Most people tend to live on the shallow surface where our physical senses, thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions are constantly being stimulated by worldly, carnal, fleshly ways. Because of this, we are not able to hear from God and be led by His Spirit, leaving ourselves wide open to fall for the many deceptions of the devil.
We want to hear from God so that we may be led to pursue the right things. Unfortunately, there are always four voices in every ones head at any given time; God's voice, the devil's voice, other people's voices, and the voice of our own flesh. So, how are we to be sure to hear from God with all the noise going on?
It really is very simple. If we want to hear from God, we need to shut up the other three. So, how do we do that? The first step is to distinguish each voice so that we know what we are up against.
1. The most obvious voice is our own and it speaks to us in a variety of ways. It is always telling us what we want, what we think, and what we feel. The Bible refers to our mind, will, and emotions as our "flesh nature."
2. Another voice that clamors for our attention is the voice of other people. They are usually telling us what they want, what they think, and what they feel.
3.The third voice is the voice of the devil. He is very subtle and speaks to us through worldly ideas and viewpoints that he has injected into other people.
4. The fourth voice is the voice of God and He speaks to us in our spirits. He does not speak to us in our minds. Unfortunately, that's where most of us spend most of our thought life. Again, the Bible refers to this as "the mind of the flesh" (Romans 8:7, AMP).
These are the four voices that we constantly hear and which voice we obey is based on our ability to discern. Obviously, we want to obey the voice of God if we are going to enjoy a successful life because the Bible tells us that we must be led by the Holy Spirit.
So, how do we hear from God and be led by His Spirit? Again, by quieting the other three loud voices screaming for our attention.
When we can find some peace and quiet we will be able to hear that one still, small voice, which is the Holy Spirit of God, wanting to lead us in the way we should go.
How then do we quiet these other voices and find some peace and quiet?
First of all, the devil is easy to shut up. Psalm 22:3 says, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." Satan will have to flee when we begin praising God because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. The devil is not gonna stick around while you shout "Hallelujah" to the Lord.
Just shout out your praise to God. Praise Him for who He is, praise Him for what He has done, praise Him for His promises, and praise Him because He deserves it. As you are praising God, you will not hear from the devil.
Other people's voices are also easy to shut up. All we have to do is get away from them. I realize their tapes continue to play in our heads, but if we can get alone somewhere and just focus on God, those tapes will stop, at least temporarily.
Our flesh is the more difficult to control because it never can get enough and is never satisfied. It is also the most difficult to control because it is extremely self-centered. Even still, Jesus said, "Deny yourself and follow me" (Mark 8:34).
Your flesh doesn't want to follow Jesus. That would mean having to give up many things. It doesn't matter. We are to crucify the flesh (Galatians 2:20). It's just a decision.
When you quiet the evil triplets, the devil, other people's flesh, and your own flesh, it will be much easier to hear from God. Now, that does not mean you will hear an audible voice, although you may, but not likely.
God speaks in many different ways. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me" (John 10:27).
Clearly, before we can know God's voice, we must be like sheep. What are sheep? Only the dumbest animals on the face of the earth. We must become like dumb animals, knowing nothing (in and of ourselves), being completely dependant upon God. This goes back to crucifying the flesh.
When we hear from God it can be something from His written Word (logos), or it could be His audible voice (rhema). We can also get His rhema Word spoken through a friend. Or, it can be nature, convictions, open and shut doors of opportunity, and the most likely, internal peace.
One way you will not hear from God is through your emotions. Emotions are dangerous ground because they are never consistent. They're up one minute and down the next. You can't make important decisions based on something so erratic.
Many times, you will not get a definite answer on something specific. The Bible tells us that we are to live our lives by faith. We are to step out and try things that we feel God is leading us to do. Maybe this will work, maybe that will work. We just have to step out see. "In the morning sow your seed; For you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good" (Ecc 6:11).
One thing is for sure, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23).
Trust God for direction as you take steps of faith toward what you feel He is calling you to. It won't be long until you know for sure whether it was really Him or not.