There is the voice in our mind that daily guides us, also known as our consciences. There are spiritual leaders who tell us what God is saying to us.
The Bible tells us that Satan can also attack our thoughts bringing thoughts that will ultimately destroy the abundant life God wants to give us. And lastly, there is the still small voice of God saying, “this is the way – walk in it”’ (Isaiah 30:21) How do we discern the difference? Last week, I summarised the answer in a few points, but this week, I want us to dive a bit deeper into some specific points. If you missed last week, you can find any of my past articles on the Mmegi website by simply searching for Ashley Thaba. First, let’s address the issue of fear. Many times in the Bible, people heard from God. 1 John 4:18 says God’s message is full of love therefore it drives out fear. When God whispers His promises and His plan, it fills you with a peace. You are no longer alone. Your creator has got your back. You WILL make it through this trial! You CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
Satan’s voice brings a message that produces fear and anxiety. On the contrary, God’s messages, although at times quite scary in the assignment He might be giving you, always fill you with a sense of supernatural peace. BUT THERE ARE SO MANY PROPHETS!?!? They all claim to hear from God! Can I TRUST them?
Prophecy is not new! God has spoken to His people through prophets and the gift of prophecy for millenniums. During those thousands of years, there have been legitimate prophets and false prophets.
There is nothing new under the sun so even today we have those who are imposters trying to tap into the power that comes from saying one hears from God. We also have those who sincerely carry divine messages from the Lord Almighty.
So how do we tell the difference?
Simple! The Bible says God is trustworthy and every word comes to pass. Does what the “prophet” say come true? – if someone has heard the word of God then it will come to pass. I was talking to someone the other day who was talking about a popular prophet and the person was saying that X is right most of the time. It reminded me of a game of statistics – if you say 100 statements, surely odds are in your favour that a certain percentage will come true!?
Anyway, I asked, “what do you mean “most of the time”? Are there specific times he has been wrong? She responded, “Well, yes, there are some things he said would happen that didn’t come true.” I responded, “you mean they just haven’t come true yet or they DIDN”T come true?
There is a difference in let’s say the prophecies that Daniel received that didn’t come true in his life time and then there is the “you will marry xyz” and xyz marries someone else… or XXX will become President of such and such nation and He doesn’t… then that was a LIE because it did NOT happen.
Anyone who presumes to speak the VOICE OF God better be SURE they heard the VOICE OF God and if they say something that doesn’t come true then it was not a true prophetic word. The Bible backs up this presumption in Deuteronomy 18:20.
But if any prophet dares to speak a message in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or to speak in the name of other gods, that prophet must be put to death.”
You may ask in your heart, “How can we recognise a message that the LORD has not spoken?” When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and the message does not come to pass or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deut. 18:20-22)
And the LORD said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. Jeremiah 14:14
For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. Romans 16:19
Fortunetellers are in the Bible so we know Satan can give people the gift of knowing some things. That is a satanic gift just as much as a Biblical one – but only God is totally omniscient and the Bible is clear that when Satan speaks he lies because it is his mother tongue.
Therefore, it is to be expected that NOT everything he says or inspires one to say will be true. He is NOT THE way, the TRUTH, and the life. When God speaks, the Bible says it is TRUSTWORTHY so it would make sense that the one who speaks His words can be trusted 100% of the time!
Can you imagine an ambassador speaking on behalf and with the authority of a King when he had not indeed actually received a message from that King?? That would be arrogant, foolish, and morally wrong.
We will pick this discussion up next week as we continue to answer the question, “How do I know God’s voice”? Next week, we will dive deeper into studying the CONTENT of the prophecy to help us discern whether God or man is speaking.