Q. In a recent answer to a question, you discussed a time when you asked God a question about why a situation involving forgiveness turned out the way it did. You wrote that God responded to your question. I assume from spending much time reading the information on your web site that you have these conversations with God frequently. I hear pastors in radio sermons as well as my own pastors talk frequently about hearing from God and that God speaks to their hearts all the time. My question is how does one know when they are hearing from God or receiving answers to questions directed to God? I received Jesus as my Lord and savior many years ago and I read my Bible most days and pray everyday throughout the day as well as continually feel a deep longing to connect with God. I don’t know how to distinguish a word/thought/conversation with God from my own thoughts. How does one develop this talent/ability?
A. It’s a legitimate question, and a good one, but there’s no clear answer. We all learn to hear the Voice of God by learning to listen for it. God speaks to lots of folks but they can’t hear Him because they haven’t learned to quiet themselves down sufficiently. Others hear it but chalk it up to luck or intuition when things happen the way He described.
Ask Him to speak to you, and then practice listening. When you learn to listen you’ll hear Him and when you hear Him you’ll know. When you think you’ve heard Him but aren’t sure, take a leap of faith and do what He tells you. He’ll keep you from going wrong, because when you honor the Lord He will not dishonor you.
To help prepare yourself, read 1 Kings 19:11-13 about Elijah and the still small voice of the Lord. I think you’ll find it interesting.