I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when people start to talk about hearing from God. Please do not misunderstand: I believe God speaks to people. I believe God whispers into people’s souls. My anxiety is around people who think they are hearing from God, but they are in fact hearing other voices in their souls. The soul can be a noisy place, filled with voices of shame, guilt, temptation, and desire. How do you know which voice to trust?
The best way to know if a message is from God is to learn what God talks about. The better you know Him, the more you will know if a message comes from Him.
Here are four prayers that will help you know God better, so you can know if a message is really from Him:
- The Prayer of Engagement: Lord, speak. I really want to listen to you. You know God better when you are engaged with Him. Practice spiritual disciplines. Learn to listen in prayer. Study God’s story and His character. You can learn if a message is consistent with God’s character or at odds with God’s character.
- The Prayer of Clarity: Lord, please clarify the message. Help me understand. You know God better when you have clarity about His messages. I find clarity comes best through writing down thoughts and feelings, and by seeking counsel from wise friends who are for me, not against me. If you can’t gain clarity, either the message isn’t from God, or the timing isn’t right.
- The Prayer of Waiting: Lord, give me faith while I wait. Waiting is part of every relationship, but it is not a skill that comes naturally. Ask God to help you believe that He is for you, not against you. This is faith while waiting. God’s message will come exactly when you need it, not when you want it.
- The Prayer of Self-Awareness: Lord, help me be self-aware. Ask God to show you your blind spots. Ask God to show you your own weaknesses. Ask God to show you what your anxiety really represents. Self-awareness helps you know what messages are from your own needs and what messages are from God.
When you know God better, you’ll really know if the message is really from Him.