How do you know when God is speaking to you?
Unlike House, I do believe that we can hear the voice of God in our heads and hearts. However, we sometimes want something so badly that we believe our own voice is the voice of God convicting us to do something. So how do we know that we are really hearing from God and not just projecting our own desires as his voice?
I believe we know it is God and not our own desires when the message we hear is not “all about us” and when we cannot shake it off. When God convicts you, I mean really convicts you, you cannot do anything but listen and obey.
So how does God communicate with us?
Bobby Martindale sums it up nicely when he states that we allow God to speak “through his Word–the Bible, through His presence and fellowship, through Godly people, through His creation, through events of my day, and through the pain and difficulty of life.”
We call encounters where God speaks to us a religious experience. In reality, anyone involved in any faith is looking for a genuine religious experience. In Christianity, we also seek these experiences because we desire to have a relationship with God.
In order to hear God speak to us through the Bible and through other things such as events that happen throughout our day, we must listen for God. We must listen for his conviction on our hearts. The more we listen for him and look to see what he is communicating with us, the more in-tune to hearing him we become, and the easier it then becomes to recognize his voice.
But what about when we want to hear from God but he is silent?
It is true that sometimes God is silent. This can be frustrating, or it can be empowering. See, God gave us minds. He expects us to use our minds. Sometimes we are presented with choices and we would like him to convict us about what to do, but he is silent because he wants us to have the freedom to make the choice on our own.
Sometimes through talking with other people, God gives us an idea of the best choice to make. But God does not want to dictate our lives. He created us to live and part of living is making our own choices. God wants us to have and exercise a certain amount of freedom in how we live.
Sometimes God seems to be silent because we are not hearing the answer we want. It is important when listening for God to receive his conviction even if it is not the conviction we had hoped for.
Sometimes God is speaking but we are expecting him to speak a certain way. When we do not hear from him in one area, we need to look at the other ways in which God communicates. Perhaps, he is just speaking through a different means.
What thoughts do you have about how God communicates with us?