How To Know It’s God
Very rarely does God bring me back around to the same topic and prompt me to teach on it again, just 2 weeks later. I typically wake up with something new and fresh, but this morning, it was different. This morning, all I can think about are the amount of questions coming in that are still asking, “How do I know God is speaking to me? Why isn’t he telling me what to do?”
I keep redirecting these questions to the podcast from 2 weeks ago titled “Why Isn’t God Talking”, but the questions keep coming in. So today, God is directing me to hit this one again with a few more answers.
If you missed that episode, I highly encourage you to listen, it’s #1321. As a quick recap, we looked at Jesus’ teaching in John 10: 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Shepherds know and name each of their sheep. They don’t rely on a number tag in their ear, they actually KNOW them because they literally live with them. And a sheep knows the voice of their shepherd over every other voice. Sheep have been tested with the voices of shepherds of other flocks, and they will not respond to any voice other than their own shepherd.
So, when Jesus says we are his sheep, and we listen to his voice and follow him, he means we have the ability to know the promptings of his spirit over the promptings of any other spirit. When we have remained close to him, we have learned his unmistakacsble voice and there is no confusion.
However, if we have stopped spending time with him and we have strayed a bit, we may be confused on his voice. He may be calling us, and we may not be recognizing his call. The solution is to get reconnected to him. Spend time with him. Quality time, not check the box time. Grow in relationship with Christ, not in religion. There’s a difference.
But God has brought me back to this lesson again and revealed to me why I myself have at times failed to recognize his voice, and why others may be struggling with the same. Here it is … we stopped responding.
If you didn’t respond the last time you felt God prompt you with something specific, then the next time you were less sure it was him. With each delay and resistance, we become less and less connected, and more and more uncertain of the voice of our shepherd.
It’s like my dog, Tank. If he is hot on the scent of some new, exciting dog from Tennessee he has never smelled before, and he doesn’t listen to my promptings the first time, he’s less likely to listen the second time. The more he doesn’t respond to me, the harder it is to get him to respond. The further he wanders, the less he hears me.
And it’s the same with us. When we stop responding to the promptings of God’s spirit, we become less likely to hear him or obey him next time. We go deeper and deeper into lost woods and then wonder why God’s not talking to us anymore.
So, what can we do? We can start responding again! Yip, it really could be that simple, Sis.
The very next time you feel that little stir to make that phone call, start that conversation, offer that help, take that leap, make that move, knock on that door, and give it a try, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
It’s so easy to discount every past nudge of the Holy Spirit when you didn’t respond. It’s easy to assume that was just your wild imagination telling you crazy things. But what if it wasn’t? Really, what if the last prompting you dismissed was God calling you to something you’ve been wanting for a really long darn time? What if it was a divine alignment for you to step into a partnership with God Almighty to be part of bigger things than your mind can fathom?!!! You can’t keep dismissing this, Sis! You can’t keep feeling that nudge, receiving that prompting, and just sit on it.
Do something about it.
I’m not saying to go flying into your bosses office and quit your job by noon because you felt like you would rather be at home today. I’m not saying to book that dream vacation with reckless abandon and rack up all kinds of debt you can’t pay just because you saw someone’s spring break post with photos of a beach you really want to be on.
Those are impulses. We all feel those too.
As a raging 7 on the ennegram, I excel in impulsiveness. I make decisions in a split second. I conjure up excitement and adventure in every scenario, and always opt for more. My “do something about it” can be unhealthy in a flash, so it has to be qualified. Here are my qualifications:
When I feel a prompting, which is typically just a feeling within your spirit, a thought that pops into your mind when you weren’t really even thinking and it feels different than the rest, then I send that prompting through a quick set of qualifications:
The prayer is simple. “Lord, if you’re in this, I want it. If you’re not, I don’t.” That genuine surrender in prayer can shut down a whole lot of other spirits in an instant. I trust that. Put that prayer in your back pocket and whip it out with every single prompting.
- What Would Satan Do?
For real, think about that real quick and you will be amazed by the clarity. Thinking about what Jesus would do can sometimes be overwhelming. But, thinking about what Satan would do can be real clear.
What would Satan do in this situation and how would he want you to respond? He would want you to lick the cheesey powder from your fingers and dive back into the bag of Cheetos, sinking lower into that pit of despair, doing absolutely nothing different than you did yesterday. He would want you to fight and argue, push your point, and be bitter. He would want you to be overwhelmed, be stressed, be agitated, and dwell in it. He would want you to take this out on your family, lash out on the people you love most, hurt others because you’ve been hurt. He would want you to burn bridges, throw away your dreams, and dwell in disappointment. He would want you to shut down. He would want you to sit it out and miss out, then wallow in regret.
Okay, now think through your specific question of prompting and put it through the filter of “What would Satan do?” You feel potentially prompted to get out of the job you hate and start a new career. What would Satan do and what would he want you to do? Wouldn’t he want you to just stay and be miserable? Wouldn’t he want you to make wild rash decisions and create chaos? Wouldn’t he want you to sit there in your questioning and do absolutely nothing? Yip, that’s exactly what he would want you to do. Now, DON’T DO THAT. If that’s what Satan would do, then you know that’s not what you want to do.
Wow, didn’t that just make the argument you find yourself in a whole lot more simplified? Didn’t that just clear the air and take away the confusion?
- Check God’s Word.
God’s spirit will never prompt you to do something that goes against his word. That feeling of being drawn to another man when you’re married, that goes against God’s word. That can’t be a prompting from God. Is there anything in scripture that would prohibit what you feel? Honey, if it isn’t Biblical, then it’s real simple, that’s not from God. If it doesn’t bring life, if it doesn’t honor God, if it doesn’t show love, if it doesn’t bring healing, if it doesn’t create peace, it’s not from God.
Now, once you’ve prayed, once you’ve checked on what Satan would do, and once you’ve considered God’s word, and that prompting has passed all the tests and it’s still there, then DO SOMETHING.
Little sheep, move toward the shepherd’s voice in faith. The longer you wait, the easier it will be to dismiss that voice. The longer you dismiss that voice, the harder it will be to hear it next time.
Maybe we’ve just gotten out of the habit of actually doing something with the little things God prompts us to do, and maybe God hasn’t prompted us to do anything big in a long time because we haven’t been obedient with the little things in a long time.
So, the very next time you feel that stirring with a thought that doesn’t seem to be your own, and a feeling that tells you you should do something, pray, think about what Satan would do, and check God’s word. Then, do something, girlfriend!
You and I are the recipients of divine counsel every single day. Every day the shepherd calls us. Every day we are invited into opportunities to be part of his miraculous work. Let’s start doing something about it and stop ignoring it!
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