A friend of mine told me several months ago that God told her that if she got pregnant just one more time, she would have a boy. Well, she did get pregnant and she is having a girl.
I had another woman tell me five years ago that God told her that within that next year, someone would come to me with a huge amount of money and try to buy my silence so I wouldn’t speak out against Planned Parenthood. Never happened.
A pro-life woman came to me and told me that God had spoken to her and said that I would have no more than three children. She said that He told her that I would struggle with infertility after my third child, but that I was to continue to be faithful to Him. I have five kids.
My friend told me that she had to raise money to go on this Christian singles cruise because God told her that she would marry one of the men on the cruise. This was four years ago. She’s still single.
I’m not telling these stories to make fun of anyone. I believe that every one of these people genuinely believe that they “heard” from God. But did they? How do we know if it is God’s voice or just our own will? Honestly, I don’t have an answer for that. But I think I have learned a few things about God’s voice and how He communicates with us. I thought I would share.
1. God is spontaeneous.
Anytime I’ve been waiting on the voice of God to tell me something, it never happens. But when I’m just going about my day not thinking about whatever I’ve been praying about, I suddenly feel like I have received an answer. It often happens when I’m drying my hair…I think I have a very special hair dryer. It’s moments like that when I realize that it’s probably not my own will speaking, but the will of God.
2. God is not a fortune teller.
Yes, there are people who have been prophets. But to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure we are blessed with such prophets this day in age. I don’t believe that God speaks to us in an attempt to tell us the future. I believe that God is concerned with our present. He has given us the ability to control now, and I think that’s where He does His best work.
3. God is not going to tell you what car to buy.
I believe that God is involved with matters of the heart…not matters of the material. I was listening (begrudingly) to Joel Osteen last week and he kept talking about how God will tell you to “dream big” with your finances…that if you want that nice car and you have enough faith, God will give it to you…because God wants you to “live large.” After I vomited in my mouth, I realized how dangerous that message is. God is not in the business of providing brand new cars or big houses. God is in our sufferings, in the crosses we carry. He is in the things that draw us nearer to Him. A big new boat is not what God is about. God’s in our smallness…that’s the only way we can continue to remember that He is bigger than any of our desires.
4. When you feel like you are being called to do something you don’t want to, that’s probably God.
God wants us to be uncomfortable. Christianity is not for the weak-hearted. It is hard. It requires obedience to His will, even when it’s something that we don’t want to do.
5. God will never call you to be unloving.
Scott Roeder said that he was “told by God” to kill abortionist, George Tiller. So he did. If there is one thing I am sure of, God wasn’t involved in that decision. Violence in the “name of God” is never from God. God is love. God is just. But we are to wait on His justice, not dish out the justice that we feel is necessary. Human will is strong. Many times we think God is calling us to do something…but it’s really just our own subconscious telling us to do something that we really wanted to do.
God will tell you to “wait” a lot. God will often leave you hanging. But that’s to remind us that all of this is about His timing, not ours. I think when we continue to pray to make ourselves small, God will show up in a big way. Sometimes He’s just waiting for us to get our huge wills out of the way so He can work.