By Aretha Grant, Crosswalk.com
“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:5)
When I was a new Christian, hearing and knowing God’s voice were the two things I struggled the most with. How could I know whether I was hearing from God when I didn’t know His voice? How could I be sure the Lord was speaking to me while reading Scripture, listening to a sermon, or going to Sunday school or a Bible study lesson? I was so afraid of missing God’s instructions, warning, and encouragement that I often found myself paralyzed by doubt.
As I began studying the Bible, I learned how God’s voice matched the Scriptures. Thus, if I wanted to know what God had to say on a particular topic, I only had to know what the Bible said on that topic. If I heard a voice and was unsure whether or not that voice was the Lord’s, the Bible would confirm whether it was Him.
God’s voice will never contradict the Bible. If the voice you’re hearing is encouraging you to take Scripture out of context to make it fit your situation, the voice isn’t God.
We can grow to learn and discern God’s voice by studying the Holy Scriptures, praying, and asking God to teach us.
To help us more correctly discern His voice, here are ten things God’s voice will never say to us.
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1. God’s voice will never deny Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
As sure as we are that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, that He is God’s Son, and that salvation comes only through belief in Him, many others are convinced otherwise. There are voices in the world, trying to convince Christians that Jesus is not the only way to God and heaven. Rest assured, any voice that tells you there are other avenues to God isn’t from the Lord. Thus, God will never ask you to place your faith in another savior.
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2. God’s voice will never demean nor demoralize you.
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10)
God will convict believers. God will rebuke and reprove us. He will even chastise us. However, He will never demean nor demoralize His children. He will never put you down, nor will He intentionally hurt you. God loves us, and He pours that love upon us as a loving father would. Any voice that demeans you isn’t of God.
Related: Listen to Episode 4 of The Bible Never Said That Podcast: (The Bible Never Said) God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
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3. God’s voice will never instruct you to sin.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
God’s voice won’t entice you to sin. He won’t tell you it’s ok to live a sinful lifestyle. If you’re hearing a voice encouraging you to commit sin, rest assured that voice doesn’t belong to our Father. For example, the Bible tells us to honor our parents, not to fornicate, and not to lie to one another. If you believe God is telling you to dishonor your parents, that it’s ok to fornicate, and to lie to someone, rest assured, those instructions aren’t being spoken to you from the heart of God.
RELATED RESOURCE: Listen to our FREE podcast, The Bible Never Said That! In this podcast, we unpack some of the most popular "spiritual statements" that have made their way into popular culture and the church, even though they are not theologically sound. Together, we'll hold them up to the Bible to see what God's Word really has to say to us. All of our episodes are available at LifeAudio.com.
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4. God’s voice will never cause division between brethren.
“A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:19)
Our Father is a God of love and unity. God hates division or discord. He doesn’t want His children to live in disunity. He wants us to love one another, work together in ministry, and be a family. He wants us to get along. He encourages us to live in peace toward one another. Any voice encouraging division within the body of Christ isn’t God.
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5. God’s voice will never tell you to hate someone (their sin, yes, but not them).
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
God won’t tell you to hate someone because the Bible tells us to love our enemies as well as our neighbors. Thus, if you’re hearing a voice encouraging you to hate, you can rest assured that voice doesn’t belong to the Lord.
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6. God’s voice will never say someone can’t be saved.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Salvation is God’s will for all mankind, the Muslim, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, etc. God wants everyone to come into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He wants all of us to spend eternity in heaven with Him. Thus, God’s voice won’t tell you someone can’t be saved. We should continue to pray for our unsaved family, friends, strangers, and even our enemies.
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7. God’s voice will never tell you to doubt His will, His Word, or His way.
“But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:6-7)
Doubt never comes from God. Remember, when the serpent asked Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Satan uses the same tactic on us today. He wants us to question God’s instructions. He wants us to doubt the Lord and disobey His voice. God’s voice won’t tell us to doubt Him. Doubt is not a sin. What matters is how you respond to doubt. Indeed, God’s voice will encourage us to trust in the Lord at all times.
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8. God’s voice will never tell you to fear demons.
God will never tell Christians to fear demons. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that we should fear God. God alone deserves our reverence and awe. Christians who are walking in the will of God don’t have any reason to be afraid of demons, and so any voice that encourages us to be fearful of demons isn’t coming from the heart of God.
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9. God’s voice will never tell you to disobey godly authority.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)
We may not like nor enjoy godly authority, but we should obey it nonetheless. The key here is the word “godly.” Whether that authority is your spouse, your employer, or church leadership, we should obey. God won’t tell you to ignore your spouse, employer, or church leadership unless they require you to do something illegal, immoral, or sinful.
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10. God’s voice will never tell you that He doesn’t love you.
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)
For many years, I struggled with the knowledge that God loved me. I couldn’t understand how a holy and just God could love a wretch like me. I was convinced there was something I had to do to earn His love, and it seemed like every time I thought I was earning His love, the bar was raised, and I worked harder to win His love. I soon realized I believed Satan’s lies. God loves us, despite our flaws, weaknesses, and even our sin. God loves us through it all. Any voice telling you that God doesn’t love you is a lying voice. That voice doesn’t belong to God.
God is calling His children into a relationship with Himself. We have an open invitation to commune with Him. Thus, it is to our advantage that we learn to discern His voice. Continue studying the Bible and praying. God will speak with you, and you will learn His voice.
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