Is it God?
Is it me?
Or is it something or someone else?
Whose voice is that I hear in my head?
Discovering God’s voice is not an easy task.
Most of us feel like we have no idea where to start,
and the simple church answers of
“read your bible,
and go to church”
just aren’t cutting it anymore.
You want to actually HEAR Him.
You want to feel close.
So you put the bible away,
You get somewhere quiet
and you listen.
Only to have a myriad of thoughts, ideas, and voices flood your mind.
Some of the voices say
and some say
So how can you tell the difference?
How are you to know which thoughts are God’s which are your own, and which are coming from another source entirely?
Now, I don’t often pull out a bible verse like it’s the answer to all our problems. I like to think I’m a little more relatable than that.
But in this case, there is one bible verse that says it better than I ever could (and definitely more succinctly)
“The fruit of the Spirit (God’s Spirit) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We have often heard this verse in church circles, songs, and bible studies.
And in all these settings, for the three decades I have been alive, I have always heard this verse in reference to the kind of people we should be.
“The fruit of the spirit is these things so, if I am being a good Jesus-follower too will be these things.”
This idea also led to the inverse thought.
“If I do NOT look like these things,
“then I must not be following Jesus right.”
The problem with only seeing this passage this one way is not just the psychological effects it has on those who feel as if they are not measuring up to God’s standard,
but it misses the most important point
one that will drastically altar the way we hear God speak to us.
If the fruit of God’s spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,
and if you can “identify a tree by its fruit” (Matthew 7:20)
God HIMSELF is these things.
So, in our quest to distinguish God’s voice from all the others crowding out our mind, let me ask you this:
Which voice is loving?
Which voice is kind?
Which voice gives you a sense of deep peace, no matter what it’s saying?
Which voice is patient and kind? Not in a hurry or accusing?
Which voice in your head is good and trustworthy and self-controlled?
Which voice speaks to you with a gentle tenderness?
This voice is God’s.
God is not in a hurry, friends.
She is not accusing or hurtful.
He may make you uncomfortable, but He certainly does not condemn, betray, guilt, or lay blame.
If you haven’t downloaded it already, I have created a quick 90-Second Guide to Hearing God. This guide includes one of my favorite practices to hearing God speak to me. I encourage you to download that and use it to help you separate the voice of a loving, gentle God from all the noise.
You will know the source by it’s fruit, and the fruit of God is
Anything else, feel free to throw away.
For more on this topic, you can check out some of my other posts including God! Speak To Me! and 5 Minutes of Peace, or if you have questions and need a human to respond, feel free to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are not alone in this, friend. Blessings on the journey,
God’s character never changes. It is why we can trust him. It is why we can know his voice. Thanks for this, Kurtis.
Thanks for commenting, Justin! I’m glad to know there’s others like me (i.e. YOU!) on this crazy journey!
This is what I needed today. I thank you so much for allowing your wisdom to benefit others. Thank you!
Wow! Thank you, Aurora. That means so much to hear you say. I look forward to gaining some of YOUR wisdom soon!