Discerning the Voice of God: 5 Christian Tips

by David Peach on February 20, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

Knowing God’s will and doing it is very important for the child of God. It is the way God leads us in our lives and causes us to say, “I know I am called by God to do this ministry.” But how does one find the confidence to say that they are doing what God wants them to do? How can you have that assurance?

Here are 5 tips for a Christian to know what is the voice of God in your life.

The Bible

If you are not obedient to the revealed will of God in the Bible, then you are not doing God’s specific will in your life.

Years ago I had a friend who grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school and even attended a year of Bible college. However, he eventually dropped out of school and church and was wandering spiritually. One day I ran into him at his job and he told me that he wanted to do God’s will, but he didn’t think church was an important part of that anymore.

I certainly don’t believe that it is God’s will for everyone to go to Bible college. I don’t even think everyone needs to go to school to be able to serve God in the way He chooses for them. My friend’s dropout of school was not at all important to me. However, the fact that he dropped out of church and thought it was no longer necessary for him to accomplish God’s will revealed that he really wasn’t interested in following God’s plan for his life. Being a part of a church is part of God’s will as revealed in His Word. By refusing to obey God’s Word, my friend was refusing to discern God’s voice.

To know the direction God wants for you in your life you need to submit to His teachings and commands in the Bible. While speaking about learning the teachings of the Bible, the writer of Hebrews says that person will be more discerning in their mind and senses as to the will of God in their lives

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14).

By the way, my friend never returned to church and has also never done anything to serve God with his life. I pray that he does but until he surrenders to obedience to the Word of God he won’t know the will of God for his life.

Delight In The Lord

Psalm 37:4, 5 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

Delighting in the Lord is a matter of seeking to please and glorify Him. This causes you to have the right desires. These verses can be read two different ways, but with the same results.

First you could read it to say that if you delight in the Lord then He will give you anything you desire. That is the simple way of reading it, but may be too simplistic for some.

The other way you can look at this verse is that by delighting in the Lord He will give you the right desires. When you have the right desires, then it makes sense that He would grant those desires to you. They are holy and right because He gave them to you and the result is that He will gladly grant the desires you have.

Of course this depends on you truly delighting in Him (meaning to please and glorify Him). If you are fully dedicated to His will and His desires then He will place His own desires within you.

The next verse says that now that you have the right desires, commit those desires back to Him. Trust that He can accomplish what He has planned. Then He will bring those desires and committed ways to fruition.

What a wonderful promise!

Godly Counselors

Proverbs 11:14 and 15:22 give the wise saying that where there are many counselors then purposes are established and there is safety.

Recently I took a trip with a friend to introduce him to the mission field. During the trip some large spiritual decisions surfaced. While he is sold out to God and God’s will, my friend was not pleased with some of the counsel he had been given. He had several people telling him basically the same thing—but not what he wanted to hear. I believe, deep down, my friend knew what was the right choice but he did not want to consider their counsel.

I had tried to stay neutral in the conversation to allow him to have a friend he could be open and honest with (though I completely agreed with the counsel he had been given). Finally, we had a conversation I really dreaded, but knew I could not avoid. I told him that all those godly men were probably right. It was not reasonable that they would all be wrong about the same thing in the same way.

After much prayer, tears and a few raised voices, my friend conceded that he knew he needed to heed the counsel he had been given. What he was dealing with was not a matter of right or wrong, it was a matter of better and best. It really was a hard choice for him, but it was very obvious to the rest of us what he should do. We had no interest in forcing him into a decision. We wanted the Lord to speak to him in a way that he could not deny that God was leading.

Oh what joy I saw on his face just tonight (less than a week after his decision) as we met at church and talked about the future ministry he will be involved in. He is thrilled about the open opportunities he has now that he surrendered to God because of godly counselors.

Still Small Voice

Many times God speaks through a still small voice.

Many times God speaks through a still small voice.

Many times God speaks through a still small voice. While this is not always true, I think it can be safely said that Satan never does this. Knowing the voice of God requires allowing Him to speak to your spirit in a gentle way as He did with Elijah. The prophet had sought God in the great and mighty catastrophic acts which God performed. Yet Elijah ultimately heard God speaking to him in a quiet gentle voice (1 Kings 19:11-18).

As you read God’s Word, seek to please Him and get godly counsel. Then often He will put a desire or direction in your spirit that you may not be able to explain, but you also can’t explain away. It is that gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit of God leading you in a direction that you cannot deny.

God can certainly work through an audible voice that the world cannot mistake, yet He has chosen not to do so. Since He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, He can communicate directly to our spirits.

Wait On The Lord

Lamentations 3:21-26 “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

Is it uncomfortable to have to sit and do nothing? In our society today we are so busy that sitting down in prayer for 10 minutes seems like an eternity without accomplishing our daily task list.

Do you recognize the above verses? Those verses from the book of Lamentations are just about the only positive words you will find in this book of grief. Yet they are centered around waiting patiently and quietly for the Lord to lead.

Often the words wait, hope and expect in the Bible are the same original word. It can carry the idea of being silent or still. A tough thought for us, but God wants to lead us. He does not want us running ahead and waiting for Him to catch up. Sometimes my children have done that very thing. They think they know where they are going so they run ahead and are surprised to later turn around and not see us. We have turned down a different path or veered to the side of the road they were not expecting (of course we always lurk behind the corner watching out for them).

Don’t run ahead of God and expect Him to follow. Allow Him to lead and direct in your life.

Can You Discern God’s Voice?

Of course I believe you can. It takes patience and obedience. At first you are looking for the big signs in the Bible. Obey what it says and you will be well on your way to knowing what God wants for your life. As you grow more spiritually mature and sensitive to the Lord’s leading He will direct you in more subtle, but powerful ways.

Are you wondering how you can know God’s will for you? Take a look at this article:

How to find God’s will in your life

Resources – The Holy Bible, King James Version, YouTube “Be Still my Soul” by Selah



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna Rayne February 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for writing this article. I have been searching for answers to this very question. I have a new passion for Christ again and I have been changing my life in a way so that it is pleasing to the Lord. I have been wondering how to know if I am discerning God’s voice or my own wants. This article has helped answer my questions and I thank you so much for opening my eyes and teaching me the things the Lord would have you teach me and others.

Thank you,
Donna Rayne

Reply

Robert February 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

David,
Thanks for writing this. There are so many believers who are concerned with hearing God. This is a great help. God bless you.
Yours in Chrsit,
Robert

Reply

emela February 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

happy to fellow you online.need more tips

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams February 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

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