How do you know when you are hearing God’s leading? How can you tell it apart from the other thoughts going through your head? It’s a tough question but there are answers. The problem discerning His voice only gets harder when you have lived a life of abuse. When you have been told that you are stupid and have no idea what you’re doing or saying, you second guess everything that enters your mind. So how do you know if you’re hearing God’s voice?
Hearing God’s Voice
So often I have wondered where the thoughts come from. There are even times that I wonder if thoughts coming to my mind are telling me I need to go in a completely different direction than I’m going or if the attacks are telling me I’m stepping in the right direction and satan is trying to keep me from doing what I’m working toward. It is fully understandable to not know.
When it comes to the thoughts, you can always be sure it is not from God if there is condemnation or negativity. God does not speak to us in that way. The new testament tells us repeatedly to treat each other with love. Jesus said to love one another as He loved us. That is the language He speaks to us. He would never tell us to do something that He doesn’t do. That doesn’t mean He’s complacent when we are doing things we shouldn’t. He will never accept sin. He loves us too much to do so. But if you are hearing a voice that is condemning, you’re not hearing God’s voice. Along the same line, if you are feeling like you’re being led to do something that goes against biblical instruction, you’re also not hearing God’s voice.
In Our Thoughts
When you are hearing something that you have only thought about, it gets a little trickier. Since only God is omniscient (all knowing), satan cannot hear your thoughts. In this case, the leading you’re hearing is either from God or your thoughts alone. In this case, it is crucial to keep in mind the point in the paragraph above. If what you’re hearing is rough or condemning, it is not God. Those are your own thoughts. In this case, hateful words thrown at you throughout your life will very probably have an impact. So many of our doubts of our abilities and gifts come from what we’ve been told. God gave you those abilities and gifts. He would never make you doubt your success in using them. This is not to say that satan can’t still be putting thoughts in your mind. Even when we haven’t said things out loud, we have often researched or done things towards what we’re thinking that can make it clear what we’re thinking.
The other point to remember is that God’s leading will become more and more detailed in accomplishing the leading. During a trip, there is a destination in mind, however, there are many directions to follow to reach that destination. In every trip I’ve taken, the trip wasn’t a straight line to get there. There were twists and turns and even detours to getting where I was heading. You will get leadings as to where to turn next in that there will be leadings as to what steps to take next. In most cases, there will be many of these directions.
There is also a bit of common sense in following what you believe you’re being led to do in that it needs to be something you can actually do. For example, if you feel you’re being led to be a singer and you couldn’t hold a tune to save your life, it is not a leading from God. He’s not going to set you up for epic failure. However, it’s important to keep in mind that His ways are not our ways. He may have an entirely different way of accomplishing something and even sometimes a different view of where the leading is going to take you. That’s something to keep in mind. There is the saying that life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Sometimes that is the complete meaning for the leading. There is something to be learned in the journey.
Wisdom and Discernment
However, the biggest part to remember is to ask for wisdom and discernment to hear His voice. That is probably the prayer I say most often. I have too many other “voices” in my head in that I’ve been told so many horrible things about myself to the point that a direction that will lead me to a promise is hard for me to hear. The other “voices” came from people who audibly spoke the negative comments to me on a daily basis. They are very hard to stop hearing and it, therefore, makes the still, small voice of God a bit harder to hear.
But no matter what is going on in your life, seek out God’s plans for your life. You will always be blessed by what you hear and the journey is well worth the effort to get to the destination. God has so much purpose and so many plans for your life that you need to do whatever you can to know when you’re hearing God’s voice.
~ Joanna Lynn