Dear Dr. B,
How can I know the difference between God’s voice, my voice and the enemy’s voice? I know God speaks, I’m just not sure which voice is His.
A Concerned Listener
Your question is one that many Christ-followers have asked at some point in their journey! I’m so glad you asked because the enemy would like you to believe that you can’t hear God’s voice, but the truth is God is speaking all the time—we just have to learn to become more attuned to hearing His voice and discerning the difference between His voice and the enemy’s voice.
Scripture says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27 NIV).
While I will endeavor to share with you here a few rules of thumb that I follow, let me remind you that if you are ever unsure of which voice you are hearing, Scripture tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5 NIV).
It’s important to keep in mind that God’s voice will never contradict Scripture. So you can always take what you are hearing and look to see if it is consistent with what God’s word has already said. If it is, you can be fairly assured that you have heard God’s voice. God will never tell you to do something that would contradict what His word has said. He would never tell a woman, for example, that it’s okay for her to have an affair with another woman’s husband. That would be something the enemy would say.
God gives us the ability to think. We are capable of our own independent thoughts and we will frequently have thoughts such as “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired.” But it’s also important to keep in mind that the enemy will also speak to us in the form of thoughts in the first-person singular, such as “I can’t do this.” We must take those thoughts and determine if they are consistent with God’s word. If they are not, then those are not our thoughts–they are the voice of the enemy trying to influence us. In this example, that is not consistent with God’s word, which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
7 Ways to Know You are Hearing God’s Voice
Some other basic principles that you can apply to help you discern if the voice you are hearing is God’s or the enemy’s are:
1. God’s voice will convict but in love, whereas the enemy’s voice will bring guilt and condemnation.
2. God’s voice will encourage and reassure, whereas the enemy’s voice will discourage and frighten.
3. God’s voice will lead, guide, and still. The enemy will push and rush.
4. God’s voice will calm us. The enemy will make us obsess and worry.
5. God’s voice will bring comfort. The enemy’s voice will bring chaos and compromise.
6. God’s voice will bring clarity and confirmation. The enemy’s voice brings confusion.
7. God’s voice will bring Christ closer. The enemy’s voice brings controlling spirits.
God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. When you are in doubt about which voice you are hearing, ask God by the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you in truth and He will. In His word, He has promised to teach you the truth, and it is the truth that He says “sets you free!”
Because of Him,
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
Resource to Break Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
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So so good, my friend!
Great Biblical advice Michelle! My favorite is God’s voice brings clarity. I will definitely be sharing this post. Have a wonderful Wednesday and blessings to you and yours!
I love your advice and I was saying Amen! Quite frequently — hearing God is so important and you gave such practical steps – many I teach, so its great to see great minds think alike 🙂 Your almost neighbor today at #WholeHeartedWednesday
God will never lead us astray, that’s for certain but the enemy is constantly trying to trick us, isn’t he? I’m always grateful for your sound advice, Michelle.
I also wanted to let you know that I referred to your website in my new e-book, ‘You Were Made to Sparkle’. I want others to know that sometimes it’s okay (and even necessary) to get help and find support when they’re hurting. Your guidance and transparency with your struggles will bring encouragement to many.
Wishing you blessings!
Marva | sunSPARKLEshine
LOVE this! Interesting to think that similar thoughts could come from God or from the enemy (or thoughts on similar topics), but that the prevailing emotion will be so very different. This is one of the most practical applications of biblical advice on hearing God’s voice I have ever read… I always struggle with this, but now it’s obvious to me that I hear the enemy loud and clear sometimes based on lack of clarity, guilt and worry. Obviously not the voice of the Lord. Thanks Dr B!
Great post and Rx! That goes upon the refrigerator.
#1 at FMF this week.
I love this advice, Dr. B. It just reminds me that when God speaks, peace follows… not chaos, confusion, worry or the hosts of negative emotions that the enemy throws our way.
Great advice here!
great contrasts from the One Who loves and the one who hates and divides. Thanks, Michelle!
I love this list! Thanks for reminding us how to decipher.
Great tips for determining God’s voice or the enemy’s! Thank you, Michelle, for the depth of hope you offer each week! I’m thankful to have you share with us at #MomentsofHope!
Blessings and smiles,
Love how you share so simply that everyone can understand how to discern Father’s voice from the enemy’s voice. Thank you!!! It is so important to know whose voice you are hearing and I am concerned that people just assume it is God telling them to do something when it is actually the enemy. Always line the message up with God’s Word. That is one of the first rules of thumb I learned. I so appreciate your teachings for they lead me to the Lord and His message for me. Love you!! Praying fervently for you!!!
Karen, thank you for your kind words. I’m a very practical person, and so many of my patients have needed for me to break down things very simply in a way that they can implement in their own life.
So well explained and said with such encouragement. May our Lord speak hope and assurance to you each morning and throughout the day during this difficult time, my friend. Lifting you before the throne in prayer. Peace and grace, Tammy
Michelle, thank you for these great points about discerning the voice of God. It’s so good to have these focus points as we seek clarity in life and make efforts to accurately discern the voice of God.
Dear Dr.Bengtson. I enjoyed your article. Would you pleas tell me if God forgave me of my sins why does people say you reap what you sow. Do we pay for our wrong doings the rest of our life
Concise, practical tips we can all use. Love the list-thank you! Happy to pop over again from Crystal’s!
Great points. Learning to hear God’s voice over our own voice and the enemy’s voice is important. I like to remember that God’s voice is love, Satan’s is fear and condemnation.
Loving your 7 ways to know you are hearing God’s voice! Thanks for this and nice to find you in the Grace and Truth Link UP!
This is such practical, sound advice, Michelle! Thank you for sharing. Stopping by frpm #graceandtruth linkup. ?
Hello, joining you from the Wealth Beyond Rubies Linkup.
I appeciate this article. Very important advice and reminders on knowing God’s voice. I will be sharing this for sure! Thank you.