By Aretha Grant
A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:5)
When I was a new Christian, hearing and knowing God’s voice were the two things I struggled the most with. How could I know whether I was hearing from God when I didn’t know His voice? How could I be sure the Lord was speaking to me while reading Scripture, listening to a sermon, or going to Sunday school or a Bible study lesson? I was so afraid of missing God’s instructions, warning, and encouragement that I often found myself paralyzed by doubt.
As I began studying the Bible, I learned how God’s voice matched the Scriptures. Thus, if I wanted to know what God had to say on a particular topic, I only had to know what the Bible said on that topic. If I heard a voice and was unsure whether or not that voice was the Lord’s, the Bible would confirm whether it was Him.
God’s voice will never contradict the Bible. If the voice you’re hearing is encouraging you to take Scripture out of context to make it fit your situation, the voice isn’t God.
We can grow to learn and discern God’s voice by studying the Holy Scriptures, praying, and asking God to teach us.
To help us more correctly discern His voice, here are a few things God’s voice will never say to us.
1. God’s voice will never deny Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
As sure as we are that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, that He is God’s Son, and that salvation comes only through belief in Him, many others are convinced otherwise. There are voices in the world, trying to convince Christians that Jesus is not the only way to God and heaven. Rest assured, any voice that tells you there are other avenues to God isn’t from the Lord. Thus, God will never ask you to place your faith in another savior.
2. God’s voice will never demean nor demoralize you.
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10)
God will convict believers. God will rebuke and reprove us. He will even chastise us. However, He will never demean nor demoralize His children. He will never put you down, nor will He intentionally hurt you. God loves us, and He pours that love upon us as a loving father would. Any voice that demeans you isn’t of God.
3. God’s voice will never instruct you to sin.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
God’s voice won’t entice you to sin. He won’t tell you it’s ok to live a sinful lifestyle. If you’re hearing a voice encouraging you to commit sin, rest assured that voice doesn’t belong to our Father. For example, the Bible tells us to honor our parents, not to fornicate, and not to lie to one another. If you believe God is telling you to dishonor your parents, that it’s ok to fornicate, and to lie to someone, rest assured, those instructions aren’t being spoken to you from the heart of God.