Isaiah 40:11 "Like a Shepard, He will tend to His flock, in His arm he will gather the flock and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes."
TAKING THOUGHTS CAPTIVE: 2nd Corinthians 10:5 says that, "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." This is not an easy task especially with all of the modern technological distractions that exist today. We must rely upon the Lord to helps us learn to take our thoughts captive and focus upon Him.
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK AS WE EXAMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE HEARING GOD.
1. Are the promptings confusing or vague (unclear). Do I really understand what God is asking me to do?
2. Do the thoughts go against God's Word? God does not contradict Himself. See what the Bible says about this particular situation.
3. Will the promptings lead to sin? Galatians 5:24 "Those who 'keep in step with the Spirit' have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
HOW TO KNOW THAT IT IS ACTUALLY GOD SPEAKING TO US:
1. Read God's Word: God speaks to us most commonly through His Word, the Bible. Now of course anyone can read the Bible and learn good things. But, in order to truly experience all of the great treasures that God offers in His Word, you need the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes the Bible come ALIVE! John 17:17 explains to us that it is through God's Word that we are sanctified and that the Word is Truth and the Word is Light for our path (Psalm 119:105). We must study God's Word; it is the primary way God speaks to us. reading the Bible is how we learn about God's character, His will, His Son. It reveals Jesus and His life, it explains the Holy Spirit. The Bible is filled with incredible stories of people and their struggles. Everyone of us can relate to some or many of God's characters in the the Bible. 2nd Timothy 3:16 tells that all Scripture is "breathed by God" and is His guide for our righteous lives.
2. We hear God through Prayer: If we are confused about whether or not we are hearing from God, it is good to pray for wisdom. James 1:5 tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault , and it will be given to you."
When we pray to God, He does hear all of our prayers. Whether or not He answers them, depends upon His will and His will for us. Some say that God answers prayers in 3 ways: "Yes, No, and Wait." I believe that His most popular answer is wait or be patient. We must remember that God's answers come at His perfect timing in accordance to His will. While it may seem like God is silent or ignoring you, rest assured that behind the scenes everything is working in perfect harmony for the greater good. Furthermore, God may answer your prayers that you may not even realize. Eventually, your blessings to your prayers will be revealed and you will be in awe of just how great God is!
As we grow spiritually. we realize that God is all-knowing when it comes to the desires of our hearts. When we are immature spiritually, we pray selfish prayers and believe you me I was the king of selfish prayers. As we grow in Christ, The Holy Spirit guides and intercedes for us and our prayers become less self-centered and more gracious. We begin to pray for others in sickness, forgiveness of others, and blessings for others. We even pray for our enemies which is truly a miracle in itself!
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is our direct connection with God. He is our intercessor or "go-between" during prayer. The Holy Spirit prays on our behalf and He is our guide. The Holy spirit will never lead us to gratify the sinful desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16); only Satan does that. The Holy Spirit leads us to sanctification (holiness). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is part of the armor that God gives arms us with to help us defend against the day to day attacks of the deceiver. So have peace in the fact that God has given a protector, guide, and intercessory to lead us everyday. The Holy Spirit shows us God's will for us and that is GREAT NEWS!
4-6 GOD ALSO SPEAKS THROUGH...
4. Of course God speaks directly to us in a loving and gentle whisper.
Now I say that because that is how I have experienced God's voice. It may be different for you and this is perfectly okay. But when God speaks, you will have no doubt and he will encourage you with love to follow His will.
5. God speaks to us by bring certain people in our lives.
Someone may come into our lives for a short period of time or season. God may send us someone who stays in our lives for a long time. You always want to surround yourself with people that will add to your life and not subtract from it. Whomever God puts in your life, show them your light and watch the miracles happen!
6. GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS MIRACLES:
God is the Creator of our Universe and He has performed miracles throughout History. Just a few examples that I can think of off the top of my head are:
Jesus coming to earth, performing miracles and healing the sick. The Son dying on the Cross for us; babies being born, rainbows, etc. You get the picture. How awesome is this communication from God. Actions speak louder than words in these cases.