Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Making Wise Decisions: Question 3–What is God Saying Through His Voice?

God speaks to us through His word and through other believers. He also speaks directly to our hearts.

. . . And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
Colossians 1:27

But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

-1st Corinthians 2:10-12

One of the greatest benefits and mysteries of the Christian life is that Christ lives within our hearts! He does this through the Holy Spirit, who becomes one with our spirit. I wish I could fully explain this, but the Bible itself describes this as a “mystery” (translated “secret” in the NLT). While I can’t fully explain it, I can testify that I have experienced it. Because God lives in our hearts, He speaks to us through an “inner voice.”

This experience is not easy to describe, but I’ll try. When God speaks to our hearts, it often comes in the form of a strong inward desire—we feel compelled deep within to do something (or maybe not to do something). Christians usually say something like, “I feel God leading me to . . .” This is our way of saying that God has spoken to our hearts.

God’s peace is also a major factor in hearing His voice. The Bible promises that God’s peace will be with us when we follow His will (Philippians 4:7). When I am making the right decision, I have a great sense of peace about it.

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.
-John 10:3-5

The Bible describes Christians as sheep who recognize the Great Shepherd’s voice. The longer we know God, the better we are at recognizing His voice. I’ll give you a simple example. If you were to call me on the phone for the first time, you would probably have to identify yourself. Call me a few times a week and I would soon recognize your voice immediately. It kind of works the same way with God. As we grow spiritually we learn to recognize His voice.

I want to give you a word of caution about this “inner voice.” The Bible states that our hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). We can be experts at fooling ourselves into thinking something we want is from God. People have done great harm to themselves and God’s work by making bizarre claims about what God supposedly told them. This is why we need God’s word and other believers to help us discern God’s will.

15 Comments

  1. Hope you can also deal with the topic ” How can we face and deal with the hindrances and confuse in the decision making? “

  2. Lord, stop your Wrath and give us Mercy
    Lord, my head already reached on the ground
    I have no place to vow down

    Lord, stop your anger and grant your forgiveness
    Lord, my body is already paralyzed
    I have no energy to move on

    Lord, stop your threat and give your arms to us
    Lord, we are humble
    We don’t dare to face another storm

    Lord, stop your destroy and protect us
    Lord, my heart is already scattered
    I have no wisdom to count this circumstance anymore

    Lord, we are vow down and ask your glory and blessing
    Lord, shed a light for us
    Lord, guide us only with your power and witness.

  3. Hmmm. Well, I am hoping that when I am done it will remove much of the confusion you may have. If you still have questions after this week, just email me and maybe I’ll write another article to clarify things.

    Thanks for reading!

  4. kuya, after reading this, is it safe to say we (christians) have the mind of Christ?

  5. A believe can have the mind of Christ, but of course, it depends on his/her spiritual life.

  6. i hope you don’t think this is ridiculous, but can the holy spirit nudge you to stop reading someone’s blog even if it is character building and scripture based?

  7. because anything that gets your attention more than God is some form of idolatry?

  8. Theoretically, yes. God could tell us to get rid of anything, that is His prerogative. I guess I would think God would be more concerned with spending too much time online in general instead of a specific blog–but I could be wrong.

  9. still anonymous

    10/09/2008 at 8:53 pm

    so generally, how can people be sure its the holy spirit? how do you distinguish between just you and the holy spirit? is it possible that just you and the holy spirit’s prodding is the same?

  10. Well, it’s kind of like when a friend calls on the phone. Over time, you learn to recognize the voice the very first time you hear it.

    Still, you have to pray, read the Word, etc.

  11. still anonymous

    10/09/2008 at 10:40 pm

    “you learn to recognize the voice the very first time you hear it.”

    that was beautiful. very moving.you must be very close to God.

    last question, sorry. I might be the most frequent “asker” here.
    so like a friend, you have to spend a lot of time with God/holy spirit because of their triune nature? and then, its trial and error, like, Lord, is this really you, something like that? and acting upon the decision is based on faith? will the Lord bless the choosing? whether it was right or wrong, anyway, I will do it wanting to please Him at all costs.

  12. still anonymous

    10/09/2008 at 10:45 pm

    thank you for the answers and the patience 🙂

  13. Well, you have to spend time with God just because we have to learn how to know him.

    I think God makes it clear when He has a definite will for us. There are some occasions when God simply allows us to choose–we pray and still get no definite direction.

  14. still anonymous

    10/14/2008 at 8:34 pm

    hi again, good evening.
    what about fasting? will it make us more sensitive to the holy spirit?

  15. I think it can. Some people fast when they are seeking God’s will.

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