Sunday

How to Know God's Speaking to You

“God told me the other day. . .” a friend said matter-of-factly, and then proceeded to tell me what she felt the Lord had instructed her to do. 

The concept of hearing messages from God sounds like a topic for an alternate reality television show, but in truth, it’s a very biblical concept. From the beginning of creation God has spoken to his people. In the early days, before the canon of Scripture, he spoke to believers in several ways: through his audible spoken word (Gen. 6:13), through angelic messengers (Dan. Luke 1:11), through a Christophany—a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (Gen. 18:22), and through the prophets (Jer. 1:7). 

Today he speaks primarily through his messengers (pastors, teachers, and fellow believers), his Word, and the Holy Spirit’s voice in our hearts. But the question remains: 

How do we know we’re hearing God’s voice rather than our own or someone else’s? 

Here are some guidelines: 

1.  What we hear must agree with Scripture. In other words, God never tells us to do something contrary to his Word. This means the abortion clinic bomber who testified that “God told me to blow up this place” may have been hearing voices, but they weren’t the Lord’s. This is why we must read the Bible daily and become familiar with its truths. It becomes the plumb line for all other input. 

2.  God usually repeats an important message. He knows we’re sometimes spiritually dense, so he gives us more than one opportunity to get it. You may read something that applies to your life in your morning quiet time, read it again during a devotional reading, and hear a preacher or teacher mention it in a sermon or lesson. God’s willingness to repeat himself is blessed confirmation if we think we’re hearing from God but aren’t quite sure. This is why it’s important to journal during our Bible reading and prayer time and take notes during teaching and preaching times. Sometimes the pattern of God’s messages to us becomes clearer when we write them down. 

3.  An idea may come to us while we're praying. If it’s something simple, like Send Sally a note of encouragement; she’s been struggling since Dan lost his job, and isn’t contrary to Scripture, I usually act upon it immediately. It’s probably the Holy Spirit prompting me. If it involves a greater commitment, I test the thought by waiting to see if God reinforces it in other ways. 

For years the Lord had prompted me to write inspiring articles for homeschooling moms. Friends encouraged me to compile them into a book. When another friend invited me to attend a writers conference, the idea began to take shape. I sought confirmation by speaking to an acquisitions editor at the conference, and he invited me to submit a proposal. When I shared the idea with a Christian businessman, and he offered to help, I knew the idea had been from the Lord. 

4.  If an idea is from the Lord, the desire usually grows stronger with time. I confess—I get some crazy ideas sometimes. Crazy or not, I write down the idea and begin to pray about it. As the days pass, I’ll often find my enthusiasm and desire waning. Other times the desire grows, develops, and blossoms into a full-fledged calling. God confirms it in other ways and reinforces it with appropriate Scripture. 

5.  It usually requires an element of risk and faith. God seldom calls us to do something completely off the normal path of our lives. Instead his call is usually the next step, albeit sometimes a BIG step, on the path we’re already on. 

For years our family’s been involved with missions. We’ve financially supported missionaries, prayed and provided resources for them, and hosted them in our homes. When my husband and I began to experience a desire to take a short-term missions trip with our family, we sensed it was from the Lord. 

We began to pray about it, and the desire grew stronger. We already knew a mission trip was scriptural, so when one of our missionary friends mentioned how they’d love to have a family work with them in Mexico, we knew the Lord was calling us to go. 

Although it seems a bit mysterious, God loves to speak to his children. To hear him, we must learn to recognize his voice. This ability comes with patience and practice. Missionary Frank Laubach accurately expresses how every conversation with God involves learning to listen: 

“The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he says, ‘Amen,’ and runs away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving him our ideas.” 

May God bless you as you learn to listen to his voice. 


How about you? How does the Lord usually speak to you? And how do you know it's him speaking? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you're reading by email, click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the post, then click on Comment to leave your thoughts.




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82 comments:

  1. Very helpful post. Thanks so much, Lori. I especially benefited from the comments about listening for God instead of running off after praying. I also like that you gave personal examples to illustrate your points. Well done.

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    1. Oh, Linda, that's one of my greatest challenges! I am prone to just dump my load of prayers in his lap and run away. When I stick around and be still, I'm often amazed at the wisdom God sends my way. It's a life-long discipline, and I'm still very much in the learning stages. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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    2. Hello ladies,

      I am aware that this is a Women's site or blog. Yes, I am a man. I found it inspirational to read the lessons or advice given in the "How to Know God's Speaking to You?" topic...I am a Christian and I am always amazed by how God answer my prayers in my time(s) of need. Everything written is a message I needed to hear and traverse in trusting God. The visions He has given and the leading He provided is, at times too great for one such as I. As the dreams make me afraid, humbled, hopeful and faithful...I see now He is still with me and using every means to speak to me. I thank you for your answer to him in leading you. may God Bless you and your family.

      P.S. please take note of this and watch this space.

      Pate Easy

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    3. Hello ladies,

      I am aware that this is a Women's site or blog. Yes, I am a man. I found it inspirational to read the lessons or advice given in the "How to Know God's Speaking to You?" topic...I am a Christian and I am always amazed by how God answer my prayers in my time(s) of need. Everything written is a message I needed to hear and traverse in trusting God. The visions He has given and the leading He provided is, at times too great for one such as I. As the dreams make me afraid, humbled, hopeful and faithful...I see now He is still with me and using every means to speak to me. I thank you for your answer to him in leading you. may God Bless you and your family.

      P.S. please take note of this and watch this space.

      Pate Easy

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  2. Dear Lori,
    I have a 1-minute devotion about this subject coming out on Thursday. A couple of our points are the same/similar. But I like the additional ones you've added. Great list.

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    1. Hm…that’s one of my points – that God repeats himself. He must be talking to both of us on the same subject! I love that about him, don’t you?

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  3. Mahalo nui loa...or thank you very much in Hawaii. This is an awesome article. thank you so much for posting it. i have hear it many times but reading it for some reason brings more understanding. Thanks again. Gonna begin my journal with this on the inside cover. Amen

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    1. I am so glad my article was helpful. That makes me happy :) The most comforting thought about hearing God speak to me is that he wants to reveal himself. That's pretty amazing, don't you think? What an amazing God! Thanks so much for commenting.

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  4. Thanks for a great post, Lori! These are great guidelines. I especially like #2, God will repeat, because we are "spiritually dense." or maybe sometimes afraid? This would be me some days! I'm glad He keeps after us.

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  5. A very helpful post for me. I believe in God. I still struggle with learning the word. I don't know where to start.
    Some of it seems so over my head. I really want to have a stronger faith to know his word.

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    1. Cheryl,
      I completely agree. I've been a Christian for over 30 years, and there is still SO MUCH I don't know about the Bible. Thankfully, God honors the time we spend with him, and he is so faithful to continue to teach us. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your thoughts. Christmas blessings!

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  6. Yes, I do believe God speaks to me & he has answered many prayers, not necessarily how I wanted Him too.;) I have to admit that I let life interfer with my time with the Lord, but He continues to be faithful. I am so unworthy & I'm greatful for His grace. Thank you for sharing with us!
    RW620(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi RW,
      I, too, am very thankful that even when I am unfaithful, God still is. I'm also comforted by the verse that reminds us that if we will draw near to God, he will draw near to us. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. Excellent checklist, Lori. Thank you for sharing it. This is such a good balance for us because we can hear about those who are skittish about saying God speaks to us. He does speak clearly when our ears are tuned to listen.

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  8. Thank you, Lori, for these points on how to refine our listening ears.

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    1. Listening has been one of the most difficult parts of prayer for me, Mandy. It's a lesson I have to keep learning. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I have found these very things helpful in the past when I am discerning if it is me or someone else. I have had God speak to me audibly, the morning my brother passed away, but He usually speaks to m e the most through step 2 and gentle nudges from the Spirit. I have found the more time you spend with God in His word, in prayer and in quite time the easier it is to discern His voice from others.

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    1. It is comforting, isn't it, Melis, when God says the same message in different ways, from different sources? I'm glad, too, that he doesn't just say things once, 'cause I'd miss it for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. It is a really cool thing when I think God is speaking to me and then have it affirmed over and over again. It's not always what I want to hear but it's what I need to hear. I have learned that it takes me really being quiet and not fighting the silence to really hear what he is saying to me.

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  11. Hearing God is one thing...acting on it is another. I'm working on that!
    And the Kindle would be a wonderful gift!

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    1. Oh, boy, Sarah, you've hit that nail on the head. You and me both! We'll work on it together. Thanks for stopping by today.

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  12. Great Devotional that cuts to the chase. Very helpful in focusing my heart on God in the midst of my busy life!

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  13. Lori, excellent post. I have a similar post that I may now wait for awhile to publish :-) . I have felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit many times, or have felt "lead" to do things. I always wondered what it meant when people said they heard God tell them to do something, and always assumed this must have been what they were talking about until one day when He did speak to me. I vividly know the difference right now.
    Almost done with Hungry For God Starving For Time and am enjoying it immensely.
    Blessings,

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    1. Farmer's Wife, it sounds like God's speaking through point number 2 that I've listed above . . . funny how he does that. I know your post will be spot on, 'cause it sounds like you've been listening :) Thanks for your kind words about Hungry for God. May God use it to bless you!

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  14. This is a great post! I'm the friend who's always claiming that God told me to do something, and people usually think I'm crazy. When you know Him, though, it's easy to distinguish His voice, and the points you made here are great confirmation!

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    1. Yes, Jen -- "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me." One of the best descriptions of how we need to learn our Shepherd's voice by spending time with him. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today.

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  15. Thank you for this post. I need to read it again. I don't feel like I have heard Him, so I need to pay more attention and learn to be still. Excited to check out your new devotional.

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    1. It's definitely a learned skill, Laura, but God wants to speak to us -- to have a two way conversation. That's why he sent his Word. And it's no coincidence that he describes Jesus as "the Word." the more we learn about Jesus and study God's Word, the easier it will be to recognize his voice. I pray God's blessings on you as you seek to follow him.

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  16. How exciting! And what an excellent post!

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  17. I believe HE also speaks in dreams as well :)

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  18. I loved this post -- filled with pertinent, timely advice on how to recognize He's speaking to ME! LOL! Thank you! :)

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  19. have a word for me, and sometimes I understand it then, i try to write it down so i can find those words later. Even after all these years I still have trouble occasionally (or often) differentiating between "God ' and my own thoughts. that 'is it live or is it Memorex' kind of thinking. I do love when I am pondering something, and then in a message from someone at church (communion, prayer or pastor's sermon) they say something that becomes confirmation for me.

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    1. I agree, Carol. I think confirmation from other (godly/wise) sources is key to confirming that what we've heard is from the Lord. I'm so thankful he repeats himself in different ways or I"m afraid I'd probably miss his voice sometimes. Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. I am in complete agreement with your points…I think that too many times we hear a thought in our heads or our hearts and we want to run with it before checking against the Word, or don't want to run with it because it just sounds too hard and then miss the confirmation when it comes because we have already tuned out. I pray that the Lord will give me ears to hear and eyes to see everyday what He has for me, both in His word and through those He has placed in my path to add the confirmation.
    Thanks so much. This just confirms the message I have been hearing to speak and write more about this very subject and the importance of His Word being first and foremost in our hearts and on our minds.
    blessings,

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    1. Your prayer is wise and biblical, Gay. Thanks for sharing. God's blessings on your ministry!

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  21. Most of the time I feel most strongly when I'm NOT supposed to do something. :) I've heard it called, "a check in my spirit". Sometimes I fight it, but most of the time I yield to it and am usually glad in the end that I did.

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    1. Yup, I've experienced the same thing -- the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. And you know what, I know it's him because what he says always lines up with Scripture. Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. I am in the mist of learning to listen for His voice. More and more. I'm find it comes from friends or even strangers. He reveals His message to me, through their website, blogs, FB page, or in plain conversation. I know it's Him because it reveals things I have only talked to Him about. I find it Amazing!

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    1. Don't you love that, Debra? How EVERYTHING is at his disposal for our instruction and our good? Keep listening, Sister! God bless.

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  23. This was very useful as I have been praying about a specific situation. It helps to know that others hear from God the same way.

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    1. May God continue to reveal himself and his will to you, MaryBeth. Keep listening!

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  24. Holy Spirit prompts me in many different ways, but like you say above, the feeling just won't go away. I don't always act on it, which is certainly my fault and my loss, but I almost always know it is Him speaking. Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings!
    Kelly Y

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    1. Kelly,
      I think the more we seek God in his Word and in prayer, the easier it will be to recognize his voice. Kind of like the more time we spend with our children, the quicker we can hear their voices, even in a crowd. May our spiritual ears grow sharper every day. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. Wonderful post, Lori. God speaks to me exactly as you said! And when it becomes clear that He's speaking to me, it's incredibly exciting. The God of the Universe just spoke to me!!! Now, of course, not in an audible voice (although He could) but the fact that the God of the Universe made Himself and His will known to me is beyond thrilling -- and so worth the time it takes to sit at His feet and learn His voice. Thanks Lori!!!

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    1. It is very humbling, Jean, that God Almighty stoops to whisper in my ear. What a privilege. What a blessing. Thanks for sharing your heart today.

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  26. Quite a few years ago now I was just beginning to journal. My primary reason was to have a written record of what God was doing in my life. It was then I added a "L" to the familiar acronym ACTS - adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication. The "L" is for Listening.
    I would record any prompting from the Holy Spirit, anything I felt God was saying to me. What a blessing it is to go back & read about God's work in my life over the years. No more depending on a memory that does fade somewhat as we grow older.

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    1. It's true, Marilyn, and amazing what we hear from God after we've spent time in confession, in his Word, and in prayer. I do the same thing and am amazed to see how often what I've thought I've heard has come true. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. I really enjoyed reading your post and I also learned from it. One of my ways of knowing for sure if I'm really and truly hearing God's voice or not when I've been praying about something is the sense of peace that washes over me and fills my heart.
    Thank you so much for offering this giveaway!

    debbie(underscore)griffith(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  28. Great quote at the end of the article! I so often pray and then jump up to start my day without waiting to hear what God may be saying in the quiet of the morning.

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  29. I agree with all of your points, Lori. If you're immersed in the Word and prayer, then you'll usually recognize God's instructions. Sometimes he has to repeat himself with me, especially if it's something I'm apprehensive to do. He always gives me the strength to follow through, though. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the post.

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  30. Thanks for giveaway. Enjoyed the post. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, "God, after He ad spoken long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world." Hallelujah, today we have Christ in us as the indwelling, life-giving spirit to lead and guide us into all truth. His words are spirit and life! As we hide them in our hearts, He brings them to remembrance to lead and guide us. Oh, what a wonderful Saviour is He!

    grace and peace,
    pat(douglassandpat@yahoo.com)

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  31. This is so very true! I have definitely been learning more about this over the past few years. This article just confirms what I had been thinking about. Keep up the good work in the Lord, Lori. God bless! :)

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  32. You're right about waiting. Sometimes, I just know that I've heard something from the Lord, but after waiting a little while it goes away.

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  33. I find He speaks to me at night. I will wake from sleep with the notions/urge to reach out to someone in a specific way. I guess I have too much "noise" most days during the day.

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  34. Such wise advice and Biblical counsel. Thanks, Lori!
    God usually speaks through His word and then confirms it by many ways - other people, sermons, devotional topics read at just the right time, and I get a sense of peace as I move forward.

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  35. He speaks through His word; though twice He did audibly speak to me

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  36. You're right about being sure it's His voice we're hearing. It's easy to want something so badly that we THINK we hear His voice, when in reality, we're hearing our own selfish desires, whispered by the evil one. Your strategies are right on target!

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  37. Great post. I have never really thought about how God does speak to me. But now I'm thinking I hear Him in my prayers...suggesting things that may lead me in a straighter path towards Him..

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  38. I really think that God speaks to me at night and in my dreams and also in my prayers when I feel the nudge to do something that might push me out of my comfort zone.
    Sherri J

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  39. It is actually very simple. If you want to listen to God’s voice, then you need to read God’s word. And it flows on that if we can hear God’s voice in the Bible, the Bible is also the place to turn to know God’s will for us.

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  40. Yes, Lord, Open our ears to hear Your voice speaking to us....and help us to sit and listen too! Great post!

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  41. Thank you! You have no idea how many times I have asked this question and either not received an answer, or some crazy opinion that is unrealistic and makes no sense.

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  42. Growing up fundamentalist/evangelical, I was told that as a born-again Christian God would “speak to me”, “move me”, and “lead me” so that I would know and could follow his will. I listened to others talk about how God spoke to them, moved them, and led them to do this and to do that…but He never did the same for me. I finally came to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me because God had decided he didn’t want to talk to me. So I left the Church.

    Many years later I became an orthodox Lutheran and was told that God doesn’t work like that. The evangelicals are wrong. The voice they are listening to is their own. According to “true” Christianity, God speaks to Christians in only one manner: through his Word, the Bible.

    That gave me a lot of peace…until I found out that the “Word” is full of discrepancies, errors, and scribe alterations.

    I was very sad (and angry) to find out—it is ALL nonsense.

    So what about my problem of not hearing the "voice" that other evangelicals were hearing speak, move, and lead them? After deconverting completely from Christianity, I came to realize that it was THEM, not me, that had the problem. They were hearing voices. I was the sane one...who did not.

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    1. Gary,
      Thank you for your well-written, thought-provoking comment. And for sharing your spiritual journey. As I've thought and prayed about your words and my response, I'd like to share a few thoughts.

      First, it's apparent that your spiritual search has gone from one extreme to the other. While there is truth to be found in both extremes, there's also some distortion of truth. God does speak to people through the Holy Spirit (who lives inside believers), through others, through his Word, and, as described in Hebrews 1:1-2, through Jesus Christ: "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."

      Because we weren't alive when Christ walked the earth, God gave us the Bible. Ultimately, when we peel back all the layers of your experience, what it all boils down to is the inerrancy of Scripture. If the Bible can be trusted, then, because it says so, God does speak to believers, God does speak through the Holy Spirit, God does speak through his Word, and God did speak through his Son, Jesus. And, I might add, God does speak to you. I suspect he's been speaking to you all along, but it takes time, spiritual maturity, and diligence to learn to recognize his voice.

      Your goal, I suggest, should be to determine the accuracy of the Bible. Two of my favorite resources are Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and a website, TrueLife.org. Truelife has video answers to many of the questions you've asked.

      Once you've verified the accuracy of the Bible, (and it can hold up to honest scrutiny), then you can move forward in discovering what the Bible has to say about God's love affair with mankind and how he desires to have an intimate, personal relationship with us.

      As I read the progression of your faith journey, it's apparent to me that God has been speaking to you all along and continues to do so. The fact that we're having this discussion right now is proof. It's not a coincidence that you landed on my blog and read this post. Take a look at TrueLife.org,, watch the video about the Bible, and comment back and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

      I'll be praying for you. Really.

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    2. Thank you for your kind words, Lori.

      I have thoroughly investigated the claim that the Bible is inerrant and sadly found it to be a false claim. I have read the writings of both Christian and skeptic apologists on this issue. The problem is that it isn't just one issue, it is many. For instance, Jesus taught that Moses was a real person and that the Exodus was a real historical event. The overwhelming majority of modern archeologists, including the top archeologists of Israel, no longer believe that the Exodus story is historical. There is just no good evidence that several million Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, wandered the Sinai for forty years, and then led a Conquest of Canaan.

      Yes, there are a few fundamentalist Christian archeologists who still believe the Exodus to be historical, but they are considered the fringe. You can choose to ignore the findings of the overwhelming majority of archeologists and believe the fringe position, but that is no different than being a conspiracy theorist.

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  43. Au contraire', Gary, archaeology is a friend, not a threat, to the Bible and the truths of Scripture. Check this out: https://www.truelife.org/videos/does-archaeology-support-the-bible

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  44. The "expert" in your video, Randall Price, is considered a "pseudo-archeologist" by the archeology establishment. He is a member of the "fringe" which I mentioned above. True scientists look at the evidence and form a theory. Fundamentalist/evangelical Christian "archeologists" have a preconceived belief, based on an ancient middle-eastern text, and search to find evidence to prove the text correct. That is bad science. Here is a quote by an expert at George Washington University about Randall Price, the expert in your video:

    At the ASOR session in November 2008, we decided that we needed to set up a “war room” in order to respond immediately to false claims by pseudo-archaeologists, amateur enthusiasts, and junk scientists. Jodi Magness pioneered this approach in March 2007 when, after being called numerous times by different journalists seeking her reaction to the Talpiot Tomb fiasco, she wrote a lengthy response, posted it on the web, and thereafter directed reporters to that response, from which they were able to quote.7

    To that end, we set up a blog linked to the ASOR website which we are using, in part, as a means to respond to, and combat, erroneous and extravagant claims reported by the media. We have already utilized it three times in less than a year in order to help combat outlandish claims involving Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden, and the Copper Scroll.

    For instance, Robert Cargill of UCLA and I both called out Randall Price of Liberty University after articles appearing in print and on the web in February 2009 widely reported that he claimed to know where Noah’s Ark is and that he would be involved in an excavation to uncover it during the summer of 2009.8 Price responded immediately to our blog postings, justifying and clarifying his statements. Interestingly, at the same time as Price was using the media to promote his expedition and agenda, he also complained—via the ASOR blog—that the media had seized upon one small portion of his overall interview and that it went viral without him intending it to do so.9 This did not stop him from recently posting an online note upon returning from the expedition, in early September 2009, noting that while they had little to show for their efforts so far, apart from lost toenails and a “mysterious situation” whose details cannot be divulged, they needed still more monetary donations so that they could return to the alleged site.10

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  45. Your expert, Randall Price, had been accused of fraud. How many reputable archeologists are accused of fraud?

    http://arkfraud.blogspot.com/

    Instead of believing the fringe, believe the overwhelming majority of experts: There was no Great World-Wide Flood. There was no Exodus.

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    1. Gary,
      One of the oldest debate tricks in the book is called the straw man argument. Debaters using this technique substitute a new argument for the original argument, and then attempt to “win” the newly introduced argument, thus distracting the audience from the original argument.

      I have to admit, you almost sucked me in.

      We started out talking about whether God speaks to people. I said yes, you said no. After a few comment exchanges, we’ve gone far astray. Now you’re presenting evidence that attacks the character and legitimacy of people who maintain that science affirms the Bible. You didn’t say a word about the archaeological proofs Randall Price discussed that corroborate the biblical accounts of the Exodus, the Flood, King David’s reign, the fall of Jericho, etc.

      If you want to continue to attack scientists, I can do the same. I can present proof of secular scientists who have falsified, misrepresented, and, in some cases, completely fabricated “scientific evidence.”

      But what would it accomplish? For every proof I provide, you’ll provide one of your own. And thus we wander farther away from the original question—Does God speak to people?

      I say yes based on the reliability of the Scripture that says he does.

      I say yes because I’ve experienced it myself.

      I say yes because Christians for thousands of years have heard God speak, many of them brilliant scientists—Copernicus, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler. Modern scientists, too, many of them – Dr. Ben Carson (neurologist who was the first to separate Siamese twins), Dr. Raymond Damadian (invented MRI), Mary Schweitzer (paleontologist).

      I say yes, God speaks to people. But God doesn’t speak to everyone. With few exceptions, he limits his words to his children. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” Jesus explained in John 10:27.

      So the beginning point in hearing God’s voice is to know him. To be one of his children. The Bible you disparage, from the first page to the last shows how, and in case we miss it, Jesus summed it up for us—“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.”

      I’d like to challenge you – have you ever read the Bible with an open mind? The WHOLE Bible? Not books about the Bible. Not other people’s opinions about the Bible. Not just bits and pieces. Not because you want to disprove it, look for errors, or pick it apart. God promises if we seek him with all our hearts, he will be found by us. He reveals himself through his Word and, if we miss that, through his Son, whose resurrection is one of the most historically documented events of all time.

      I’d like to challenge you to read the Bible from cover to cover. If God doesn’t reveal himself to you by the time you read the final Amen, then you’ve engaged in a stimulating intellectual exercise in anthropology, geography, philosophy, and world religion. If he does, then you will have invested your time well. If you’re right about there being no God, then you’ve lost nothing but a few hours reading an ancient book. If I’m right, you’ll spend eternity separated from him. Are you willing to risk it?

      (By the way, I suggest reading The One Year Bible. Each day you’ll read a portion of the Old Testament, a portion of the New, as well as portions of the Psalms and Proverbs. Reading this way has helped me not become shipwrecked on the rocks of Leviticus .)

      I’m going to be praying for you, Gary, ‘cause I’ve come to care about you during this brief exchange. If you take my challenge, please come back and let me know what happens.

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  46. Yesterday I went to the dentist, my 6 month check-up, only a cleaning, but I had cancelled twice because I am so nervous about going. So actually it has been awhile longer. While there, I told my precious dental tech. I was hungry for God. To me she is an angel! Before I left she held my hands and prayed for me. The sweetest prayer, as tears poured down my cheeks. I was so touched, I could feel God listening, hearing every word. I left happy for the first time in days. She invited me to a woman's group at the church she attends once a week that pray with each other. I felt so blessed. Then this morning, the first thing I saw on my computer was HUNGRY FOR GOD. I feel I am being so blessed.

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    1. Oh, Donna, your comment made me cry, too, for several reasons. First, I'm so humbly grateful that God met with you, both through your dental hygienist and through the title of my blog and post. Second, because my day job is as a dental hygienist! And I often speak to my patients about the Lord and pray for them. In fact, if you search my blog, you'll find several devotions I've written because of interactions with my sweet patients. Dr. B's Red Pajamas is one. I even included a devotion about one of my patients, John, in my devotional book. I'm always excited to hear about how God speaks to others, and your story is the best one I've heard lately. thank you so much for sharing it, and I pray this is only the beginning of how God will speak to you in the days ahead. Blessings to you, sweet sister!

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  47. This was good. I am focusing on this area...I want to hear God, but I always question if its my own thoughts or ANOTHER enemy attack or is it REALLY God!?! I'm in a trial with my marriage right now.
    The one about getting multiple messages of the same thing is one that happens often, but I doubt it has a message because its not clear to me. Then what? but, this is the BEST thing when it happens...even though I think it could be a message, some around me do not.
    For example...a couple months ago, I did a short study of Hosea from an online ministry. It was about 2 weeks. About a week later, I walked up on a conversation at church about a book called "Redeeming Love". I was asked if I read it which I have not. They all said I "had" to read it. I asked what it was about and they said it was the story of Hosea. I let them know I just studied HOsea and I loved it. (I still need to read this book! lol) So, that night, I watched a sermon online of one of my favorite pastors and at the end of his sermon, he referred to Hosea!! 15 minutes recapping the book of Hosea...it was beautiful. I was bawling. The pastor was crying. I thought..Hosea again? So, a couple days later, I saw my church was starting an evening Bible study (its during the time my kids are at youth group, so its perfect!) and we are studying Hosea!!!! This was all in a 2-3 week period. What in the world could THAT message be? Its an entire book with good and bad. If God has a message, I don't know what it is. I would LOVE for it to be for restoration of my marriage, but I don't think that's it! =/
    Is this just coincidence then, since its not specific?
    I've gotten the scripture Isaiah 43:18-19 ALOT !

    Thanks again for this...it was great!!!

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    1. You REALLY need to read "Redeeming Love" it has been the most influential book for me. It is a beautiful testament to God, His love, and the love a marriage can have through God. I'd send you my copy if I could!!!

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  48. I'm waiting for Gary to come back and learn if he has read the Bible. LOL!

    Great post. I got here from Pinterest. I had been wondering about how to hear God's voice, too. The part about the desire growing stronger was new to me. I'll be on the lookout for that :)

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    1. It's been my experience that God usually confirms his direction in several different ways. That protects us from just getting a crazy idea and running with it. If we read something appropriate in his Word, then the pastor preaches on it, then a godly friend brings it up in conversation, well, we'd better pay attention ! Thanks for hopping over from Pinterest. I hope you'll visit again.

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  49. I have been asking people for months, how do I know if it is God message I hear as I have had so many conflicting messages and I was worried am I making the correct decisions....I have not slept properly and I have been so distressed. I have prayed and prayed...Thank you for your article. Bless you.

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    1. I'm so glad God used my thoughts to bring clarity to yours. May God continue to reveal himself to you more and more as you seem him with all your heart. Blessings to you, friend.

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  50. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog posts.

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    1. I'm so glad. Please come back :)

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  51. Hi Lori. Appreciate your article. I once copied a list on this subject out of a magazine. It also compared the Holy Spirit's voice with that of Satan's. It spoke to me for many years, and I added to the list when I came across something, including things reveled in God's Word - it was one of my treasured "possessions". Until I lent it to a relative, who, hopefully read it but then, threw it away! So your article made me feel that God was restoring this knowledge to me, at least in part: thank you! some things I do remember though are: God's voice is gentle, and inviting, the enemy's harsh, forceful, coercive, manipulative. God's is clear, gives clarity, while Satan's is confusing. God always shows a way out of a situation, gives another chance, while the enemy makes us feel trapped, and that there's no way out of our sin. Also I can be a bit passive - fearful? When I do get going, I often find that God reveals more things, speaks to me, or clarifies things, as/when, in the doing.. as I get going!

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    1. Dawn, that has been my experience, too, that when I step out in faith in response to the direction God's given me, he then makes the next step clear. Seldom will he show me the whole path. It would probably be too scary! I'm so glad Fod used my blog to restore some information to you. Sounds like you're pretty familiar with the sound of God's voice. Blessings to you, and thanks for stopping by!

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