My dear friends Josh and Judy are moving. They feel like God has been calling them to Nebraska, and I affirm that God is directing them into this new chapter for their lives. I will miss them dearly, but I know God has indeed called them.
During times like this many people will often ask, “How do I know that God is directing me?”
In the Bible we see God speaking to people in several ways:
- An audible voice
- Through His prophets
- Sending an angel
- In a dream or vision
- One time God’s finger wrote a message on a wall
- One time God spoke through a donkey
But most often God speaks through the inner voice of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is described as having a mind, a will, and emotions. Although He doesn’t have a physical body, He is still a Person. Just like any person you could get to know, you can get to know the Holy Spirit more and more personally, becoming increasingly more acquainted with His voice.
All of us are unique individuals. God has never, ever duplicated a person. Your combination of genes, talents, personality, and personal experiences make you a one-of-a-kind in all of human history. That means that God speaks uniquely to each of us.
Even though the exact manner God will speak to us will be unique, there are some clear principles that we can know from the Bible.
1. Humbly listen for God’s voice.
Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Let me unpack three key phrases:
- lean not on your own understanding really means humbly exchanging an “I know best” posture for a “God, You know best” posture.
- acknowledge Him is the Hebrew word yada. This word means knowledge that comes from personal experience. This is where you act on something you think the Holy Spirit is saying to you and then evaluate it. It’s how you get to know the Person of the Holy Spirit better and better.
- He will make straight your paths might be better stated, “He will make your paths agreeable to His will.” In other words, you begin to feel in-sync with the Holy Spirit. The opposite of this would be grieving the Holy Spirit, where you feel out-of-step with God.
2. Consult with godly friends.
In Acts 16, the apostle Paul and his companions are attempting to go into new territories to share the good news about Jesus but Luke records twice that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow them. Perhaps they felt out-of-sync with the Spirit when they attempted to make their plans. Ultimately, God did open a door for them to move forward and Luke writes, “Concluding that God had called us.” Notice that word “us.” Paul shared his heart with his godly friends and they affirmed God’s voice, much as I affirmed the call on Josh and Judy’s lives in their move.
3. Don’t be overly concerned about making a mistake.
In Romans 8, Paul reminds us that God is working all things together for your good and for His glory. “All things” means even your mistakes—like not noticing that the Spirit was prompting you to move, or perhaps temporarily heading down a wrong path. The Holy Spirit can help you look back and see how these experiences have prepared you for your present moment. Even those missteps can be used for God’s glory. But most importantly, those missteps have never diminished God’s love for you!
Your journey will be unique from everyone else’s journey, but these three principles are applicable to everyone who wants to walk in the paths God has set for them.
September 7, 2020 at 7:11 am
September 7, 2020 at 7:30 am
Thank you, Lakeisha!
September 26, 2020 at 8:05 am
My heart desires to know more about Jesus and walk in Obedience to his calling on my life. But so much failures present itself. How can I understand what God is really saying to me.
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September 26, 2020 at 8:43 am
That’s a great question, Bev. Let me try to address what you are calling failures. By that word, I’m assuming you mean times that you think you missed what God was directing you to do. The Bible is filled with examples of that; in fact, my life is filled with examples of that! But failures are a great opportunity to learn. Failures do not disqualify us. Paul had messed up so badly that he called himself “the chief of sinners” and yet this is the same man who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God uses ALL things (even failures) to accomplish His purpose.
So, Bev, remind yourself, “My forgiven sins are forgotten sins. Once I’ve asked forgiveness, my Father abolishes the record against me. He doesn’t see me as a failure, but as His precious daughter. As His daughter, He is lovingly speaking to me today, revealing His path for my life. Holy Spirit, help me to listen for You today.”
I hope this though helps you. I’m praying foe you right now. If you’d like to chat more, please reply here or email me.
October 1, 2020 at 6:01 am
[…] Since you are unique, don’t expect God to speak with you like He did with someone else. He will speak with you in a unique way that is only for you. The Bible gives us many implicit principles for hearing God’s voice, but it never gives us explici…. […]