How can we recognize the voice of God?

This topic was shared at a recent Brotherhood of Christ meeting, I hope you find it to be helpful in your walk!
 
Pastor John Parille
 
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. ~John 10:27 (AMP)
 
As Christians, we all want to hear God’s voice. We are His sheep, and we long to know which way our Sheppard is leading us. But, so many of us feel as if we are in life all alone. Sheppard-less sheep, wandering aimlessly without any direction at all.
 
Though that is what Satan would like for us all to believe, thankfully it is just not so!
 
God has given you a very special gift – The Holy Spirit. God Says that He sent His Spirit “to be in close fellowship with you” (John 16:7 AMP). That means that God wants you to be able to hear His voice today just like Adam and Eve heard Him in the garden of Eden.
 
God Speaks To Us In Different Ways
 
Many times we miss out on hearing God’s voice because we don’t know how He speaks. Here are just a few ways that God can speak to you.
 
Through His Word. Many Christians want God to speak to them, but they have not even taken the time to find out what He has already said! God has already spoken to you, and His heartfelt words are written down in the Bible.
When you go to God in prayer before you begin reading your Bible, He can make the words on the pages seem more alive than ever before. He can speak to you about the unique situation that you are facing today through something He said thousands of years ago. He is just that good!
 
Through other Christians. Now, this is a tricky one. God can speak to us through other believers, but that does not mean that everything another Christian says to you is a word from God.
 
God confirms His Word by repetition. If you have only heard a message once, that does not mean it is a special word to you from the Lord. But, if you are receiving the same message over and over from various sources, then that may be the voice of God speaking to you through one of His chosen vessels.
 
You can always pray and ask God to confirm it again to ensure you are on the right path.
 
Through His still small voice. In 1 Kings 19, we read about Elijah hearing the voice of God.
 
…a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.
It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake there was a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper…
-1Kings 19:11b-12 (NLT)
 
This scripture starts off with these loud booming sounds. That is often what we expect when we are waiting to hear from God. But those loud sounds were not where God’s voice was heard.
 
God does not yell when He speaks with us. And you usually will not hear it in your natural ear. When you really hear God’s voice, it will be like a whisper deep within yourself. It will not force you to obey, and is all too easy to ignore.
 
God is a gentleman. If you are waiting for a loud clap of thunder, you may very well miss Him.
 
Through a gently tug. Sometimes you actually hear God’s voice, but other times you may just sense a little tug. Something inside of you senses that a particular decision is the right way to go.
 
It’s not necessarily logical, or what you would normally decide. But, for some reason, you sense a certain peace about it. This peace comes from the Holy Spirit. When you follow this peace, you can never go wrong!
 
But, you must be sure that it is really the peace of God, and not just your emotions. Just because you are happy about something does not mean it is God’s will for your life. Pray and ask God to confirm that what you are sensing is really His will for you, and not just your own.
 
A wise Christian man once said, God is always broadcasting. It is just that, sometimes, we aren’t tuned in to the right channel.