How to Hear God's Voice
By: Colette Toach
Discerning What is God's Voice and What is Not
You have not experienced traffic until you have sat in the border crossing between Tijuana - San Ysidro and San Diego for two hours.
It is unlike anything you have ever seen. There is row after row of cars and it is bumper to bumper as far as the eye can see.
These are some of the experiences we had when we first came to Mexico… border traffic as well as the huge traffic circle that is right in the middle of Tijuana - cars don’t drive there but they aim…
Fortunately, when we first arrived our family, who had already been here and so they could show us around town a bit. That way we could feel a little bit familiar in this extremely foreign land.
It took us a while to realize that there are times it is good to go to town while at other times it is best to stay at home. Having been here a few years now we can judge when the traffic will be difficult and when it will be more easy-going.
We now know where everything is and so when somebody else comes to visit, we are the ones that can show them around. We can show them the places that are good to visit and the places that are not so good. We also know where to get the best and most traditional tacos in town!
As a Prophet You Sometimes Feel Like Being in a Foreign Land
So what has this got to do with how to hear God's voice? Well, as a prophet sometimes you feel like you are being thrust into a world that is very different and foreign to you, especially if you have only just discovered your prophetic calling.
It can be a little scary at times. Especially as you start receiving revelation and you are not sure where to go from there. You think that you are taking a good direction but you end up in a traffic jam or in a bumper to bumper bashing with somebody else and wonder what you did wrong!
Three Different Voices
In short, there are three different voices you can hear in your heart. Sometimes, it’s the Lord who is speaking, other times it can be the enemy and then it could also be you speaking to you - in other words, the voice of your mind.
How do you discern between these three voices? How do you know what’s God, how do you know what’s your mind and what’s the enemy?
Well, I am here to help you with that and show you the best route to go. Hopefully you will be able to go through your prophetic training without getting into hot water and without making too many mistakes.
On second thought though, being a prophet goes hand in hand with making mistakes. It comes with the territory. Regardless of that, I am hoping that you can reduce the level of the mistakes you make.
The Voice of Your Mind
So, let’s jump right in and let’s take a look at what the voice of your mind sounds like. How do you know if a revelation that you are receiving is really of the Lord or if it’s just you coming up with fancy ideas?
I would say that the most outstanding principle is that your mind is logical. This sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Think about it for a while though. Your mind is logical. It is going to think according to what you know, according to what you’ve read and according to the thoughts you have in your mind.
So if you are getting a revelation that is logical and you say to yourself, “Oh yeah, I expected God to say that! Exactly, it makes sense…!” When you feel that way, I would be a little cautious of that word and hold back a bit and wait for some confirmation.
Why? It is called revelation because it is something that was revealed to you that you didn’t know before. You might have a sense in your spirit that God wants to do something or an impression of perhaps where things are going. However, when God gives a revelation even though it seems obvious when you get it, it’s new and fresh. It is something you didn’t consider and didn’t think of before.
And so when you are working along and suddenly you get this very logical idea and you think, “Oh yes, that’s exactly what should happen and where we should go”, I would hold off on that for a bit!
Your mind likes to play tricks on you and it will be logical and that’s why it’s best to wait when you sense something like this. Your mind will tell you what you like to think and what you want to know.
So if you are in prayer and you get a revelation that seems logical, I am not saying it’s entirely not of the Lord, I am just saying that it probably needs to be worked through a little bit. That is why it is so important to have people around you who can be there as a confirmation.
If you don’t have anybody that you can pray or share with, know that we are always there for you. You can just drop us a line.
There is no better way to learn than to ask. There is no better way than to discover your mistakes and your shortcomings. See if you can see where you are messing up and then you will surely know it when you get it right.
There is no better confidence booster than knowing that you know that this word is of God and that you are saying it with authority. It just gives you such faith that when you speak this word it comes out with such power.
So don’t be afraid to sift through the revelations and don’t be so naïve and arrogant to think that every revelation you get is of God!
That would be really naïve because your mind often works over time. Especially when you get too analytical and think about everything from what God should do, what you want Him to do to what this person should do. Then when you get a revelation you try and fit it into all that.
You know, that’s why the revelation comes from your spirit. Also, realize that you are not a teacher! You are a prophet. You will hear me say that to you many times. I am not saying that prophets are stupid dumb bunnies who walk around and don’t know anything but I am saying that your reliance is not on your mind but on your spirit and the revelation God gives you.
The only thing you should be feeding into your mind is the Word of God! When you do that you can be sure that the revelation that is coming up is of Him!
The Voice of the Enemy
Now how do you know when a revelation is directly from the enemy? For this I can give you some very clear pictures.
The first thing is that it will be really forceful.
You could be going about your business and the next thing you know is you get this, “You have to drop everything now and you have to go and tell this person that thing!”
This is not the voice of the Lord. The Lord is gentle. He is the epitome of the English gentleman. He leads you by the hand, opens the door and moves the chair for you… that is if you are a lady of course. That is the picture of the Lord Jesus. He isn’t going to slap you on the face, pick you up, run out of the door with you and shout, “Speak to this person here!”
He doesn’t say, “Stop right here at the side of the road and jump up to grab that person and tell them about me!” That is not the Lord and it is not how He operates!
The more you come into that intimate relationship with Jesus you will experience that more and more. He is not forceful! He doesn’t jump on you.
When you see somebody operating in this way, let me tell you, that is not the voice of the Lord! “You must do this now or you will be cursed!” No, that is not the voice of the Lord Jesus. Did you ever hear Him say that to His disciples? Did He ever say to them, “You better go out now, two by two or I will curse you!”?
No, He sent them with a promise and said that He would be with them and they would move in signs and wonders. They wanted to go. In fact, He couldn’t hold them back from going!
The voice of the Lord doesn’t bring fear. Let’s say you were perhaps in a meeting and you didn’t bring the prophetic word and you think, “Oh, I had the word but didn’t bring it”, and now you are so full of fear and guilt.
That is not the Lord at all. It is probably just as well you didn’t open your mouth to speak because it may have been a deception. When you experience that voice and the enemy will come many times like that, he will play on your mind and he will push you and come at you from without.
That is what I think you need to note because that is probably the most outstanding difference between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy (evangelistic ministry aside here).
However, when you feel that push you end up coming under guilt, you feel fear and curses start manifesting in your life. Guess what? The voice that you were listening to was not the voice of the Lord.
What if you Miss It?
What if the word is of God and you miss it…? So what? You know we had old Elijah sitting there wailing about how tough things were, about how he was the only prophet and the Lord said to him, “I have a couple of other thousands that haven’t bowed their knee! You are not the only one.”
Well, the same is true for you. If you miss it, He is gracious. He has others that He can raise up. He is not dead! The whole world doesn’t rest on your shoulders. I know, as prophets we forget this. We think sometimes that if we don’t do it now and if we are not the savior and we don’t jump in the world will stop turning.
We are simply servants doing His bidding and if we don’t do His bidding He will raise up another. What is important is that you keep your heart pure before Him. We are all going to miss it! God is God. He can take care of it. He can even take care of your mistakes if you just had more faith in Him than you did in your weakness and failure!
So if you have these voices that are pushy, don’t EVER run off and give into it. Instead STOP and wait for confirmation and wait till your emotions have died down and wait to be sure of the word.
Then when you are sure and God has confirmed and you still feel the anointing, then step out in boldness. Then there is nothing that can stop it.
The Voice of the Lord
The Scriptures say, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock and if any man answers I will come and eat with Him and he with me.”
The Lord Jesus is like that. He doesn’t come and with a big pole to bash down your door to take your food off the table. No, He knocks and He waits for you to answer. If you answer, then He comes in. That is His nature and it is really the epitome of what the Lord’s voice is like. He won’t come as a loud roaring river.
Perhaps at the beginning when you are not used yet to getting revelation, you might feel the anointing quiet strongly or you will feel like you have butterflies in your stomach. It might come strongly at the beginning. However, relax if you find that the manifestations of the anointing are not as strong anymore. It is okay!
It just means that you are growing up. It is normal. At the beginning it is very strong and very intense and it is all very exciting, but it does calm down because you are growing up. You don’t need all the fluff; you don’t need all the big stuff to know that this is God speaking to you.
The Lord will speak to you in a gentle voice most of the time. If you are receiving a vision, you will just receive the same vision a few times, gently. You will feel that stirring in your belly almost like butterflies but not big ones, just little flatters and you feel that excitement in your spirit.
It brings joy and life and you look forward to sharing it. Now that’s the voice of the Lord. Of course also, in case you haven’t heard this before, it will come with faith, hope and love. Without that, how are you going to mature the Body of Christ?
So these are some ways that you can use to really discern for yourself what the voice of the Lord is like. You know, as you learn to identify this in yourself, you will also learn how to identify it in others.
Somebody will stand up to speak and you will say, “That is coming straight out of his head. There is no spirit or revelation in it!”
Revelation, Not Logic
You know, that’s a very sad state when people who are not spirit filled want to stand up and prophesy. They stand up and talk logic.
Well, it’s logical to say that God will do this, this and this and it is logical to assume the conclusion and they are trying to give a prophetic word using their mind. They haven’t learned to tap into their spirit yet.
You will find this in some denominations that don’t believe in speaking in tongues but they believe in prophesying. Well, try to stand up and speak a prophetic word without being filled with the Holy Spirit, without being baptized… what do you think will come out? Their mind!
Learn to recognize this. Learn to see when somebody is really speaking from the Lord. Is it coming with that gentle flow? Is it coming with that inspiring flow?
You know, it might not always be super gentle because His sword can also be sharp but the point is it brings with it a hope and expectation. It brings life to you and an expectation as to what God will do!
Is that what the word is doing or is the word so strong and pushy that you feel backed into the corner?
Lots More to Come
These are the things you need to look at! If you look at the Chapter on how to judge revelation in the Practical Prophetic Ministry book, you will see that I also give some very clear guidelines on when to receive from somebody and when not.
Once you discern the difference of these three voices, it will open a new world to you! You might realize that sometimes you listened to the enemy, but I hope that you identified rather the times you really were hearing the voice of God!
Again, if you need some help and a mentor to guide you through this, join us in AMI Prophetic School. There is someone there who is just like you and went through exactly what you are right now. Together we will set the Church as a City on a Hill!
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How to Hear The Voice of God