See also Part 1: How Do You Know God’s Voice?
In the last teaching I discussed the need for knowing how to distinguish between the voice of the enemy, one’s self, and the Holy Spirit’s voice. I brought-up how to discern the voices from our childhood, and adult influences. But I want to go further and in more depth now. Hopefully, this teaching will prove to be helpful and clear to those who read it.
The premise of discerning between our own self talk and knowing when it is the Lord’s voice is paramount. I brought up how we can know when the Lord is speaking that His voice is gentle and loving, as contrasted with a voice that instills fear and guilt from the enemy. But there are times when even these differences can leave us wondering. For it is also true that God’s voice will also “urge” or certainly “warn” us about things, and at these times, His voice may not be as gentle as it is at other times.
One can be certain that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us when we sense His presence, or we are infilled with the anointing. The enemy cannot reproduce the anointing, nor can we ourselves. But then we may ask, “What if the Holy Spirit is speaking, but we don’t sense His anointing – how then, can we be assured of knowing?” This is when one needs practice and experience in developing a discerning ear.
I gave the example of Elijah when he had run to the cave, and how the Lord was not heard in the earthquake, or the fire, or any of the other natural forces in nature. He came to realize the still, small voice that spoke to him then was true.
“After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing,” 1 Kings 19:12.
We also have the example of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus and how he was blinded by the light. He was told in an audible voice to go to a certain street named Straight:
“As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank, Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,” Acts 9:3-11.
Not many of us can hear the audible voice of God speaking to us. However, within us, He has hollowed out a place deep within our hearts where His voice can be heard. Of course, our own hearts can betray us, and we can be deceived because of this.
There have been some things that I’ve prayed that I could somehow express in words to you about how to know the difference between your own voice and that of God’s, and I believe that I have an example that will prove to be helpful.
When we are going about our life there are always things that come to our minds and our thoughts like words. Our minds are like a screen that shows various words and phrases, that are constantly bombarding our thought patterns. These words and thoughts, are from our own minds and souls, if you will. But at times, during the day, or throughout the night, a deeper phrase, a word, or a voice, comes, and it isn’t scattered, or disorganized, as our own thoughts and minds are. At these times, we sense deep within, that God is indeed speaking to us.
We somehow “know” that what is being said, is not “us,” but it is He.
Now one cannot make something like this into a technical thing, and of course each person is different, and God speaks to each of His children differently. My intent here, is really to get at the origin of how we hear from God, and then to develop a way of “knowing” when it is Him, not our own self, and also not, the voice of the enemy.
Find the time to devote yourselves to prayer and reading His word daily. And then when an important decision comes up, you can be more assured in knowing what God’s guidance is in the matter. And yet circumstances may not be readily seen for what you should do. Even when our best counselors and friends tell us what we should do, their guidance may be flawed.
“For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty. “My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi, Like the torrents of wadis which vanish, Which are turbid because of ice And into which the snow melts. “When they become waterless, they are silent, When it is hot, they vanish from their place. “The paths of their course wind along, They go up into nothing and perish,” Job 6:14-28.
At these times it is wise to wait, and not to rush into any quick decision. Remember again, that the enemy would want us to hurry-up and to do things quickly. Don’t heed that voice, but instead, wait for the clear water that comes springing-up within you. In time, you will know, that you know, that you know.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?