This post is going to be biblically based, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something for non-believers. Everyone is looking for answers, trying to navigate through this crazy life, and so often it’s so hard to determine where to go. As a Christian, I look to God for answers, but he doesn’t necessarily speak to me in the literal sense. I’ve actually never heard that still voice that many others have, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t speaking to me. I’ve found several different ways to determine if God is speaking to you or if it’s your own desires or even the Devil.
The most used way God speaks to us is through His written word. If there’s ever something you want to do or feel God is calling you to do, the first step is looking into His word. If anything is against His word, chances are He isn’t the one speaking to you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good. work. God isn’t going to lead you down a path that’s against His word and the laws He’s put in place.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
The tricky thing about Scripture is that you really need to know it. “The Devil knows God exists. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”- James 2:19. Not only does he know God exists, he knows the Bible and he twists the words around. Matthew 4:1-11 tells how the Devil used Psalm 91:11-12 to test Jesus while He was in the desert. Of course Jesus knew how tricky Satan is and quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 back to him. The point is, don’t know random scriptures, know the surrounding scriptures, know the circumstances, be on guard against Satan.
I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty dense, especially if I have my mind set on something. If I’m sure about something there is no way anyone is changing my mind. I think that’s true for most of us. And God knows that. Most of us have heard that poem ‘Footprints’, right? At the end of the poem it says, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.” There’s a comic that goes on to add, “That long groove over there is where I dragged you for a while.” It makes me laugh, but it’s so true. God won’t give up on us and if He has a plan for us, He will keep showing it to us until we get the hint. Jonah was a prophet that was told to go to Nineveh to tell the people to repent. Jonah wanted nothing to do with that plan and decided to run to Tarshish, the complete opposite direction where God told him to go. Long story short, God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, to save his life from the storm. After three days and three nights in the fish, it spit Jonah out. At this point God told Jonah again to go to Nineveh. I think that was at least the third time God told him to go. The first time, surviving in the fish, and then that last time. God won’t tell you once to go, He will repeat His plans so there’s no doubt that’s what He wants.
One of the best times to hear God’s voice is during those moments of prayer and solitude. I’d been heartbroken one evening and I didn’t know what to do about a particular situation. I had a long drive ahead of me and I was going to listen to my music as loud as possible and scream and curse. But for some reason, my music wouldn’t work. I could not for the life of me get my music to play and I was not about to listen to the radio. I needed my playlist. So I put the music down and turned to prayer. In the silence (except for my desperate crying), I found a peace I hadn’t felt before and with that came the knowledge of what I had to do. I didn’t hear His voice, but I could clearly see what He had planned and if I hadn’t allowed myself to go to prayer, I wouldn’t have found the answers I needed. In case anyone cares, I did try my music again and it was miraculously working.
Desire Continues to Grow
A lot of times when I have an idea, it’s pretty hot for a while but it eventually kind of dwindles over time and I don’t feel as excited about it. If it’s something God has planned for me, that isn’t the case. My desire grows and grows, plans are formed, time (and perhaps money) is spent on it, and it becomes real.
God rarely asks us to do something within our comfort zones. It usually requires faith and trust, a need for change, or even a risk. In Jonah’s case, God asked him to do something he hated. God wants us to grow as we do His will, so it’s unlikely that He will ask us to do something that is easy. We don’t need to love God’s plan, but we need to trust His will is for the best and good will come from it.
Provides What’s Needed
God won’t just leave us hanging. He will give us the necessary tools to complete His will. He’ll also be there the entire way, guiding and providing. When the Israelites left Egypt, God provided the way out and food for them to survive. Even though they were in the desert for 40 years, He never left them. And He won’t leave you.
God’s whole plan may not be completely obvious, sometimes we may never know His end game, but if it’s His plan He will make it clear for you. A lot of times, He will even know the first step you need to take. It may still be scary, but it’s clear that’s the path you’re supposed to take.
Humans aren’t meant to be alone and we aren’t meant to do things on our own. To need help is to be human and God will provide the best helpers for the job. Sometimes it will be people to actually help with the work and sometimes it will be people to counsel and affirm God’s will. Don’t fight it.
This is my favorite part of God’s plan. I was talking with my dad and the redhead on vacation. I told the redhead that God’s plan is usually pretty clear if we don’t fight it. There’s peace and serenity that naturally comes when I accept God’s plans and follow through with His will. A lot of times in life, I’ll have a nagging, annoying feeling in my stomach. It might not even be loud, but it’s there. Those moments are the moments I know I need to avoid. I need to change my path, get out of the situation, whatever to change that feeling because I know it’s God whispering to me that it’s the wrong decision. When I was 19 I decided to go live in Put-In-Bay, OH for the summer. I had that nagging feeling the entire time, but I ignored it in favor of doing what I wanted instead. Had I listened to that voice, I would’ve saved myself a lot of heartache. In contrast, when I finally left my soul felt calm and at ease for the first time in months despite the challenges I was facing. If there’s any uneasiness, think twice. I don’t mean doubt. There’s a difference between wondering if something is right and having a bad feeling. Don’t second guess those moments.