Ladies, how do you know it’s God? You know, when you hear that voice in your mind? How do you know it’s God guiding you, guarding you or answering your prayers, whether through His Word speaking directly to you, the words of someone else or a sign?
How do you know whether the words you hear are God’s and not just your own thoughts, or whether the signs are simply coincidental? I mean, with Moses, God appeared in a burning bush. How great would that be for us? We wouldn’t question that, right? And I’d assume we’d all be quick to listen to God’s voice then.
Recognizing God’s words and signs can be easier for some than others, sometimes because His messages can be bolder and more obvious in some situations. But for most of us, His messages are subtle and easy to miss if we’re not paying attention.
So how do we make it easier to recognize God when He’s speaking directly to us? And how do we come to know if the words we hear and signs we see are actually His? Let’s start with prayer.
With prayer, and specifically in moments of distress, we as Christians want to hear from God. But more often than not, an answer isn’t given. Or is it? Really, if you want to hear God in prayer, you need to be prepared to hear Him. Here’s what I mean.
In order to hear His voice, you have to be ready to listen.
Prayer is a conversation, after all. We often pray for the things that we want and need. We throw everything out there when it comes to asking for help for ourselves or others. But we seldom wait for a response. We hardly ever, if ever, wait and stay quiet, allowing our God to respond.
In my kitchen, I have a sign with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that reads, “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.” So let us.
All distractions. It’s great to pray at all times. In fact, we are called to do so in scripture. However, we need to have more intimate moments with our Lord. And these are the times when we can relax in meditation with the Lord and share without any distractions. It may seem like an impossible feat, but it’s a necessary thing for all of us to do.
Pray often so that you come to know His responses when they come to you.
In John 10:25-27, Jesus said, “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” Part of knowing if it is God is knowing God. So you really need to build your relationship with the Lord so that you can better recognize when He speaks to you or shares a physical sign with you.
So, now that you know how to better set yourself up in prayer, how do you know when it’s God sending a message to you? Well, here are some things to look for.
You believe it.
2 Corinthians 5:7 reads, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Even when it comes to knowing God, we need to have faith that God is speaking to us, either in His own words or through our thoughts.
If you know God, then you will be able to distinguish between what is everyday and what is a sign from God. It will grab your attention and you will know and believe.
You feel it.
Sometimes the sensation is subtle, sometimes overwhelming, but either way, it’s a physical feeling that sits apart from any other. It may even take your breath away. Whatever the feeling, it will, again, grab your attention and let you know that God is speaking to you.
You’re inspired by it.
It comes to you in His words, in your thoughts, your voice or someone else’s, either in your mind or a dream, and so you’re inspired by it. Sure, this seems pretty vague, but when it happens, you know, because it comes with believing and feeling at the same time.
It will fill you with inspiration and a desire. It may even change a former belief about something. It may just change your heart.
It is good.
Whatever God says and calls us to do is good, He is good and everything He created is so. And therefore, when we believe that we are hearing God, and the thing that He is saying is good, then the likelihood is that it’s coming from Him.
It follows scripture.
This may seem obvious to some, but not to everyone. When God speaks, His words will never contradict scripture. So, if you know God, you will know His Word in scripture, and therefore you will know if the message He sends is really from Him because it will reflect His Word in scripture.