The basic rule of hearing from God is that He does not disagree with His own word. For people who never crack a Bible this can be a problem. How do they know if the word matches the scriptures?
Clearly they don’t, which means they can also be fooled. But if you are a Bible reader, here is a group of ways for you to examine.
1. Through signs. My friend Jenny was worrying about a problem when she went to the hospital to visit a friend. The sign in big red letters over the bed read as follows: NOTHING BY MOUTH. AH HA – she saw that the answer to her prayer. Very often it is true; we should just be quiet about something; things will work themselves out without our input.
2. Through events. New Orleans had ample warning about the coming Katrina hurricane but they ignored them. Then we watched in horror as the city was inundated. The TV showed a group of rock musicians, dressed in Gothic and grunge, leaving the city, walking to Minnesota. Kinda a long way! They said with tears in their eyes, that this was a sign to them to go home.
3. Through the jumping scripture syndrome. This is a common way to hear from God. You are reading along in the Bible, really not much engaged, and suddenly a verse jumps out at you – or maybe a part of a verse. Suddenly you have the information and revelation you need. Some people search the Bible looking for a verse to speak to them – probably not good. Just let God speak at His own pace or you may find the devil getting his mouth in there.
4. Through weird difficulty. I had a job interview years ago; it was one of three places to work and I had no particular reason to prefer this job over the others. But the minute I sat down for the interview I felt sure I was going to vomit. For 25 minutes I was barely able to hold my breakfast down. In fact I could not concentrate on the interview. I left when it was over and the very second I left the room, all symptoms stopped. Consequently I never considered that employment. That’s was God’s word to me.
5. Through the words of others. One summer my pastor’s wife and I without discussing this with each other or anyone else sent the identical scripture to a man who as searching for God. To this day I believe he thought we had colluded. It was advice he should have taken but didn’t. Very few things are as clear as that.
Now there is the issue of hearing the wrong voice. If your heart is not right, you may get the wrong message. A friend of mine received a pretty birthday card with a pansy on the cover. He was excited and called to say he was sure this meant he was to marry Pansy. Nearly 20 years have gone by and he is not happy in his marriage. Oh well. He wanted it to be Pansy and found an excuse. I am not sympathetic.
How do you verify a word from God? See number 5 above. When something happens twice, there is your confirmation. If you are insecure about a decision- just wait. God will send another voice.
2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Remember the Scripture that says, “A matter becomes clear after two or three witnesses give evidence”?
Most of God’s decisions are possible in plenty of time. If you feel rushed, you might just be walking into the devil’s trap. The exception to this is during an emergency. If you hear him say STOP, do it without delay. He has sent His angels to warn us.