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How can we recognize the voice of God?



Question: "How can we recognize the voice of God?"

Answer:
This question has been asked by countless people throughout the ages. Samuel heard the voice of God, but didn't recognize it until he was instructed by Eli (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Gideon had a physical revelation from God and he still doubted what he had heard, to the point of asking for a sign, not once, but three times (Judges chapter 6, esp.vs.17-22, 36-40)! When we are listening for God's voice, how can we know that He is the one speaking? First of all, we have something that Gideon and Samuel did not. We have the complete Bible, the inspired word of God, to read, study and meditate on. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Do you have a question about a certain topic or decision in your life? See what the Bible has to say about it. God will never lead you or direct you contrary to what He has taught or promised in His Word (Titus 1:2).

Secondly, to hear God's voice we must recognize it. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). I can personally relate to this verse, except the animals involved are cattle. My father-in-law owns a small ranch. Whenever we go out to visit, I can count on, at least once a day, driving out with him to check on the herd. My father-in-law can step out of the truck, call a few gentle words, and soon the pickup is surrounded by cows, eagerly awaiting a mouthful of hay. But if I so much as open the door on my side of the truck, there will be cattle scattered from one end of the pasture to the other. So what's the difference? The cattle are with my father-in-law at least once, and sometimes two or three times, a day. Because of their daily encounter with the one that feeds and cares for them, the cows are comfortable with him, and they can immediately recognize a stranger among them. If we are to know God's voice, we must spend time with Him daily.

Be sure that you are spending quality time daily in prayer, Bible study, and quiet contemplation of His Word. The more time you spend intimately with God and His Word the easier it will be to recognize His voice and His leading in your life. Employees at a bank are trained to recognize counterfeits by studying genuine money so closely, that it is easy to spot a fake. We are to be so familiar with God’s Word, which He has spoken, that when God does speak to us or lead us, it is clear that it is God. God speaks to us so that we may understand truth. While God can and does speak audibly to people, He speaks primarily through His Word; but sometimes also through the Holy Spirit to our consciences, through circumstances, and through other people. By applying what we hear to the truth of Scripture, we can learn to recognize His voice.

Recommended Resource: Hearing God's Voice by Henry & Richard Blackaby.


Related Topics:

How can I know when God is telling me to do something?

Does God still speak to us today?

Does God still give visions to people today?

How can I see the hand of God moving in my life?

How can I turn all my worries and problems over to God?



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How can we recognize the voice of God?