Now that we know we can hear God's voice, we need to be alerted to the fact that there are other voices whispering into our ears as well. In fact, there are three voices that we can hear -- the voice of God, the voice of our own fleshly desires, and the voice of the Devil. But Jesus tells us in John 10:4- 5, "...and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."

The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ear to recognize the voice of God above all the noise. "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). It is by practicing, by reason of use, that we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, or the Devil.

Isaiah 30:21 says, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left."

So God will speak, and you can hear His voice, but you must be careful -- especially when you are a young Christian -- that you objectively confirm that you are following the Holy Spirit and not another voice. Our own flesh can scream pretty loud (especially when we are under pressure, or we want something very badly). And the Devil is the father of lies -- he is the great deceiver.

So how can we know whether we're hearing the voice of God? The Bible gives us seven basic keys or filters through which every possible leading should be judged. We are to carefully examine the thoughts and intentions of our hearts -- and the words of godly people who may have influence on us by their words and actions -- through the use of these seven keys:

  • Scripture: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
  • The Holy Spirit speaking to our heart: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, 'know the Lord,' for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them" (Hebrews 8:10-11).
  • The Prophetic (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy): "Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:19-21).
  • Godly counsel: "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). 
  • Confirmation: "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed" (Matthew 18:16). 
  • The peace of God: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Colossians 3:15). 
  • Circumstances/Timing: "After these things he (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers" (Acts 18:1-3 -- this relationship between Paul, Aquila and Priscilla -- which happened as a result of circumstances -- became one of the most important strategic partnerships in the book of Acts).

Many times the Lord will confirm His direction to us through three, four or more of these keys -- especially when we are in the process of making an important, life-changing decision.

The bottom line, as Pat Robertson has said for years, is that big decisions take big prayer. In other words, as we humble ourselves before the Lord, seek His guidance in our lives, the Good Shepherd will be faithful to lead us, "…in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Psalm 23:3).

 Because God loves us and wants us to relate to Him, He has given us these clear principles in the Bible to guide us.

The New Testament talks of the early disciples -- people like Paul, Aquila and Priscilla -- as people who heard the voice of God. My friend who wrote the e-mail will be happy to know that this was the report made of them:

"These who have turned the world upside down have come here too" (Acts 17:6).

Yes, my friend, you can hear and know the voice of God. And because of this the world is changing -- more than perhaps you've heard.

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  • The voice of God is so audible and concrete it's like a stirring deep within that you must obey. You will have peace about a situation if it's from God and it lines up with his word.

  • Grace, I agree we should all apply the principle of Good d in our daily lives.
  • What stuck out most to me in this article is the point about not quenching the Holy Spirit. I believe we must be very careful not to cross that line. We must always be peaceful and conscience of what we say and due in the presence of God.
  • I like the seven keys because it will enable to know whether or not if it is God speaking , I will apply these to my life. Sometimes I struggle with is it God or is it my flesh, or the enemy. This is really good, because we need this because sometimes I have not heard right

  • Having a relationship with God will help you discern between Him and the other voices you may hear.  The word says that His sheep knows his voice.  If you we are in tune with God, we would be able to identify Him speaking in any of the keys mentioned.  

  • Children of God know his voice, therefore they will not follow a stranger. God is confirmed through his word.

  • Hearing and knowing the voice of God is very important for your relationship with Him. There are those who here voices and swear it is of God but what they hear is contrary to the principles of God.

  • So grateful He brings clarity out of the mouths of three witnesses. I enjoy hearing what Our Father my Daddy has to say right here n right now. God is always speaking. N I'm so grateful that I'm learning more n more how to listen even the intently. To be in sync n in timing with The Holy Spirit leading n guiding me along the way! Wisdom Knowledge n Personal Prophesy i desire to be so filled with this understanding n allow God to fine tune me as a instrument fit for the Master's use!  ;)

  • There are three voices we can hear: 1) God 2)Self 3) Devil.  We must nurture ourselves with spiritual food.  By practicing, by reason of use, we are able to discern what is of God, flesh & devil.  In order, for us to know we are hearing from God, by SCRIPTURE which is instructions given in righteousness in the spirit of God. THE HOLY SPIRIT will speak to our hearts through putting his laws, our minds, and He will be our God, and We will be His People. He can speak to through PROPHETIC which means word of knowledge, wisdom, and personal prophecy. GODLY COUNSEL counsel sent by God, CONFIRMATION  which the confirming of two or more in agreement of the word of God.  THE PEACE GOD will rule in our hearts and to which in deed we were called in one body of Christ. Last be certainly not least. CIRCUMSTANCES/TIMING, God will allow us to go through circumstances & situations for us to learn from our own experiences.

  • Praise our Father, Sis you are so right. In the pass I would act out the first instincts, I feel and because I didn't pray and ask the Holy Spirit I find myself upset because of the bad choices I'd made. For instinct A thought comes in my mine to take a trip and go a certain way, then another thought would say no go another way it will be faster to get there and I would be in a rush to get there, so I would talk to myself now knowing I would be asking for directions, the 1st thought say go this way because I know that way and it will be faster. Then this uncertain feeling comes in my mind saying no don't go that way. So I may be running a little late I be talking to myself (now I know it's was a short prayer)which way I should go, I feel a calm and a clear thought comes to mind saying to me go the long way. So if I still feel confuse and stop and really pray with faith the Holy Spirit make it so plain which way to go. So I went the long way. Then later I find out that if I had went the way that sounds good but had a deep feelings of uncertainty something  bad  had happen. I thank my Father for this lesson because it's conformation that no matter what I should ask ELOHEM my DADDY for guidance in all my decisions, Psalm119:105. So what sounds good or sounds right may not always be. Agape!   
    Renee Fairley said:

    The voice of God will never lead you astray. It will line up with the word of God. Pray about everything and He will give you the answer with confirmation.
    1 John 4 (esv) "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."
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