by Charles F. Stanley
There are times in our lives when we have to ask the Lord to give us direction and guidance. Sometimes our situations are extremely critical and time sensitive, and sometimes they are not. But one thing we want to be certain of is this: we want to know that we are hearing God correctly. That is, we want to be sure that we are hearing His voice and not our own thoughts, which could be focused on selfish desires.
How can you and I know when we are hearing from God? The first thing I would say is this: when God is speaking, you can rest assured that whatever He says will be consistent with His Word. God’s message to you will never contradict anything that is in the Scriptures.
Second, we need to realize that sometimes when God speaks to us, His message will conflict with human reason. Think about Noah when God told him to build the ark. Do you think the people around him understood what he was doing? No, they did not. But because Noah recognized the Lord’s voice and followed His instructions, he and his family were spared from disaster.
Third, when God speaks, He calls for courage and for patience. When Jesus warned the disciples that He would be killed, but would rise again on the third day (Matt. 16:21), He was asking them to be strong and to trust His timing. If we pay close attention to what the Scriptures say, we can easily identify this as a pattern God uses in speaking. Instead of “Rush in, go fast, do this quickly,” God often instructs, “Wait. Trust Me. Seek My Face. Fast and pray.”
Finally, when God speaks, the things He tells us to do will lead to spiritual growth. You can be certain that He will never direct you to do anything that would cause you to backslide. Does He not say that He predestined you and me to be conformed to the likeness of Christ? This is His way of saying that we will continually grow in the likeness of Him all the days of our lives.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). If you want to be able to recognize the voice of God, you must trust Him and start listening. Most importantly, when you hear God’s voice, you must decide to obey Him. When you obey Him, a peace that passes understanding will follow.
Is God speaking to you today? Trust His guidance and leave the consequences to Him.
© In Touch Ministries, In Touch Magazine. Used with permission.
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