When I’m praying and desire to hear from God, I want to know God’s voice—and be sure it’s His voice! There have been times I heard a voice, but I wasn’t sure…
Is this God? Or what?
In order to know God’s voice, it’s imperative to discern the characteristics of the voice we’re hearing. That’s what we’ll be talking about in this next installment of A Biblical Foundation to Hear God’s Voice Series.
As a follower of Christ, we pray and desire to hear God’s voice, right? Jesus says that the sheep do not know the voice of the strangers” (John 10:5), and 1 John 4:6 reveals that there is “the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
It sounds like discernment is needed! To discern means to recognize something. So if I notice one of the below items in the voice I heard, I will know God’s voice better.
When we pray, we’ll hear one of three voices:
- our voice
- the devil’s
Each have their own characteristics which help us distinguish between them. This post will break down the first two. We’ll talk about the characteristics of God’s voice in the next post. Subscribe for updates.
The Characteristics of Our Voice
When we pray, we might notice one of three distinct characteristics of the voice we’re hearing that would reveal it is our voice in our head.
- Fleshly desires. My voice sounds like my voice in my head, of course, having the same inflections, but will yammer about my previous fleshly desires. If I hear myself wishing for the wrong thing, then I try to let my spirit tell my flesh to shut it. It’s not easy to die to self, but that’s one way it’s done.
- Double-mindedness. If I’m desiring two opposing things simultaneously, that’s another sign I know it’s not God. Double-mindedness is the red flag that I’m not on a stable path (James 1:8). The Spirit is the only voice that is dependable and that will guide me into truth (John 16:13).
- Hesitation. If I’m hearing a voice, and at the end of the sentence there’s a pause or stuttering, then it’s probably me trying to think of what to say next! I have to analyze that, and when I do, I’ll probably realize I’ve been so desperate to hear from God that I started talking in my head wanting to believe it’s God. But it’s not. I may or may not have experienced that a few times. 😉
We know God’s voice doesn’t have these characteristics!
What About Our Conscience?
Notice that our conscience can be evil:
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 NASB
An example of an evil conscience could be someone who was raised to believe that violence is right in the name of religion. This is why we must be continually renewed by the Word of God.
The Devil’s Voice
When the devil or another evil spirit is speaking, one or more of the following is notable:
- Confusion. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3:16). God is not the author of confusion…(1 Corinthians 14:33).
- Condemnation. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…(Romans 8:1).
- Fear. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Foolish ideas. “…why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… (Acts 5:3).
- Lies or the opposite of Truth. He is the father of lies (John 8:44).
- Temptation. Satan is called the tempter (Matthew 4:3); God doesn’t tempt any man (James 1:13). Do what Jesus did: use Scripture to kick him out!
- Refusal to declare Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:1-6). This will be evident of those speaking false religions.
- Deception/manipulation of facts. He may try to deceive you by adding to what God said (Genesis 3:1-5).
- Doubt. As one of the devil’s major tricks, he even tried to pull that one over on Jesus. “IF you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:3,6).
We must feed on the Word of God to become mature and keep from being led astray (Hebrews 5:12-14). Being aware of this list will help us know God’s voice wasn’t speaking.
A Recap of Counterfeit Voices
Our Voice – fleshly desires, double-mindedness, and/or hesitation
Devil’s Voice – confusion, condemnation, fear, lies, temptations, deceits and/or doubt
“They” say if you hear something seven times you’ll retain it. Now you just need to read this post five more times. 😉
What else do we need to analyze to know God’s voice from a counterfeit one?
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