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God talks to me, guides me and helps me on a daily basis. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that it is His voice I hear when He speaks – most of the time anyway. Sometimes, for a split second, I question if what I am hearing is God or my own thoughts (I am pretty good at recognizing the spiritual influences that are NOT of God).

How do you tell?

I have run across this question quite a bit. It seems that many people out there want to know how to discern God’s voice from their own thoughts.

Well, the way I see it, there are actually two steps that must happen when God speaks to us – recognizing God’s voice and obeying Him. I’ll concentrate on the first part and we’ll get into the obedience later.

We must recognize that it is God speaking if we are going to obey him.

The only way to do that, to know His voice, is to develop a relationship with Him. You know your best friend’s voice, your siblings or parent’s voice. When they call on the phone, you recognize their voice immediatly, don’t you? In fact, you could probably even read something that they wrote and instantly know they wrote it without even seeing the name of the author.

You know the person well enough that you just know, right?

The Gospel of John gives us a clear and easy to understand explanation of this, of how we will be able to discern God’s voice from our own thoughts.

John 10:2-5 (King James Version)

 2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

 3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

See, Jesus is the shepherd and we are the sheep. We know His voice so when He calls, we follow Him for we know His voice.

Again, though, this familiarity, this knowing, can only come through having arelationship with Christ. We have to get to know Him so that we can know His voice.

I will write more on that in coming days – how to have a relationship with Jesus. But this is the beginning, where it starts – recognizing that it is necessary and birthing a desire to know Him.

Do you recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you? How?