Years ago, a little girl took one of my prayer classes. She heard from God easily and had a great relationship with Him. But she didn’t realize at first that not every voice in her mind was God’s.
She had a big decision to make, and she told her mother God told her what to do. Her mother asked, “Are you sure it was God?”
The little girl seemed puzzled. How could the voice she heard not be God?
Her mother explained that not every voice we hear is God. Sometimes we hear the enemy’s voice, and often we hear the voice of our own mind.
After a moment of shock, the little girl expressed her frustration, as she realized not every internal voice she heard was God’s.
Can’t we all relate with that frustration? How much easier life would be if all we heard was God’s voice, telling us clearly and exactly what to do.
If Not God’s Voice, Then Whose?
But we live in a fallen world. The enemy speaks to us, loudly and clearly. His voice often drowns out the still, small voice of God.
The enemy is not the only one talking. Often, we hear a voice louder and more damaging than the enemy’s. It’s the voice of our own mind. The things we say to ourselves, and have taught ourselves to say, can derail us. Our own voice, ringing through our mind, can block what God is trying to say.
Early in life, as we encounter hardships which, as children, we are not equipped to deal with, the enemy begins to tell us lies: “You are no good.” “You are stupid.” “You will never amount to anything.” “You don’t need God’s help, or anyone else’s, for that matter.” This happens as early as in the womb! The enemy starts the process, but we take it over. It’s as if he pushes the button on a tape player, and the tape repeats in our minds, over and over. We are the ones who keep it going, as we continue to block the voice of Father God.
Discerning God’s Voice from the Clutter
When you talk to God and listen for His response, it’s important to quiet your mind and let yourself hear Him. When you receive interference – from the enemy or from your own mind – be still. Turn once again toward God, and submit your mind to Him. Let Him speak in whatever way He desires.
How can you tell whose voice you are hearing? The more you talk with God, and listen, and be still in His presence, the more you will know the sound of His voice. Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
But there are also some checks you can make, to see whose voice you are hearing:
Do the words line up with God’s Word? Then you are probably hearing God. Do the words line up with God’s nature? It’s probably Him.
Do the words sound condemning or unloving? Do the words tear down the value of who you are as a person? That is not God.
Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:31 goes on to say, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” God also tells us in John 3:16 that He “did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
God convicts us. But He doesn’t condemn us. When you hear a voice of condemnation, you are either hearing the enemy, or more likely the voice of your own mind. We often choose to beat ourselves up, where God has already forgiven us. We often tell ourselves harsh lies that are opposed to God’s Word.
Whenever you are listening for God’s words to you, check what you hear. Be sure it lines up with Scripture and the nature of God. If you do this check regularly, you will become more finely attuned to God’s presence and His voice.
My article, “Hearing God’s Voice” will help you to practice hearing and discerning through journaling.