dreams,  grace,  prayer

How to Know God’s Voice

 

How do we know when God is speaking to us? It’s not always His voice, right? Sometimes those thoughts can be our own. So, how do we discern between our inside voice and Holy Spirit speaking?

Hearing God . . . Not

A few years ago I thought God told me I needed dreams, vision, and future aspirations.

At the time, I had realized that I didn’t have any new dreams in my queue. Which is very unlike this dreamer. I’d experienced living a few old dreams, but they were behind me. So, I decided I needed to face my fears and force the new dreams to come.

We must push through, right?

Well, not always. And really, if you have to conjure up or force a dream, it’s not a dream. What I thought was God’s voice, wasn’t.  

How I Heard God

That very same week I felt persuaded to use the theme of “rest” for the Bite of Bread reading plan. I found myself pouring over those scriptures each day preparing for the daily broadcast. I assumed the verses were for my readers.

Scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across another blog post on  “resting”.

I thought . . . How cool is that! We are on the same page. I love when the Holy Spirit does that. 

I was thrilled.

Later that day I read another friend’s post on her blog, and guess what it was about.

R-E-S-T-I-N-G

I was amazed.

Wow! A lot of people must really need to hear about resting in God. 

woman resting

As soon as that thought slipped through my mind, God whispered, “Andy, those articles weren’t for all of the other people; they were for you. I’m trying to talk to you. Don’t try to conjure up new dreams. I will give you them when it is time. Until then . . . rest in me.”

I chuckled and shook my head. God’s word had freed me. He had been trying to tell me something. God speaks to us and leads us, but we must be aware of ways He tries to get our attention.

3 Ways to Know It’s God Speaking

  • Repetition: If a topic comes up three or more times in articles, songs, or conversations there is a good chance the Lord is speaking. He’s trying to tell you something.
  • Freedom: When you aren’t settled or peaceful in your spirit, “restless” God is trying to tell you something.(I didn’t have peace about pushing through trying to force new dreams.) If the thought is oppressive, it’snot from God. His words give freedom and enabling grace. Suddenly, as soon as I understood that those words about “rest” were for me I was released from my strife. 
  • God’s Word: When scripture repeats itself, or when you read it and chill bumps surface (or tears), Holy Spirit is speaking to you. It’s always important to base what you think you’re hearing from God with His Word.

 

coffee bible

How do we hear God speak? When do we know it’s Him? Here’s some verses to dig into this week to help answer these questions and make us more aware of His leading. His Word is how we can definitely hear His heart.

We primarily hear from God by regularly spending time reading the Bible and obeying what it says. The Bible is God’s message to humankind. All that we need to know to live the Christian life is already in the Bible. As we spend time meditating on His word, God reveals His truth to us. TheLife.com

Bite of Bread Reading Plan

[Printable Available with Verses and Prompts to use during your quiet time.]

John  10: 27-28: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

  • Just for a minute, pretend you’re a sheep. How would you know the shepherd’s voice? How does this apply to your life today? If you have time read Psalm 23. 

Isaiah 55:11: . . . so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

  • What hope does this give us? What scripture do you need to apply to this truth?

Hebrews 1: 1-2: In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

  • Write a thank you note to God thanking Him for Jesus. In your note, list one or two things Jesus has taught you about God.

Isaiah 30:21:  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

  • Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Surrender your control, and ask God to lead you. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

  • Why is it hard for you to trust God? Write a prayer asking Him to help you trust Him.

Grab the BoB Printable

Isaiah 42:16: I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do;  I will not forsake them.

  • How does this verse give you comfort? Keep in mind that in order for the blind to be led, they must trust the  one leading. How does this verse apply to your life in this season?

Isaiah 48:17: This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

  • What needs to be redeemed in your life? Ask God to redeem it, and wait for His direction before you make any changes.

Download the printable here. 

When We Can’t Hear God

Most of us go through chapters in our life when we can’t hear Him. Sometimes it’s when we need Him most. In their article, 6 Ways God Speaks, Life.com writes this:

Can anything keep us from hearing God? Hindrances, like wrong attitudes, resentment, or unconfessed sins can create distance in our relationship with God. When this happens, confession and repentance will bring us back into a close relationship where we can hear from God again.

Anger toward God always plugs my spiritual ears. I can’t receive what He has for me when I’m running the other direction or throwing a temper-tantrum. (Yes, I’ve had my days.) If I don’t trust His goodness and love, I can’t receive what He has to say.

It’s okay to be angry with Him. He can hdle it. He’s use to it, but it does put up a formidable wall only we can tear down when we get tired of it being there. Well, that’s what I’ve experienced. When I finally surrendered my anger, and I lifted my hands in worship, I could feel His presence and hear His gentle voice.

Join me Wednesday night at 7:30 ET to dig deeper into these scriptures and get the encouragement you need to finish the week! (Just follow me on FB or watch later on YouTube.)

Your turn to share: Has the Lord been repeating a phrase or topic in your life? What does it mean to you?

 

 

Digging Deep,

 

Andy

 

 

 

P.S.S.  If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Andy Lee

Andy Lee is a wife, mother of three, author, speaker, and blogger. She inspires her readers to step out into their call whether to a neighbor or nation to find purpose and joy using the gifts God has given them. She lives on the North Carolina Coast with her favorite people in the whole word, her family. She loves chocolate, geraniums, coffee, and Jesus.

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