Am I Listening To God, Self Or Another’s? Discerning the Voice of God

Who are you listening to when it comes to the voices in your head? Is it God’s voice or your own? These are the only voices that we should be hearing.

Sadly, there is a third voice and he’s not one to be listening to. I would like to offer some ideas for distinguishing these voices.

Though my focus is the Body of Christ, I am aware that non-Christians may choose to read this blog post. If so, I would like to invite you to keep reading. I believe this article will be of value to you, too.

Let’s start with the basics. According to John 10:27, Jesus compared his followers to sheep and that he is the Good Shepherd. Like the sheep in the photo, we’d learn to listen to the Good Shepherd’s voice and no other.

Did you notice that I said, “learn”? I watched a couple of YouTube videos on this topic. One video made it clear that the sheep had to learn to recognize the shepherd’s voice. They were not going to respond to just any voice. It becomes easier as they get to know the shepherd. The same principle applies to Jesus.

How does God speak to human beings? Believe it or not, it is not always with a loud booming voice. It can be through a still quiet voice, as illustrated in 1 King 19:11-13. It can be through a subtle prompting, dreams, and visions, Sometimes, it through people or we perceive it in our spirit.

Don’t you have to be a special person or a holy man to hear God? No, you do not have to be a special person or from a certain family lineage. You don’t have to be especially good, either. God the Father wants to talk with you and help you with your struggles. It’s all because of Jesus and what he did on the Cross.

Did you read the verse in the photo? It’s true and you’re included. I want to encourage you to begin a dialog with Jesus. You can begin with a simple request. “Please help me to understand who you are, Jesus. Please help me to believe.”

Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus to become your LORD and accepted the free gift of salvation. By doing so, you will become sons and daughters of God, the Father. Check out Romans 10:8-11 and join the family.

As per John 3:16-18, Jesus did not come to condemn everyone to Hell. It’s quite the opposite; God, the Father sent Jesus to save all of humanity. According to 2 Peter 3:9, it is not the Father’s will that any should perish. He desires that all should turn towards him and be saved. The issue of sin and repentance is between you and God.; not me.

Why am I bothering with the above insights, if I am targeting a Christian audience? When I was a young man, I had no idea that God, the Father enjoyed having a conversation with me or that he delighted to talk with a nobody like me.

Though I believed in God, I had no idea of God, the Father caring about a poor disabled kid growing up in New Jersey. I suspect that I’m not the only one unaware of the actual truth. Guess what? God, the Father does care about ordinary people like you and me.

So, God wants to talk to me. How do I go about hearing his voice? First, it requires an attitude of humility, and a willingness to listen.

Secondly, it would help to know God’s character. The best starting point is to read about Jesus.

Why Jesus? What does this have to do with listening to God’s voice? It can be best-summed p in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Here’s what Colossians 1:13-16:

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Are you struggling with this idea of Jesus being the perfect image of the invisible God? Don’t panic. Take the time to read through the four gospels and learn about Jesus. Take note of how he’s responding and ask God, some questions.

As you come to know the characteristics of Jesus, it will become easier to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. One of the many challenges of writing is the tone of voice. It is especially more difficult when it comes to a foreign culture, different language and time period.

Here is a simple idea. Ask God for help? How did Jesus say that? It may surprise you to discover that Jesus spoke with tenderness to sinners. You may be surprised to hear a gentle but firm tone when speaking to the disciples. He challenged them, yet Jesus was not harsh towards them.

It was only the religious leaders that Jesus confronted. It was because of the hardness of heart and unwillingness to hear or believe that Jesus rebuked them.

After you’re done reading the four gospels, it would be a good idea to read the various letters and the Book of Acts. The Word of God is crucial to learning how God speaks to His children. Why is this important?

There are three main voices that one can hear in their minds. The first voice is our own voice. It is our day to day analytical voice. The harshness or gentleness is often influenced by our upbringing. It is also influenced by the likes that we believe about ourselves.

Such a voice is going to stand in sharp contrast to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit came to help us in our weakness; not condemn us. Even if the Spirit confronts us, it is in the voice of an encourager.

The third voice belongs to the accuser of the brethren. Are you hearing an accusing voice that’s full of condemnations? Is the voice critical, full of judgment and quick to remind you of your failures?

If so, it is a voice that you don’t want in your head. Sadly, he will masquerade as your own voice or the voice of other people. Nevertheless, the devil has some very unmistakable characteristics. For he came to steal, kill and destroy.

If you belong to Christ Jesus, then you have the authority to tell the accuser to “shut up and leave”. If not, you can ask Jesus to help you in evicting this clown from your head. You don’t have to be a prisoner of the Adversary’s machination!

I would like to encourage you to sit down and talk with God about what you read. Don’t be afraid to ask questions related to your doubts, fears or whatever is confronting you.

Did I cover everything? Not by a long shot! I just gave the beginning part. I did not go into detail on how God can speak through the Word of God, a still quiet voice, other believers and our circumstances. There are books that can go into greater detail than I.

Yes, I do believe that God can speak through the Scriptures and God is not limited to it. His Spirit is quite capable of speaking into our lives and impart wisdom. I’ve certainly felt God’s presence and heard the still quiet voice in my heart.

God has also used people to speak into my life. I need to give a caution about this! Some people were definitely used by God. However, some people were not sent by God, the Father. How can I be certain? You can ask Jesus if the message is true.

Sometimes, it will be something the Spirit has already told you. If it doesn’t sound right then ask the Holy Spirit to help you. You can trust the Spirit to let you know. It’s also worth mentioning that the Spirit will NEVER contradict the Word of God.

Again, I will encourage you to seek God and talk with Jesus about what your reading. Let the Holy Spirit be your Teacher. –


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