If a person doesn’t value hearing God’s voice, they will never set aside time to hear Him. Here is maybe the number one question people ask about hearing God: “How do I know if it’s really God?” How do we know it’s not just us making up something in our minds? Would it be alright to ask God to confirm His word?
A Call For Confirmation
God always confirms His word!
Mark 16:20 – And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
In the Old Testament, there was a principle that was part of the law but affirmed in the New Testament, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established.”
Matthew 18:16 – “But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ “
Then Paul quotes this several times, but here is just one: 2 Corinthians 13:1 – This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established.”
In Judges, Chapter 6, we read the story about Gideon. Most of what people know about him is of him laying out a fleece to know if it was God speaking to him. However, there are several times before the fleece, that Gideon asked for confirmation:
Judges 6:17 – Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talks with me. (Verse 18) “Do not depart from here, I pray until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You. And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”
When the Old Testament says, “The Angel of the LORD,” it’s referring to Jesus. So Jesus comes, sits under a tree and begins talking to Gideon. Then Gideon tells the Angel to show him a sign that it is the LORD. Gideon had to go kill a goat, build a fire, cook it, and then bring it back. This was a several hour-long process.
Here is the amazing thing about this: The Creator of the universe waits for Gideon to come back with his offering and the Lord is still there. And here is another amazing thing: God will wait for us to figure out that it’s really Him talking to us!
(Veres 19) Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. (Verse 20) The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on the rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. (Verse 21) Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread, and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
I’d say that was as big a sign anyone could get. But even after this display of who He was, Gideon keeps asking for the LORD to show him it’s really Him. (Verse 36) Then Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said – (Verse 37) “look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.”
(Verse 38) And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. (Verse 39) Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, and let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” (Verse 40) And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
So it’s ok for you or I to ask for confirmation. What happens next, with Gideon, you can read in Chapter 7. This is an amazing story of how God took only 300 men with him and delivered Israel. God told Gideon to divide the three-hundred into 100 each and put a trumpet and pitchers in their hands. They surrounded the Midianites and blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers and the army fled.
When we believe that we are hearing something from God, it’s alright to ask Him for confirmation! When we believe that we’ve heard something from the Lord, we can ask Him to confirm it by His word, by His people, and by circumstances. To give us a Scripture on it, for someone else to say something about it and for the circumstances to line up so that we have peace about it is a sure way to know.
His Word, His Wisdom, His Ways
Just ask God to confirm what He’s said through His word, godly counsel, and His ways which are faith, love, peace, joy, and goodness.
His Principles, His People, and His Peace
His principles are found in the Word of God, His people are the godly counsel and His peace is within our spirits.
His Character, His Counsel, and His Calm
His character is found in the Bible, and to seek counsel from godly people, and His calm will be the peace in surrounding circumstances lining up.
Here are three questions we can ask ourselves if we believe we’ve heard a word from God: (1) Does what I think I’ve heard line up with the Bible? In other words: Does the Bible agree with what we think God is telling us to do? God’s voice will never disagree with His word and He will never contradict His own words.
Matthew 19:3 – Then the Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” (Verse 4) And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who ‘made them at the beginning made them male and female,’ (Verse 5) “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (Verse 6) “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
(Verse 7) They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” (Verse 8) He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it was not so.
Divorce doesn’t line up with the Father’s character. It doesn’t line up with love, kindness, forgiveness and it doesn’t line up with “denying yourself.” This Scripture is a perfect example when someone wants to know if what they are about to do is permissible. Jesus’ answer was to ask them a question: “Have you not read?”
Even though Moses gave a certificate of divorce, it didn’t make it right in God’s eyes. He gave the certificate because of their hard hearts. Yes, God hates divorce, but He didn’t say that He hated divorced people. It’s the exact same thing if He had said, “I hate car wrecks.” Because car wrecks hurt people and so does divorce! He loves people and He loves people who have made mistakes. In every divorce, there is one person with a hard heart. They won’t die to self and lay their life down for the other person.
Do you know that there are people who look for Scriptures to justify their actions?, but it doesn’t line up with the character and nature of God. One Scripture is not going to confirm what we think we heard from God. Does it line up with the character and the Bible as a whole? Don’t forget what Satan did when he tempted Jesus: He quoted “one” Scripture to Him. We can’t take one Scripture out of context to be proof.
2) Does godly counsel agree?
If a person believes God has spoken something to them, submit it to godly counsel. Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 24:6 – For by wise counsel you will wage your own war and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
So does godly counsel agree with what the person says God told them? Some people will go through several people before they find the one person that agrees with them. They may be talking to other Christians but that’s not getting counsel from God’s wisdom if it doesn’t line up with Scripture.
Seeking godly counsel does not mean that the person has already made up their mind either. If the person has already made up their mind, they are just going to find someone who agrees with them! Too many go to others and actually want that other person to “hear” from God for them. Confirmation is not asking other people to hear or pray for them.
Godly counsel is when we go to godly people and say, “I’ve been praying about this and I feel God has said, and now will you pray with me about it and see if you get the same answer?”
3) Do I have peace about what I think God said to me?
It always takes faith to follow God. It never takes fear! There is never fear associated with following God. Everything we come up against will take faith to be delivered by God. It took faith for Gideon to do what he did. Read Hebrews 11. If God is leading, He will give peace.
Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. This word “rule’ in Greek literally means “Umpire!”
Philippians 4:7 – and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This word “guard” means to protect from a hostile invasion by a military battalion. The mind is where we’ll be invaded by the enemy. They will try to bring fear, worry, and confusion to our minds. However, the “Peace of God” will protect us!
We should not be afraid to say what we feel because of the reaction we might get from others. If it doesn’t sit right with you, say something. Don’t be manipulated by the enemy. And don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t have peace about this!” The peace of God has to rule in our hearts.
Anytime God speaks, His word will confirm it, His counsel will affirm it, and His peace will let you know.