Do you recognize the voice of your daughter when she calls to you? How about your son? If you have more than one child, can you distinguish between their voices? Of course you can. And you also know the voices of other close family members – your grandchildren, parents, and siblings; or cousins who grew up with you. You’ve been listening to their voices day after day; year after year. You’d recognize them anywhere.
But can you identify the voice of God? If you can’t, why not? If you are in God’s family, your Heavenly Father speaks to you just like your Earthly father does. He talks to you throughout the day, guiding and directing you; giving you instructions and answering your questions. Do you recognize His voice, or do you ignore Him day after day, week after week, year after year. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” The same way babies learn to recognize the voice of their parents – by listening to their voices, baby Christians learn to recognize the voice of their Savior – by listening to His voice.
But how can I distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of Satan?
That’s a good question. II Corinthians 11:14-15 say “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” That means that the devil and his emissaries try to imitate God by looking righteous while they lead you astray. If they can keep you busy doing good deeds and serving the church, you may happily go out into eternity lost, never knowing that works and church membership don’t save you.
And don’t forget that you also have your own voice, your own goals, and your own desires, which, by nature, contradict everything that God would have you to do. Isaiah 55:8-9 say, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Because we think so differently than God, there’s only one way that we can learn to discern His voice and that is through His Word. John 17:17 says, “…thy word is truth.” The greatest way to discern error is to know the truth. People who handle money (such as those who work in a bank) are not taught how to recognize counterfeit bills; they’re trained to recognize the real thing. The same is true about God’s truth and Satan’s lies. Once you’ve learned to recognize the voice of God, you’ll be able to discern His voice and ignore all others.
The more you know the Word of God…
- allowing its truth to infiltrate your mind
- take root in your heart
- permeate your soul
- and change your life
…the easier it is to recognize God’s voice.