Spiritual Tests to Discern God's Voice

Psalm 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God."

Joshua 1

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 40

 1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Romans 8:29-30

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Psalm 37:4

4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Matthew 7:7

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Jeremiah 1:7-8

7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

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Spiritual Tests

Spiritual Tests to Discern God's Voice

The Bible tells us to test the communication we receive to see if they are from God or another spiritual force. Suzy Smith 1978 gives an example of an evil voice that talked to her inside of her own mind. "With a kindly attitude it said, 'your rescuer has arrived. I have come from a far place to help you. There will be no more trouble.'" This voice sounded benevolent, but later the voice said, "Oh, I'll get you never fear. I'll either kill you or drive you insane” (p. 42-43). Smith states that her dabbling in psychic phenomenon became dangerous. "As I had more and more experiences, ranging from the ineffectual to the outright frightening--most especially the terror of fighting against the bad guys in my mind--I grew to realize that admonitions against such dabbling in the Para-normal should be given" (p. 3).

Joyce Huggett in, The Joy of Listening to God 1986 tells several stories of people mistaking a communication. One man thought he heard God tell him he was going to marry someone even though she was happily engaged to someone else. "I now realize that we can never be one hundred percent certain that the picture we see or the voice we hear or the prophecy we speak out is winged to us from God," (p. 141).

You can never be one hundred percent sure, no one knows but God, but there are tests that can make you more confident in what you receive. In James 3:17 the Bible states, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. The fruit of God's communication is love." In Galatians 5:22 it states, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Communications of evil do not create a feeling of humbleness and love for God. Evil leaves a feeling of self-importance, directing attention away from God.

Robert Baldwin in Conversations with God: A Catholic View of Prophecy, 1988 tells of a church group that communicates with God. The first test these people use is the feeling that comes in their hearts and spirit. God's presence has a particular feeling attached to it, the feeling of love and peace. The second thing they note is whether the communication is loving. The third test is whether the communication will glorify God. The fourth test is whether the message gives new life to the person or prayer group.

"All that is true must surely come from God, whether directly or indirectly; and all that is false must, presumably, owe its ultimate origin to the 'father of lies'" (Anderson 1976).

These are the tests that will increase our confidence that the communication we receive is from God.

  • The voice will acknowledge that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.

  • The fruit is love, joy, peace, patience kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

  • A feeling of love and peace will accompany the message.

  • The message will agree with scripture.

  • The message will glorify God.

  • The message will be pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit.

  • The message will create a humble love for God.

  • The message will create a new feeling of life and hope.

  • The message will be true.

  • Your spiritual friend will agree with the message.

  • The message will not tell you to rush in blindly.

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