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ET101
Member



Joined: 2010/10/26
Posts: 236


 Discerning the voice of God

Often during prayer I sense that God is saying something to me and it very often turns out to be wrong. So I am keen to learn to discern His voice. The notion of that 'still small voice' has proven very deceptive for me. So much so that I am nearly driven to just ignore any inner voice I hear.

So, on top of testing the voice against the word of God, do you have any advice on discerning when it is and is not God?

 2012/7/21 7:10Profile
Blayne
Member



Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


 Re: Discerning the voice of God

Hi! 'ET101'

Ummm, poke your head out the window and look up and down your neighborhood street and remind yourself about all the married couples living in those houses and about the different forms of relationships between the spouses and between the family members.
Did you happen to catch something about any single one of them that would flawlessly work for every single one of the others?
No, don't be surprised if you didn't ... because there isn't one.
Does every child learn how to ride a bike in the same manner? No ... an' that's why it becomes such a delicate teaching task for most parents.

So, if someone tries to give you some kinna' formula about how to distinguish the voice of the Lord, I'd be exceedingly cautious about that if I were you. There's been alot of weirdos in this world who have done a lot of weird things while claiming they were obeying the voice of God.

It's very easy to mistake loud thoughts that can pound in our hearts for the 'voice of God'. It's also very easy to mistake the quiet thoughts that can whisper to our heart as not being from God. There jus' isn't a hard rule about this sortta' experience.

However, there is indeed a rule which applies to everything of the Holy Spirit; one which you are certainly commanded to make your own.
What is this rule?
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God".
How do you test the inspirations/thoughts received from a spirit?
Well, the golden rule is to put it against the irrefutable truth that God is ONLY and PERFECTLY good.
Let's say you receive a thought declaring that God is somehow connected to or desiring to do evil. Well, put that thought up against the golden rule that God is only good and that will immediately tell you from where the thought originates.
This also is a very excellent way to test the spirit of a prophet. We can immediately detect the lies they are speaking because they do not conform to the truth that God is only and perfectly good. I won't mention his name here, but I read a supposed prophetic book Online yesterday and the highly regarded prophet spoke about how God hated sinners and was eager to visit anguish and suffering on them all and that God relished in the prospect of punishing the evil doers. I instantly knew that the so-called prophet was not speaking for the God whom I follow; kind and longsuffering and merciful and not wishing that anyone should perish. If God is eager to punish anyone, it is Evil Incarnate, (the origin of evil), and not man.

There is a second rule; although it isn't as hard-fixed and certain as the golden rule.
A thought from God should be soon thereafter be followed by a witness of Scripture. This can occur in any variety of words or verses. But we must be careful not to manipulate things so that the witness becomes something 'magical' or mystic.

I hope this helps.
God bless!



 2012/7/21 8:00Profile
Josef83
Member



Joined: 2010/8/21
Posts: 111
Sweden

 Re: Discerning the voice of God

I would advice you to stop beliving that teaching that you can hear Gods voice.
I used to live that that for 15 years and never ever did I hear Gods´s voice. It was just my own heart speaking and sometimes I was correct.

God speaks through his word and he conforms our will to be according to his will (Phil2:13)

 2012/7/21 10:10Profile
Blayne
Member



Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


 Re:

Hi! 'Josef83'

About your comment: "I would advice you to stop beliving that teaching that you can hear Gods voice".
I can only suppose that you have a God who changes His behavior from day-to-day 'er week-to-week.
I'm sorry, but Christians shouldn't wish to follow after a god who changes; a god who is inconsistent; nor a god who doesn't speak.
It is said of the God whom we follow that He is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever".
I seem to recall that God spoke in diverse ways and manners, (including audible voice), to a multitude of people throughout the Bible narrative.
Thankfully, He's unchangeable and still speaks to His people today ... and, yes, audibly on occasion.
I strongly suggest that you find this unchanging God for yourself.

 2012/7/21 10:28Profile
Josef83
Member



Joined: 2010/8/21
Posts: 111
Sweden

 Re:


Hi,

I mean this teaching when you sit down and close your eyes and try to manipulate God to speak to you.

He speak through his word (Bible), through means (other people who confirm your desire) and sometimes even audioble (This happened to William Carey), through our thoughts and through our desires. Phil 2:13

God bless you :-)


 2012/7/21 12:43Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi,after 49 yrs of serving the Lord, i am convinced that if you do not hear the voice of God than you cannot have faith.when i was first saved i went from a mocker to a believer in 15 minutes because i heard the Holy Spirit tell me i have been wrong and that Jesus really died for me and loved me.in hebrews 11, all of the examples heard that same voice. they did not hear preaching or bible verses.faith comes by hearing and hearing the personnal directive word from God.(grace)abraham did not build an ark and noah did not leave a city to search... my sheep hear my voice...jimp

 2012/7/21 16:36Profile
Blayne
Member



Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


 Re:

Hi! 'Jimp'

I sortta' grinned to myself when reading your Comment and mumbled, "After 49 years have passed an' yuh still haven't become weary of hearing God's voice?". :)

Funny thing, now that you mentioned "from a mocker to a believer". I first heard the gospel at a storefront mission supported by Dave Wilkerson and Teen Challenge. They were giving away free food an' stuff and so occasionally I would have to gas-up on their stale donuts and sandwiches when my thieving wasn't so successful.

The missionary crew had their situation down pat. They had seated a Christian at each table with the task to provoke a discussion about the gospel with those droppin' by to eat.

Anyways, I visit there one evening and sit down at a table to munch on some food an' coffee. Pretty soon the young Christian lady sitting at the table starts talking about the Jesus she knows. I set out to embarrass her away from the table by deliberately asking her some weird questions about God an' stuff. She never ruffled a bit and courageously answered each question and even threw in some of her own for me too.
But when she said that God spoke to her, well, that was it! I absolutely knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God only talked to people like the Catholic priest who lived up the street from my childhood home.

So, I mockingly asked her, "Oh, so I guess yer gonna' tell me that God answers you too, ay?".
She firmly and quietly answered, "Yes, God does answer me".
Her answer stunned me!
I could plainly see that the lady wasn't some puzzle-factory case and she seemed sufficiently intelligent and competent to not be imagining such a thing. I knew she wasn't lyin' to me because she said it so confidently and assuring.

It was that conversation with that Christian girl that brought me back to the mission time and time again to hear more of the Gospel from her and others. I kinna' figured that anyone whom God speaks to might have something important to say and should be heard.

Some twenty years later, I bumped into that same Christian girl in a department store and we had a great time revisiting the events from that time.

 2012/7/21 17:20Profile
learn
Member



Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


 Re:

Jimp and Blayne,
Pls talk more about how God speaks to you. How his voice is like. Thanks.


_________________
geraldine

 2012/7/21 17:59Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi, as a young man with a family, i was impressed of the Lord to quit my job and go to bible col. i knew a few people at trinity evangelical div.school in ill.the dean and top theo.i drove from new orleans to dearfield and as soon as i set my feet upon the property i heard the Lord say this is not for you whereupon i payed my respects to dr. bostrom and dr. pinnock, went to a student service and drove back to new orleans. a week later i drove to pensacola fl. to see liberty bible col. and the LOrd spoke that this was the place for me.i was able to transfer in the same company to pensacola and found an apartment on the golf course LOL. it was so smooth and i thank God for my years there.many events (going on the mission field etc) were led by the Lord wooing and were wonderful experiences .one day i was working in baton rouge at a store and the Lord spoke to me to go witness to an old man looking at some audio equip. I told the Lord that i do not witness at work for that was stealing from the company . God almost yelled in my heart and i walked over to the old man and asked about his position today in Christ. this is how i met len ravenhill.jimp

 2012/7/21 19:04Profile
Blayne
Member



Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


 Re:

Hi! 'Learn'

You asked, "Jimp and Blayne, Pls talk more about how God speaks to you. How his voice is like. Thanks."

Tuh tell you the truth, I feel a little bit nervous about your question. Basically because, while God is no respecter of persons and deals with everyone in an identical just and fair manner, this doesn't mean that His relationship and communion with every individual Christian is the same.

Sometimes I think that God has found some of us entangled so far down in the land of stolen spirits that He first had to pipe Sonlight down jus' to command our attention.
And, God has found others who were so convinced of their own goodness and worth and that He did jus' the opposite; He withdrew and the hellish powers of wrath began to devour everything they had valued and held dear. The destroyers were prevented from continuing their pernicious work only because the repentant pleas of their victim had reached God's ear.

So it is that God meets His lost sheep at whatever cliff they may have stumbled and fell. And, He guides them as the Good Shepherd using both His staff and His voice.

Whenever I may be asked about my Christian journey, I have great reluctance to mention the term 'voice of God'. Especially in this age of accusatory psychology and smears. Also because the term can be so easily misunderstood or misinterpreted.

I can only speak from my own personal experience to describe what I know as the 'voice of God'. It should not be compared to another's experience because God speaks to everyone in a language and manner which they individually are prepared to receive and comprehend. For instance, the literal translation of Jonah 3:3 has the meaning of: "The Word of God is to Jonah". It was specifically and exclusively meant for Jonah. This is how God always speaks to His people; individually.

This is why I myself have never had the experience that member 'Jimp' speaks about. God had never once instructed me to speak directely to someone. However, God often does use people to bring into existence or deliver His thoughts towards a situation or a person. I can only say that He has not sought me to do what member 'Jimp' testified to.

God has only spoken to me during those occasions when I desperately was needing a life-line thrown to me. When I was exiting the land of stolen spirits, there were days and weeks that I was so utterly captivated by the chains of shadowy jailers and so completely paralyzed under the stares of the enemy, that God directly intervened to lift me "out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings", Psalm 40:2).

I could describe the "voice of God" as something near an audible thought which suddenly comes to the forefront of consciousness. I should say too that God's speaking to us never violates our individual faculties (human spirit). He never presents Himself as tyrannical or over-powering. He always addresses us gently and kindly ... one could almost say, in a cooperative manner.

God is never disapproving or disappointed if we unwittingly are deaf to Him. More importantly, God never punishes us if we refuse to obey His instructions for whatever reason. God cannot give something of Himself that does not belong to Him ... and punishment and vengeance doesn't belong to God ... the wages of sin are not rendered by God but by the one who employed you to sin, the devil. This is why I was careful to clearly state above that the works of wrath also belong to the evil one. God's posture towards us Christians and every sinner is long-suffering, kind, merciful, etc ... But He will most certainly punish and bring divine retribution upon the devil and his cohorts near the edge of time.

Now, it is common for me to think in pictures. By that I mean, for as long as I can remember, I've always been a visual type of person. My analytic mind involuntarily produces pictures or metaphors. It's not uncommon for me to play picture games in my head during the day. My son has the same quality; only he plays with Math in his head. He's a music producer and one day I said to him, "I never really saw your music abilities during your childhood". He replied, "Sure you did, Dad. Music is all about Math. Don't you remember how I loved to mess with Math?". That was indeed true about him during childhood. Someone once told me that my way of seeing things as pictures was the signature of a writer. That might be true too. I jus' don't know.

Anyways, about thinking in pictures:
God has always spoken to me using pictures which were accompanied by an audible thought. But the way this occurs is something different than what happens in my normal everyday life. In my everyday life, the pictures are formed in my head. But when accompanied by the voice of God, they are formed in the air before my eyes.

I have since discovered that the writer of Acts described the Pentecost experience using the words "LIKE AS" ... "cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
I have the mind that they too saw images or pictures in the shape of cloven tongues of fire.

That's about all I can say about my experience concerning the voice of God. I hope it might help someone.

 2012/7/21 21:54Profile





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