HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD Part 4 (2) How To Know God’s Leading
By Ps. Jerry
TEST 3: IS THERE ANY CONFIRMATION IN DREAMS OR VISIONS? When making a major decision in life you would want to hear God’s voice. He can confirm what He has told you through dreams and visions, and He will continue to confirm it until you are sure. Once He knows you are 100% sure, He will stop confirming. That is how loving and gracious He is. He will also bring people into your life to confirm what He has spoken.
TEST 4: IS YOUR EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, TALENTS, ABILITIES AND EDUCATION CONSISTENT WITH WHAT GOD HAS TOLD YOU TO DO? Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God has a specific purpose and plan for your life when He made you. Therefore, He has given you enough to shape you for what He has called you to do. If you cannot count, God will not ask you to be an accountant! If you cannot speak well, afraid of speaking publicly, or you’re not good in languages etc., it is unlikely that He will call you to be a lawyer or a politician. It applies to ministries in the church as well. If you enjoy being with young people or children, then most probably God will lead you to join the Royal Rangers or the Sunday School teachers. Look at your training and gifting as a whole and assess them honestly. Your S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences) generally determines God’s will for your life and your calling. Eph 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Your shape reveals your purpose.
TEST 5: IS IT WITHIN YOUR JURISDICTION AND JOB FUNCTION? God will speak to you about matters within your jurisdiction. If you are a father, the Lord will speak to you about matters regarding your own family and not another person’s family. Someone else is in charge there. In Matthew 2:13, the angel of God was sent to Joseph the father of the house, telling him to flee to Egypt because Herod was seeking to kill Jesus, not Mary or anyone else. Before a famine fell upon Egypt, God gave Pharaoh a dream regarding the coming disaster and not anyone else because he was in charge. It was his responsibility to look after his people confirming again that all authority is appointed by God. Note particularly that the dream was not given to Joseph even though he was the chosen one of God and the one who interpreted it. It was the same with Nebuchadnezzar. If it is not your jurisdiction, it is highly unlikely that God has spoken to you about it. God will not tell you to lead or do something without first telling and confirming with the person in charge in that area. God will speak to the authority he appointed. A good example is that of a pilot on a plane. If the control tower has a problem, the plane cannot land. The control tower will not call a passenger or stewardess and tell them. The pilot is in charge, it is his jurisdiction. The pilot will be told first. It is the same with God
There are two exceptions to this test – that is, when there is a prophet of God (NOT a false prophet). For example, Nathan spoke to David about his private life though David was in charge and had jurisdiction. If the word comes through a prophet of God, then take it and check it against the other tests. If it is in alignment, then you know it is of God.
God also speaks through spiritual leaders that He has placed above you. For example, God can speak through your pastor because he has the responsibility to watch over your soul. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit (NLT). God will speak to pastors whom He has placed over you because they are in charge and have jurisdiction.
Sometimes when God deals with others differently, we think we are entitled to know why Jesus did so even though it is not within our jurisdiction. A good example is when Jesus told Peter that he would die, Peter asked Jesus how about John. Jesus answered in John 21:22 “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” – God’s answer is the same today, if it is not within your jurisdiction, it is none of your business! Remember this as the W.I.T.T.Y principle – What Is That To You? God will not tell you something that is NOT within your jurisdiction.
TEST 6: DOES THE VOICE OR IMPRESSION CONDEMN OR CONVICT YOU? God voice always edifies, exhorts, encourages, corrects in love. The devil will always attack the person’s character or value – using words like you are useless, you are hopeless, etc. God never does that. He always corrects and convicts you of the sin, not your personhood. He attacks the sin, telling you what you have done is wrong, what you should have done, but God will never condemn you as a person. He wants to develop your character. If the voice is condemning you, accusing you, making you feel small and making you want to run away from God, with questions like “What’s the point going to church, you just sinned the other day – don’t be a hypocrite!” this is NOT God, it is of the devil. Do not give him your ear, do not let him speak into your life. God’s voice will never be one of condemnation because Romans 8:1 says clearly, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. What is the difference between conviction and condemnation? When God convicts, He addresses a particular incident and corrects us and tells us this needs to change. On the other hand, condemnation comes from the devil and it is always accusatory, motivated by his hatred for you and God – it will give you an overall feeling like: “I’m a jerk, I’m useless, why did I do that? I’m never going to change”. Any time you feel this way, you know this is never God’s voice – God will point out your sin but God never attacks your value, HE loves you.
TEST 7: DO THE AUTHORITIES GOD PLACED IN YOUR LIFE AGREE WITH THE WORD/IMPRESSION YOU HAVE RECEIVED? These authorities are your biological father, spiritual father and marketplace father. If they are in agreement, then you can be sure that you have heard from God. With their blessings, you will live a powerful and victorious life because you are under their covering and blessing. You can also ask people who pray for you. People who pray for you regularly tend to have some insights regarding the issues you are facing and they can assist in sharing with what God is doing or saying to you about a situation.
TEST 8: DO YOU HAVE A SUPERNATURAL CONFIRMATION? This test is important because we are following a supernatural God. When God directs, God provides. God always pays for what HE orders. A personal example – When God first told me to go to Melbourne, I was doubtful that I heard from Him. But God confirmed HIS direction in so many ways. God spoke my wife too. God gave me dreams about Melbourne. Then we met Rev. Ronald Ooi that very same time who told us that he and his wife would be moving to Melbourne and would help us any way they could – they just got their PR and were about to move to Melbourne. Soon after that, while on an unexpected working assignment in Singapore I bumped into a friend, Sally whom I had not seen in 15 years. She happened to be in Singapore to help her daughter enroll into a university there and she now lived in Melbourne! She later organized everything for us. So, knowing it was God’s voice, I went to Melbourne in faith. There everything fell into place so nicely. We managed to get a brand-new apartment at the developer’s price, 4 years after their launch. There was supernatural provision, support, sponsorship, a place to meet etc. Even items and food for the homeless was fully sponsored. It was supernatural. God will do the same for you if it is God who has spoken to you.
TEST 9: DO YOU HAVE THE PEACE OF GOD IN YOUR HEART? God will give you HIS peace to confirm that it is HIM, HIS leading. I would not take up a case if I did not experience God’s peace in my heart. In the Good News Translation Colossians 3:15 reads, The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make for it is to this peace that God has called you together in one body and be thankful. If it is of God, you will have peace in your heart. This peace would generally also be present for those who are involved and affected by your decisions, like your spouse and children. God will give you and them peace if it is from HIM.
TEST 10: IS IT IN ORDER AND HARMONY WITH EVERYTHING ELSE: ALL THE TESTS? God is a God of order, design, plan and objectivity. HE will not cause you to contradict yourself or your life’s journey. HE is a God of order, not chaos. If it is God’s voice you are hearing, then it will be in unison and alignment with all that God has been and is doing in your life. God will not say one thing to one person and something else to another about a particular situation. This is especially true in the family context between husband and wife, God will say the same thing to the husband and wife. In the church too, God will not say one thing to the prophet, another to pastors, another to board members and something else to the elders. The Lord wants everyone who seeks and serve Him to act in tandem according to His purpose and in unity. If everyone is seeking the Lord and hearing the voice of God, then all will receive the same instruction and will be moving in the same direction.
FINALLY, ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT: If God is speaking, you will find that when you check what you heard against each and every one of the tests above, it will all point in the same direction. God is able to do so and more. Only then do you move, knowing you heard God and are on solid ground. You will be able to stand firm on the decision you made and not be shaken when you encounter difficulties because you definitely heard the voice of God.