Our pastor is doing a sermon series titled "Questions and Answers". He has asked the congregation to e-mail him questions we've had and he's going to search the Bible and give us the answers over the next few weeks. Yesterday was "Part I" of the series.
He tackled a couple of different questions, but my favorite was the last one, "If you are going in a direction that you think God wants you to go and encounter an obstacle, how do you know if God wants you to overcome the obstacle or He is using the obstacle to change your direction?"
Now as a side note, I must say at this point that I do "hear God speak to me". But what I mean by this isn't that I can audibly hear His voice. I wish. It isn't that easy. What I mean is that He speaks to me through His Word (the Bible), through others, through thoughts... But trying to figure out when it is HIM and when it is ME is sometimes a challenge!
He then preached on "Five Keys to Hearing from God: How to Identify the Voice of God". Here are his 5 points:
1. God's voice is consistent with His Word (the Bible). (Psalm 119:105) He will never lead me to do something that isn't in line with His written word. So what does this tell me? I must know His Word to discern His voice.
2. God's voice will conflict with human wisdom. (Matthew 5:38-48) His will doesn't always make sense. Sometimes he wants me to do something, in faith that He will provide along the way.
3. God's voice will clash with your fleshly nature. (Galatians 5:19-24) What He wants isn't always what I WANT. The way He wants me to be isn't the way I'll naturally be.
4. God's voice will challenge your faith. (Hebrews 11:6) He is constantly trying to grow me. His desires won't always be easy for me.
5. God's voice often demands courage. (Joshua 1) That is why it is called faith. I must trust in Him to do it. This definitely takes courage!
Are you faced with a decision?
I suggest you seek after Him before making your decision.
Then "listen" for His answer.