Discerning God’s voice is crucial, and to be sought after!  We have much to learn as we search out the Scriptures.  God’s intention for ALL of His people is to grow to such a place in our relationship with God that discerning His voice is very natural.  Identifying God’s values/His heart helps us tremendously as we seek to discern.  The more we are filled with God’s Word, the easier it will be to discern. 

Did you know that ALL PERSONS OF THE TRINITY SPEAK?  Because each person of the Trinity has distinct functions and personalities, they will each communicate with us depending on what needs to be understood. Each Person of the Trinity establishes their identity and function in Scripture for us to understand their relationship with one another and with us.

The Trinity is intertwined!John 16:12-15:  He will not speak on his own, He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that he will receive what he will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

The Father affirms the Son. Matthew 17:5: “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

Before Jesus came to the earth, God spoke through his prophets.  But now, ALL of God’s people can hear His voice.  Hebrews 1:1-2:  In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…

The Son establishes His connection with us as His sheep. John 10:14-16:  I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 

The Holy Spirit plays a unique role in speaking truth to us.  John 16:13:  But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.  

If we need to hear regarding His fathering and compassion, the Father will speak to us. If we need to hear about redemption, forgiveness, the resurrected life, the Son will speak to us.  If we need to be instructed, enabled with power, or have truth revealed, the Holy Spirit will speak to us. 

Have you ever been confused about what you are ‘hearing?  One of our greatest challenges (and privileges) is to recognize and discern when God is speaking to us. We need to recognize the source.

Three  voices compete for our attention:

  1. OUR OWN VOICE AND DESIRES: We can long for something so desperately, that we can convince ourselves that God is speaking when it’s our own desires.  We need to take care to live such a surrendered life that we don’t allow our own desires to overshadow God’s voice.  James 4:2,3: We ask amiss for our own pleasures… Rather, we need to pray… Matt 6:10: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  1. SATAN is always trying to deceive us into thinking it’s God speaking when it’s not! The Scripture is very clear about Satan’s intent. Satan always challenges God’s character and goodness, as he did in the garden… Gen 3: did God really say…?  He can only speak from his own character.  Look at how Satan is described in Scripture. 

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy… 

John 8:42-44 He is a liar and the father of lies…  

Gen 3:3 the serpent (deceiver) deceived me and I ate 

Rev 12:9 the devil who leads the whole earth astray 

2 Cor 11:14 (he comes disguised as an)angel of light  

John 8:44 he is amurderer and no truth is in him  

Rev 12:10 the accuser of our brothers   

1 Cor 14:33 author of confusion  

Rev. 12:9 Serpent- devil  

  1. GOD, on the other hand, always speaks from his CHARACTER. He carries the exact opposite values and heart as the devil. For example…

John 10:10: … but I have come that they might have life to the full.

Psalm 119:68: He is good and what He does is GOOD.  

We can continue down the list to compare how God speaks, and how to discern when it’s the devil. 

We can also ask ourselves these three questions.  As we evaluate what we’re hearing with these three values, clarity will come.

  1. DOES IT HONOR THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS? If Jesus is glorified by our living out what we’re hearing, we can move forward.  If not, we need to STOP!
  1. DOES IT ALIGN WITH SCRIPTURE? While not every decision or direction can be found directly in the Word, the Scriptures are so packed with Kingdom values, that if we are willing to check to see if what we’re hearing is consistent with the heart of Scripture, we will be protected from making a wrong decision. We don’t twist scripture to fit what we want, but we let the scripture confirm.
  1. DOES IT PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN MY LIFE?  If we follow through with what we are hearing, will we bear fruit in our life that is obvious to others? 

In conclusion, great adventures await ALL of God’s children when we grow and mature in discerning God’s voice. It takes practice and humility to learn God’s ways!  

Adapted from Ears to Hear by Deborah Wiley

available from Amazon and Kindle 



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