1. PERFORM A RELATIONSHIP DIAGNOSTIC
Spending sufficient time reading/studying God’s Word and in prayer, is the first step. You cannot repair car without learning everything about the car (from the ownership manual – God’s Word). Perform a diagnostic. If there is any unconfessed sin in your life, confess, repent, and renounce all sin. Don’t ignore any relationship issues – unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is the number one sin that is ignored (left to “fester”), which, like all WILLFUL and CONTINUAL SIN, gives the Enemy and all of his demons LEGAL RIGHT to oppress every area of your life. By confessing and repenting of all sin all “airwaves are cleared” for communication with our Heavenly Father (see Isaiah 59:2, Psalm 66:18, 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 3:21-22).
2. ASK GOD
Scripture tells us that we have not because we don’t ask. If you desire to hear God’s voice, ask. As with any other request, if we expect to receive, we must ask in FAITH. If we ask doubting, we cannot expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7).
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” This applies with regard to salvation and it also applies in our daily walk with Him.
3. GET ‘IN TUNE’
Is God speaking a revelation or giving instruction? Make sure to listen, because what we expect God to say may not be at all what He speaks. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Try not to focus on your thoughts when waiting for a Word for God, so you are open to receive His response.
4. FINE TUNE YOUR DISCERNMENT
If we spend enough time with God, getting to know Him, reading/studying His Word, we soon become familiar with who He is and recognize His voice. It’s important to get rid of all the junk in our mind (a/k/a the “Battlefield”) – the clutter from the world. The world causes great interference both in communication and obedience to God:
1 John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Jesus said: John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Are we “following” Him in obedience?
5. AGREEMENT WITH GOD’S WORD
No matter what we might “think” we heard or the voice we “believe” was that “familiar voice,” one sure way to know if it’s a counterfeit voice (from the Enemy) is to make sure the message it brings lines up with God’s Word. The Enemy cannot be more than once place at a time. But he has emissaries/minions (a/k/a demons) who even listen to our prayers. Therefore, we must always be on “high alert” after asking God for something. The Enemy runs “interference” to all of our requests. He doesn’t want us to: hear from God, know enough of God’s Word to recognize His voice; or to receive what God wants us to have. If we know God’s Word, the Enemy will go directly to plan B, which is to interject his counterfeit voice, lies and deception.
IMPORTANT – WARNING – IMPORTANT – WARNING – IMPORTANT
God will NEVER give you a message or ask you to do anything that goes AGAINST HIS WORD or any principles contained in it. So if you ever receive something like that, DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS FROM GOD!!!
A recent example is from a woman who believed God had called her to a ministry of accepting an admin position in a Christian Facebook group. In and of itself, it’s a good thing, right? However, she took it to such an extreme that she spent every free moment performing her duties while ignoring her husband. God will not give anyone a ministry and ask so much of their time that it would cause problems in a marriage. Most often, this scenario happens with men, but can affect both men and women. God’s Word is clear that the relationship between husband-wife is the most IMPORTANT relationship next in line to relationship with Him. God does not put jobs OR children ahead of the husband-wife relationship.
Many have God’s order turned around and put kids “wants” (wants are different than needs) ahead of their spouse. It is NOT important (or godly) to give children everything they “want.” Want is different than NEED. Before long there are problems in the marriage – maybe even divorce. When the children are grown, their marriages have problem because their parents did not exemplify God’s marriage standards. Their relationship with God will affect everything in their life moving forward. Children LEARN proper worship AND how to treat their spouses by their parents’ examples. If our priorities are out of line, our marriages and our children will suffer repercussions. The Enemy would have all our priorities out of alignment with God’s Word. When priorities are not synched with God, we are being disobedient to His instructions, and that willful and continual sin gives the Enemy and demons LEGAL RIGHT to oppress every area of our lives. When we ARE IN alignment with God’s Word, the Enemy is DEFEATED! Search God’s Word for His Wisdom in this area.
We can be confident of God’s voice if we make the time and effort to learn His voice and to discern interference by the Enemy. Draw near to God, search for Him with all our hearts, soul mind and strength, stay clear of sin/confess all sins as soon as possible, and stop be-friending the world (James 4:8).
In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, “Call on me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Direct our focus on God, hearing, listening and obeying His voice. God will bless our efforts! By the same token, if we don’t spend enough time in His Word and in prayer, the consequences will be on US, not on God. Just like friendships and marriage, getting to know God takes time and effort. If we make the effort, changes will occur in our thoughts, our choices, and our actions which result in knowing His voice and walking VICTORY! AMEN!
Crying out in the wilderness,