Colossians 3:15, AMP
So many people claim to hear God. Certifiably crazy people who do very wicked things claim they hear God. Cults are born from charismatic leaders who claim to hear God. Spiritually abusive pastors persuade sincere followers to give exorbitant amounts of money by claiming they’ve heard God. Husbands leave wives and children to connect with beautiful young “soul mates” claiming they heard God.
Personally, I’ve had all manner of crazy thoughts flood my mind, in the midst of desperately trying to hear God, and I wonder, “God, how do I know if this is You?”
It is vital for you and I to recognize the voice of God for ourselves. If we don’t, we have an enemy who will be certain to lead us far, far away from what God is really saying to us. And since the enemy is a deceiver, we may be sincerely deceived into thinking we are hearing God.
It’s happened to me. It’s probably happened to you, too.
Did you know you were created to hear God’s voice? He desperately wants you to know Him and to hear Him. He wants you to recognize His voice over the others.
There are two sure-fire ways of knowing if it’s God or someone else:
First, we must always compare what we are hearing to what the Bible says about the situation. (Turns out, things like poisoning people with kool-aid and carrying signs saying, “God hates fags” and committing adultery are frowned up in Scripture.)
But what about the church leader who actually uses Scripture to persuade you to be at the church serving every single night at the expense of your marriage? Or the “prophetic word” you receive telling you to uproot your family and quit your job? Or how about the pressure you feel to put your kids in a Christian school, even when you don’t have the funds to pay for it? Or how about the call you receive to take on the extra commitment because it’s “ministry”?
Where are the scriptures for those scenarios? How in the world can you tell when to accept the thought, the voice, the prophetic word as safe or dangerous?
God has given us a built-in umpire: It is the peace of God. It’s job is to rule with finality all the questions that arise in our minds.
Peace is an attribute of the Almighty, because God is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Peace is the fruit of His Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)
God promises to guard your heart and your mind with His peace. (Philippians 4:6)
He promises to lead us by His peace. (Isaiah 55:12)
If you feel fear, anxiety, dread or condemnation, it is not God speaking to you. Because the peace of God will always accompany His voice. Always.