us from failure, deception, and rescue us from ourselves. Finding a mentor who will rebuke you is even better. It would help us to realize the value of rebuke. A great mentor knows that rebuke keeps us from foolishness.
Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool” (Proverbs 17:10 NKJV).
This is why mentoring is so effective. The concept of mentoring sand discipleship can be traced through the scripture.
- Jethro mentored Moses. Moses mentored Joshua and the elders of Israel. And Joshua mentored the other remaining leaders of his army.
- Eli mentored Samuel. Samuel mentored Saul and David.
- Elijah mentored Elisha. Elisha mentored King Jehoash.
- Daniel mentored Nebuchadnezzar, who humbled himself before God.
- Mordecai mentored Esther. Esther mentored King Artaxerxes, which led to the liberation of God’s people.
- Jesus mentored twelve apostles who established the Christian church.
- The apostles mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul.
Ministry is messy. But ministry done right is amazing — supernatural. We should never walk alone. We do not have to.
Today, the Word of God commands that we gather and operate as a body.
When the body works together, the proof that God is speaking is perfect and irrefutable.
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