One word from God will change your life forever! God desires to speak to us. The real issue is whether or not we have learned to hear Him when He speaks.
The Bible is filled with stories of people just like you and me who heard God speak to them, and their lives were changed. Remember how God spoke to Joseph through a dream, to Moses as a friend, to Balaam through a donkey, to Esther through her cousin, and to Paul through a vision?
The Bible says, “For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it” (Job 33:14). It often feels so difficult to hear the voice of God clearly. But after many years of learning to listen, I have come to the conclusion that hearing is often much easier than we expect. The process reminds me of my work in construction many years ago. We needed to focus on three areas of the house we were building: the foundation, the inside and the outside of the house. These three focuses also apply to hearing the voice of God.
1 – The Foundation
The foundation of listening to God is obeying the Scriptures. Jesus and the Word of God are one (John 1:1). Any direction we receive MUST line up with the Scriptures. If God is saying it, His Word will confirm it!
2 – Inside
God also speaks to us on the inside. It may an impression we have or a sense of His peace or a dream in the night (Colossians 3:15).
3 – Outside
God also speaks to us from outside of ourselves. Perhaps through a sermon we hear or a remark from a friend or a prophecy someone gives us (1 Timothy 1:18).
Just yesterday I received a personal message from the Lord through a well-known prophet. But I needed to test it. I have met so many people whose lives were shipwrecked because they thought they had heard the voice of God when it was not God speaking at all. They did not test it.
Here is an illustration that will help you remember how to test what you are hearing to see if it really is God speaking or if it is just your imagination or a good idea: Three lighthouses were built to warn ships as they sailed into the harbor. To avoid getting snagged on the monstrous rocks beneath the surface of the water, the captain had to visually align the three lighthouses as he steered into the harbor. If the captain could see two or three of the lighthouses at the same time, he knew he was in the danger zone. They had to be aligned as one.
In order to avoid shipwreck in our lives, we need to be sure that three different “lighthouses” of God speaking to us are aligned before we begin to move in a new direction. These lighthouses are the foundation of the Word of God, hearing Him speak on the inside of us and hearing him speak from outside.
When God spoke to me yesterday through the prophet, I immediately made sure it aligned with the three lighthouses: the Scriptures, God speaking inside, and God speaking outside. I had peace inside and the prophecy lined up with the scriptures so I can “take it to the bank!” And so can you as you follow these three simple steps to hearing His voice!