For some reason, it is different with God. So many people struggle with hearing God's voice or when He speaks, they don't know if it is truly Him. Hearing the voice of God often requires us to listen in a new way. We are used to having our own thoughts flow from our own mind. The thoughts from the Spirit are different because they don't originate with you... they originate from the Spirit. This is not to say that we shouldn't use our minds, but part of learning to hear God involves quieting our thoughts so that you can hear the Spirit speak.
How can you determine God's voice from your own thoughts? Here are a few questions and thoughts to think through as you determine what you are hearing is God's voice or your own...
- Does what I heard line up with scripture? The dilemma is that sometimes we can see, sense or hear something, and we can find a way to justify it, but it’s not necessarily the nature of God.
- Does it produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit? If what you've heard produces something other than the fruit of the Spirit, then it might not be God speaking to you.
- Thoughts from your mind are meditated. But thoughts spoken by Christ's Spirit to your spirit are spontaneous ideas, words, feelings or images.
- The Spirit's thoughts will sometimes have an unusual content to them. They will bring ideas, insights, or instructions that you wouldn't have thought of yourself.
- They will bring with the a sense of peace and spiritual power. This does not always come immediately, but the result will often be peace.
- When you act on the Spirit's promptings, they will bring joy and freedom.
Remember, even though God speaks, it is up to you to turn your attention to Him and listen for His voice. He is speaking, the question is are we listening?