Life is a never-ending series of choices. We can either stay stagnant or make progress in life based on the decisions we make as Christians. Hearing from God is paramount in making the right decisions. Can we really know if we are making the right decisions? Why do we make a whole lot of mistakes in life choices, even though we say God is speaking to us daily? How many here have made wrong decisions in the past despite praying and fasting and trusting God that we were making the right decision? We all have made mistakes despite all good intentions. Jer. 10:23; Prov. 14:12; 1 John 4:1. You know it’s so difficult to make sense of the will of God in life at times. The anxiety often leads us to so many unorthodox ways of seeking after God’s will – prayer contractors; so-called prophets; running to every conference or meeting in town etc; name others?. What does the bible say about God speaking to His children? Rom. 8:14; Ps 37:23-24; Jer. 29:12-13; Prov. 3:6; Ps. 32:8;
Why do we have a problem with hearing from God these days? Why is it so difficult to hear from God despite praying, fasting, feeling peace within and getting confirmation from others? Gal. 5:17. The most difficult part of hearing God is the fact that it takes time to learn to discern God’s voice. Heb. 5:14; I Sam 3:3-11; Is. 30:21. Do you know it’s not the Lord who is not speaking, but it’s us who are not hearing? Jesus, in John 10:3-5, made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice (even though our experience is contrary at times). God is constantly transmitting His voice to His sheep, but few are turned on and tuned in. Most Christians are busy pleading with God in prayer to transmit when the problem is with their receivers. Psalm 46:10; 1 Kings 19:12
Since we know that God is speaking, how do we hear His voice and move forward in life? Is there a way to find out what God wants us to do in these difficult days? Answer is yes! Some ways we have adopted over time out of tradition include: 1. Fleeces (or asking God for a supernatural sign – Judges 6:36-40) How do we fleece God today? Is it okay to fleece God? We will discuss this in detail later. 2. Fasting and seeking God’s face for an answer and direction in life (we have studied this extensively). 3. Flipping coins (leave it up to the toss) Prov. 16:33; 18:18; Acts 1:23-26; Neh. 10:24; Jonah 1:7. 4. Feelings (obeying feeling instead of logic – “I feel…”) 5. Defaulting (letting events decide). 6. Dipping (random bible readings). 7. Delegating (letting others decide for us – very common among us today). 8. Dreams and visions 9. Drawing straws (letting the length decide) 10. Sitting or procrastinating. 11. Sliding or taking the part of least resistance. 12. Thinking (using logic and ignoring feelings and the spirit). 12. Revelation (waiting for a word from God) Acts 8:29; 11:28.
So how can we know whether we’re hearing the voice of God? The Bible gives us seven basic keys or filters through which every possible leading should be judged. We are to carefully examine the thoughts and intentions of our hearts — and the words of godly people who may have influence on us by their words and actions — through the use of these seven keys: scripture (II Timothy 3:16-17); the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart (Hebrews 8:10-11); the Prophetic (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy) (I Thessalonians 5:19-21); Godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14); Confirmation (Matthew 18:16); The peace of God (Colossians 3:15); Circumstances/Timing (Acts 18:1-3)