How do you know when the Spirit of God is talking to you?

Hi everyone,

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@Liso Great question :slight_smile: The term God’s voice can be confusing because we expect to hear a voice in our heads or audibly. But in my experience God does not usually lead us that way. I believe that God guides through a combination of His Word, other people and circumstances. When we obey the Word of God, seek council from the people of God and pay attention to the doors God closes and opens, then we can make wise decisions.

Even though I do not believe we hear God’s voice in our heads, I do believe that the Spirit of God plays a major role in our everyday lives. Here is a summary of what God’s Spirit does in our lives based upon Romans 8 / Galatians 5:

  • empowers us to live the Christian life (Galatians 5:16-25, Romans 8) of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control
  • turns our minds to the things of God (Romans 8:5-6)
  • gives us power to overcome sin and live a righteous life (Romans 8:12-13)
  • testifies that we are God’s children (Rom 8:18)
  • helps us to pray (Rom 8:26-27)

Below are some thoughts / resources that I think will help you think through this question. May Christ grant you wisdom brother :slight_smile:

I . . . know by experience that impressions being made with great power, and upon the minds of true saints, yea, eminent saints; and presently after, yea, in the midst of, extraordinary exercises of grace and sweet communion with God, and attended with texts of Scripture strongly impressed on the mind, are no sure signs of their being revelations from heaven: for I have known such impressions [to] fail, and prove vain. --Jonathan Edwards

Book by Garry Friesen - Decision Making and the Will of God

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That was really helpful, thank you very much sir

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@Liso Glad you found it helpful brother :slight_smile:

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Hey Liso, great question. I’m glad you asked. God speaks to you on a level you will understand. Most of the time I think you will not realize it, however there can be times when you know for sure. It can be audible or in your mind. I hope you find this helpful my guy.

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Dallas Willard has a book called Hearing God. It is very good on this subject. I would ad one additional comment to those above. Once in a while God will speak to a person very directly. He did so to me through a word given to my brother about my cancer. It was specific and accurate and confounded my doctors.
My doctor had me set for a CAT scan and told me it would reveal tumors everywhere in my body. The day before my test God made my brother pull over his car to the side of the road and call me to tell me the scan would be clear. He did not want to call me but he said God made him do so. The scan was clear.
The doctors were caught off guard and sent me to another specialist who changed the diagnosis to another kind of cancer that is slow growing. It does not matter to me what kind it is. What matters is God told me He is in control. These types of communication from God are rare and I don’t know why they occur other than His plan.

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Hi,
For me the best way to know that I have heard from God is experience. I look back now at the most important decisions of my life and I see that in most of them I did not do a ton of research or seek advice from others…I just “knew” it was a “God decision”. It would have been convenient if I had heard His voice at these times but, I didn’t. This caused me to develop my faith and my trust in Him. Now, looking back at these decisions, I can easily recognize this “knowing” because of the peace that comes with it. I don’t think that anyone can teach another "how’ they will hear from God. We just learn to “recognize” Him in the situation or the decision. One side note: It has become far easier and far quicker to “hear God” as I have consumed more and more of the Bible. “Bad decisions” immediately not only give me a horrible feeling but they also tend to violate God’s word.
I hope this helps in some way.

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This scares me. The fact that your brother would say that. And then the fact that you still have cancer. Also the fact you believe God told you he is in control.

Not sure why. I’m cancer free fir 10 years. God told me not in words that He is in control because of the confirming message he gave me about my scan. When that happened it made no difference to me what cancer I eventually was diagnosed with. I just knew from the message that He was with me. There was no message that God cured me from God. It was merely a message to let me know He was with me all the way, wether I lived or died I was comforted knowing He was with me.

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What is it about God ‘speaking’ to someone seems scary to you, @greypilgrim? :slight_smile:

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I guess I don’t have to be worried about it. Thx for the insightful question KMac

I’m not saying your worry is totally unreasonable, @greypilgrim, I was just curious what was unsettling about that story that Richard told. Mainly because I can also find that sort of thing…odd.

I agree with what you said in an earlier post:

God doesn’t usually speak to me in ways like Richard has experienced, but I have plenty of friends who ‘hear’ from God quite often in that manner. And even when my friends tell me these stories, it all seems rather strange and unsettling…because I don’t really understand it. I also find myself feeling rather skeptical when someone says in my presence, ‘God told me ___ .’. I immediately want to know why they think God has given them a message and what the point of them telling me is. Ha!

@Trusel, I really love your answer here:

God saw you at that difficult time and wanted to let you know that He sees you…so much so, that He bothered your brother to confirm it! It wasn’t necessarily about the healing, but about not walking alone through that situation. That’s so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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KMac, I do understand now what you are saying. Thanks for the reply again. =D. I really shouldn’t have said anything, which is why I think you spoke up even though it may be for another reason. I can’t really explain it to you either, I’m sorry. I know 1 and 2 peter helped me a lot. It takes time, a lot of time. There are times I believe where we have to step out in faith, not knowing or understanding. Trusting and not leaning on our understanding. One thing that really helped me was fasting. That sounds legalistic, but sometimes it helps us way more then we could understand.

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Also I would like to add. God knows everything. I’m not going to tell you to be careful KMac, because I don’t believe the bible tells us to. It does tell us to pray about everything. So lets say you do listen to what you think God is saying to you. And you act on it, or you believe it. Even if it’s a really evil spirit, God will use that for your good. Now saying this keep in mind we need to test the spirits. I’m not sure how we do that, but I do know it is okay to test them. 1 John explains a bit more on that. The fact that this bothers you is a really good sign to me that you care and that you desire God to speak to you. That’s exciting. Keep pressing into him and he will give you the desires of your heart =D

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I would again like to add, because I may have said something that is not true. The bible may tell us to be careful. I was referring to a bible verse I recently found. This doesn’t really relate to the subject.

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Thank you. Yes, really I’m just trying to encourage everyone. I never hear from God like this. I was surprised but really should we be surprised? I mean why should we assume God will not at times speak like this as he did in the past ? Are we expecting not to hear and is that a reason we often don’t ?

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I think that last question is spot on. In my case, it’s most likely because most of the time I’m not expecting anything, so I just don’t listen! I hate to admit that, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets busy and allows noise of all kinds to crowd out everything else. :blush:

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Hi everyone
I know for certain when I’m studying the word of God and something I’ve read before or ignored before just draws my attention and is made clearer to me. It’s difficult to explain but on many occasions it’s elicited a « wow » and is all of a sudden deeply meaningful in a way i did not « see » or « hear » before. This is also why in the last couple of years I’ve really been drawn to reading Scripture! The Holy Spirit speaks quite « loud and strong » in my heart and I feel like my heart strings are being tugged or pulled in a very gentle way - but insistently and won’t stop until I’ve paid closer attention and the message hits home.

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The fact is God spoke about something that was going to happen that no one expected To be true and was 100% accurate. There was no contrary message to the scriptures. There was no way anyone would predict or even take the chance of predicting unless God did so. My brother did not ask for it nor did I. This is a true miracle. This way of God speaking to me has only happened once to me that I am aware of. Mostly God speaks in a still small inner voice to me. Thanks for your comments.

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