Very often I find myself talking to people about ‘hearing from God’. Let me be honest with you, it is very close to my favourite topic to discuss. I love talking about how God always operates and speaks within the fruit of His Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23(NKJV) we read, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law.” How awesome to ‘get it’ that this fruit of the spirit is describing to us what God is like, this is the FRUIT of HIS Spirit. I hate that this list has at times become a ‘heavy burden list’ for people to carry, where they are told they must produce this fruit. This is so far from the truth. This list is telling us what God is like. It also just happens to be true that as we become more like Him, our lives also start to look and smell sweet like this. It is a list of what God is like and as we surrender our lives to Him it becomes a list of what we are like too. Not because of our work, effort or goodness but because of His work, effort and goodness! All we get to do is surrender more and more of ourselves to Him and He does the rest. It really is a very good deal.
There are two more things I think are very tell tales signs that the voice you are hearing is from God:
1/ It will involve a Faith Element. God is into Faith. He really really is. He has set the world up in such a way that it is absolutely required in order to be in relationship with Him. Is God real? Is it possible that I of all people would be able to hear His voice? Faith is required and God loves it that way and from what I can tell this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Our Greek thinking and mindset hate the ‘faith factor’ or put in a Greek way ‘lack of proof or tangible elements’. God isn’t into what you can prove about Him or your studies of Him; or even your work for Him. God wants a romance with you, that is why you are described as His bride (John 3:29), that is why the book Song of Songs exists. To step into any relationship involves faith and risk, that is how God set the world up and that is how it is with Him too. From hindsight I can tell you how great and wonderful and absolutely reliable that He is, but to know that for yourself you are going to have to step out in Faith.
2/ It will involve your heart, and letting Him love it and heal it. I was talking with a pastor last weekend and again this came up. We can so easily impress ourselves with our great achievements for God and ministries we are involved in. But as I have learnt to hear the voice of God, it has become clear to me that God isn’t impressed with ministries, He always seems to be caring about and wanting to touch the individual hearts of people. It seems HE is focused on what He is on about, way over and above what we are on about. He is on about touching, loving and healing the hearts of men and women, boys and girls. This is a huge concern of His. How wonderful it was for me to first learn of God’s deep and loving and knowing care for my heart, not about what I had or had not done, it was never about that for Him just that I knew His love and He was so keen that I would invite him to come and to touch and to begin the process of loving my heart.
There are so many more things that I could put here, like that God wants us all to know that He is Good. That He truly is and lives out ALL of the fruit of the Spirit. Read through the list again and let it soak down into your soul. This is what our huge great God is like. He is loving, joyful, peace, longsuffering, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self controlled. He is beautiful and I love Him.
Just an end note. If you are hearing a voice and it is like the opposites of these fruit (go through the list and work out what the opposites are) then guess what? You are being suggested to by the accusing Prince of Lies. As soon as you recognise this you must stop listening to this voice, he wants to tear down accuse and destroy. Simply tell him to stop in Jesus name and then invite Jesus to speak to you, even ask Jesus what He thinks of you. You will know Him by His fruit.