Since the start of this year, I know this year will go to be a fruitful and productive one.
I sought God and, submitted and aligned with Him all my goals and plans on how to achieve them throughout the year. Call me religious but it's my way of reminding myself that I deserve nothing nor entitled to anything because what I am today and where I am today results from God's sovereignty over my life.
And discerning His voice is very important for me. This is not something mystical or requires magic powers, but only requires a relationship with God and His external Word called as The Bible.
So how to discern God's voice? How can I be sure if it's from God or not?
1. Is the impression Scriptural?
We all know in reality, we love mystical stories and fantasies. We want to see visions and want God to give us impressions about a certain person or a situation.
I'm not opposing some Christians who practices giving impressions and some revelations from God that might encourage their brothers and sisters, but was it enough?
God didn't give me that kind of gift because I was not asking for it or I am lacking in faith but rather, God wants me to be more dependent on His Word rather than trusting human interpretation.
A few months ago, I sought the Lord regarding my calling. Whether I am called to become a public speaker, a missionary or a pastor, will I get married or single for my lifetime? Surely, it's never been in my dreams or goals to be a pastor or a missionary, it's a tough job and I don't deserve it but God puts it in my heart.
I wrestle with Him all day and night. Then one night, a Word came. As I opened my Bible, it leads me to 2 Corinthians 8:9-13.
I don't know how God will unfold everything but I know His will is good, pleasing, and perfect.
Guidance from God is always according to His Word.
2. Is it providential?
Sometimes, God speaks through events, or from people closest to you.
Are there open doors or close doors?
I remember one time I ask God regarding public speaking. I told Him, Lord, if this career will not glorify you, then I will give it up. If I get none invitations to talk then let His will be done.
But guess what happened next? A friend who is a speaker as well invited me to come with him to give a talk for the students.
We cannot put God in a box and in any way limit what He can do. He will do what He thinks is good for us and for sure it is for His glory.
For instance, if you are seeking God whether someone you are pursuing or want to pursue or someone who is pursuing you, go back to your Bible. Is it scriptural? Did the person possess the qualities of a real Christian?
Then know who you are and what you wanted to be. Go back to your core values. A friend who invited us to come with him for a vacation bible school in Quezon Province shared to us how it is important to know these things.
Your core values will help you a lot in choosing a mate because our Master wants us to find a mate who is on the same mission as we are. Does he or she support your mission? Does he or she love the Lord more than anything else? Does he or she respect and kind to you?
It doesn't mean he or she is attractive, you will go for him or her. The character is far more important than beauty. Though on my side, as a man, I will only be interested and pursue someone I will be attracted to
If you read the Bible, from the time of Abraham to the apostles, God is constantly opening doors for them if it is according to His will. But He also closes doors for example when Paul or Saul wanted to go to Asia to preach the gospel but the Holy Spirit warned him not to continue.
3. Is the impression reasonable?
This the hardest one I think. Not all impressions are true. We cannot rely on our own feelings because it's subjective.
I always give benefit of the doubt to someone who prophesied to me. I do not accept or believe it instantly, I seek God if it's from Him and processed it afterward.
Test the spirits, as the Bible said.
Sometimes reasonable impressions came from our friends and family. Do they support you in your decision or not?
I can tell that it's reasonable to go for my decision when my leaders, mentors, friends and family supports it. If they say "go", and I can see nothing could hinder God's will for it, then it must a "go".
Just keep in mind that not everyone is going to support you, but it is important as well to get their perspective and processed whether it's reasonable or not.
To conclude, God's voice can be heard anywhere. Through the external living Word of God, through events, and through the people around you. Gone are the days we should wait for the prophets to deliver God's message to us. The Scriptures is enough to tell what God wants us to hear.