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How Do You Know When God Speaks To You?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
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    On another thread, some of the posters said they "church-hopped" because they believed they were following God's direction.

    So, let's pose some questions?

    Does God speak to you audibly?

    Has He ever?
    How do you know it's God speaking?

    If He doesn't speak audibly, in what ways does God reveal His will to you?

    Is there anything you can do to discern God's will?
  2. beameup

    beameup Member

    May 20, 2011
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    Paul at Mars Hill:
    God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth,
    dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though
    he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
    - Acts 17:24-25
    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
    though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
    - Acts 17:27-28a

    Now, someone in whom we "live and move and have our being" [existence],
    shouldn't be too difficult to communicate with [listen to] don't you think?
    So, what could be the "communication problem"?


    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
    carnal [ego-centric/self-directed], even as unto babies in Christ.
    - 1 Cor 3:1
  3. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Nov 4, 2011
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    These are great questions!!!

    I do not recall but a few times in my life that I was so impressed to respond immediately and in each case it was about life threatening circumstances. Did God speak or was that the direct quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, I do not know.

    I wish this thread were on the other forum and hope all over there will notice it and sound in.

    In my opinion, part of the answer of discovering God's will is found in Romans 12:1-21. These are very specific instruction that every believer needs to remember. But, I have rarely heard any messages from these verses unless someone is working through Romans as a book study. Personally, I would generate a reference to at least one item on this passage in each message just to help the assembly become more and more familiar with the principles taught in it.

    1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
    4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
    5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
    7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;
    8 Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shews mercy, with cheerfulness.
    9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
    10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
    11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
    12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
    13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
    14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
    15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
    16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
    17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
    18 If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.
    19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
    20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
    21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
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    We all agree that God speaks to us through the scriptures.

    What I'm looking for are the mechanics. I'm looking for specific instances where you knew beyond doubt what God wanted you to do or say.

    Preachers, what about your call to preach? How did God communicate that to you?

    In my case, on more than one occasion God has communicated his will to me by either opening a door wide open to a particular direction; or by shutting that door tight, and cutting me off, forcing me to look in another direction.

    Anybody identify with that?

    Did God place within you a strong desire for something--say, a mission trip, accepting a call to move your pastorate, things like that.

    Specifically, several years ago my pastor asked me to go with him on a ten-day mission trip to Romania. I frankly didn't want to go, but put him off with "I'll pray about it."

    In my mind I was thinking of all the reasons I didn't want to go. One by one, God wiped out my objections. It was as if his answers to my objections popped into my mind.
    Once I committed to go (three months hence), suddenly there rose up in me an intense desire to go--right now, I don't want to wait.

    Have you had a particular scripture passage to hit you between the eyes? I did. Before I yielded to go to Romania, I was teaching the SS class. Guess what the main passage was? "The fields are white unto harvest. Pray ye therefor that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers for the harvest."

    Pow, right between the eyes.

    What about some of your experiences?
  5. jimc06

    jimc06 New Member

    Dec 8, 2006
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    Personally, I don't generally hear God's voice audibly, but more often as the "still small voice", that some call an "impression". (John 12:27) But your mileage may vary. This may involve repeated prayer and listening to the Spirit. Also:

    We can seek to hear Him through different times of prayer, about different facets of the issue. For example, speaking through His Word, perhaps through an example.

    We can ask Him to confirm the word that we have heard. (Judges 6:17) This is NOT the same as often asking for a sign, as Jesus condemned of the Pharisees.

    We can see how God answers prayers we have voiced that we believe are in line with His will. (1 John 5:14-15 )

    We can seek council from other mature Christians. (Proverbs 27:17)

    When we believe we have taken a step in accordance with His will, we can ask for Him to confirm it. (John 14:21)

    Once when we felt led to change churches, I sought to confirm God's will because that was a big deal. I experience all of the above, sometimes multiple times. For example, when struggling with the emotions of leaving people we knew and loved, I was reminded of Paul's leaving of Ephesus. (Acts 20:17-38) Following the Spirit's guiding does not always feel good.
  6. Christos doulos

    Christos doulos New Member

    Dec 20, 2011
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    My friend. I have never heard God speak to me audibly, but I hear His voice everyday when I read the bible-His word.

    If a person does claim that they heard an audible voice from God then what God said should line up with scripture. If it doesn't then it is either more revelation outside of scripture or not from God, and if it does line up with scripture then it is from God, but if it is in scripture then why would one need to hear an audible voice from God reiterating what is already in scripture.
    #6 Christos doulos, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2012
  7. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Tom although I think most of us would welcome a literal voice or an angelic appearance, His dealings are usually as scripture says a small still voice. However I would say even this is a much over used excuse by some to convince others to follow them, brag, seem spiritual to themselves and others or to justify their own personal desires.
    That being said yes God does speak to me but it is not always the same. It has never been an audible voice, but there has been a few times that is was so clear that there is little difference.

    By not being always the same I mean that daily I am always aware of Him and His leading me in things like, don't do that, don't say that, get away from that, that is not for you, and so on backed up with reminder of scripture. That which finally convinced me that all about Him was true and finally brought me to repentance and faith was very real, but noting was audible although I did hear Him clearly. Then there is times His dealing with me on a matter is more pronounced or forceful. It is sort of difficult to explain.
    I have had Him in the middle of the night awake me from sleep and I knew I was to hit the floor for prayer as my mind is flooded with nothing but Him and a need to pray. I roll out of bed and pray for what is suddenly on my mind and then go back to bed and right back to sleep as if I was never disturbed from sleep. There are other things, but He never violates His word and has never given new revelation as some claim.

    As to Him speaking audibly to someone I am not going to say He does not. He did it to Paul and Peter, but it has not happened to me. As to how to know Hs will it will always be in agreement with His word.
    #7 freeatlast, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2012
  8. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Most often through circumstances that obviously could not come about through natural means -- that DO NOT violate the Scriptures -- and that lead me in some direction about which I have been in prayer.

    I cannot recall ever hearing some tangible "voice" of God. More like "impressions" and some form of spiritual discernment. Hard to explain except that I (and those who have experienced it) know it when it happens.
  9. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1 New Member

    Oct 14, 2011
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    outside of God communicating to me directly in/by/through by holy Scriptures, the primary time that he 'speaks" to me is by inner prompting of the HS for witnessing to others...

    I will be at gas station/grocery store, at a ball game etc, and right in midst of meeting someone, the Spirit will place heavy conviction inside me, stirring me to share jesus with that person!

    feels like fire burning in me, just knwo at that time God directing me to witness!
  10. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady New Member

    Apr 1, 2011
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    Yes, I've heard his voice...loud and clear. One example is I was so angry one day because some plans I'd made for a banquet at church were overridden and I hadn't been consulted. I was walking down the hallway in our home towards the bedroom muttering and grumbling to myself (I do that a lot) and God said..."Things don't ALWAYS have to be YOUR way." Stopped me dead in my tracks. (Now this wasn't OUT LOUD as in my ears heard him, but it was certainly loud and clear and I knew it was God speaking to me.)

    Sometimes it's a still, small voice. Sometimes it's scripture. Sometimes it's something I'm reading (right now I'm reading The Resolution for Women and whew...I'm getting very strong messages there), sometimes it's an answer to prayer. One Saturday night I still did not have a lesson for Sunday morning (that doesn't happen often, but once in a while) and I was praying, asking God what he'd have me do. Suddenly God said, "Calgon, take me away." I was totally confused, but got up, wrote it down and in about 10 minutes I had an entire lesson, scriptures and all. I was then able to go to bed and sleep soundly.

    I've been writing in my prayer journal and God will say something in answer to what I am writing.

    I believe scripture covers this question in James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
  11. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

    Dec 30, 2000
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    Yes. Not audibly, but yes.

    It has only happened three times where it was direct communication. All I can say is there was absolutely no doubt and it was not about anything trivial.

    The only time where His will was actually revealed was when I had prayed for direction over where I was supposed to be concerning a church in a new state. I don't know how to explain it except I walked in the door, had no idea what they believed or what their doctrine was, and I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that I was home. It wasn't a joyful experience, it was rather scary because I had no clue why it was home, whether or not they were snake handlers or what and if they were, what was His purpose in having me there?

    My other experiences were not guidance. The one that remains most prevalent was when I was alone in the car, parked, and praying for a sign. It turned into an argument type thing and I was literally shut up and unable to speak. It happened as such a natural feeling that at the time, the fullness of it didn't strike me until after. It was as if I became part of something bigger than this rinky dink spot in the universe, something that's there and we don't, under other circumstances, have the privilege of knowing and that's really good because I think it could very well drive us insane if we understood it in the natural body, but the reason for it was that I was stupid enough to argue with my Creator and He chose to show me who I was in the big scheme of things, and who I am in the bigger picture is someone with no right to demand anything, let alone some type of extraordinary sign when we have them all around us. It was a very calming, peaceful lesson. When we are disciplined in that way, it is NOT scary or horrible, it is a realization that HE is all powerful and in control. That is a beautiful to know.

    Yes. Read our Bibles. We've already been told about everything we need to know. We have brains that we are expected to use for the minor stuff like what socks to wear or what job to take, though praying on things we're unsure of is still a good idea. However, if we look to the Bible, we'll see that HE has already spoken on about any subject there is. Is it good? Does it honor Christ? Does the Bible say to do it?
    I do have to just shake my head sometimes when someone does something like pray over whether or not to help someone in obvious need. REALLY? Isn't that question already answered? I remember a number of years ago, I was driving with the instructor of a class and we passed a woman laying on the side of the road with family around her. He actually asked if we should stop, since it would make us late to the class. Just looked at him and said "What would Jesus do?" We stopped. They were waiting for an ambulance and were okay, but it still makes me wonder about the state of people's hearts when they can't figure out the basics that are so plainly spelled out for us already.