In my last blog I shared 4 pointers on getting started with hearing God’s voice. The last pointer was to test what we hear. So, how do we test?
• First, does it line up with the Bible? God will not contradict his own word.
• Is it loving toward God and people? Jesus said following those two love commandments would clarify everything else.
• Is it wise? Proverbs 11:14 points out the difference between plunging ahead without guidance or seeking a broad cross section of advice. Ask questions of godly, trustworthy people. God loves to work communally. I think he sometimes deliberately gives us only part of the puzzle so we will have to get the rest from others.
• Ask God for confirmation. If we aren’t sure, we can ask. Often, he will send the same message from several different sources.
Let me tell you a story to illustrate.
When we were praying about whether to start the adoption process for Pedro, I felt that God said “He is the first fruits of your inheritance.” Years before that I had claimed the promise of Psalm 2:8, “Ask of me and I will give the nations as your inheritance.,” so it lined up with Scripture. My family was also in favour. I asked God for confirmation and started looking for more information.
One other family had adopted from the same Children’s Centre in Mozambique. We were going to a service in another city so I asked to meet them but they weren’t available. However, while we were at the service, they sang a new song. I didn’t know the words and closed my eyes to appreciate it. When they reached the chorus they sang, “You said, ‘ask of me and I will give the nations as your inheritance.’” My eyes popped open in surprise. There, coming down the aisle in front of me, was a white woman holding a Mozambican child. That family had been able to come after all.
That sounds like it would have been enough. However, it was a life-changing decision and I thought it could have been a coincidence . . . so I said to God, “Please don’t be mad, but if it is really from you, could you please say it just one more time.”
Not long afterward, I was in church when a visiting missionary came to speak. As he told some of what God had done, he said he was so amazed by asked God why he was using their little mission in this way. Then that preacher looked out over the audience and said, “And this was God’s answer . . . ‘Ask of me and I will give the nations as your inheritance.’
That was a big decision and God’s answer was more dramatic than most times. However, I have seen that pattern over and over. God will say the same thing more than once if we ask for confirmation, and if we are already committed to following through on whatever he says.
Let’s go on an adventure with God.