Hearing from God is discerning between the different voices we hear. Whether it’s through our feelings and what they communicate or what the enemy is trying to distract us from or with.
Hearing from God requires us to think about what we are thinking instead of allowing what comes to be have the ultimate say over our lives.
I like to say we have the truth of our situation and the truth over our situation, which is God. Therefore, we don’t have to deny our reality exists or pretend everything is fine when it’s not. We do however, get to pray and seek the Lord to show us what is true and right that will bring healing and clarity.
How do we know if we are hearing from God or the enemy or our feelings?
Let’s take a look at the fruit that each one will bring.
No matter the phrase or words someone uses to speak over us, if someone tells a lie to us or about us long enough, we begin to believe it is true. The words we meditate on will be the words we reproduce. Anything in repetition builds something. We may be creating stories about ourselves based on other people’s pain and how they view their lives and world.
Think of us as sponges. Whatever substance a sponge is soaking in will come out when the sponge is wrung out. Our lives are similar. We absorb our surroundings, other people’s pain, and our circumstances all at once. What we soak in will flow from our hearts and out of our mouths.
Now the question turns to us: What have we been soaking in? Opinions? Past moments? Trauma? Pain? Joy? The truth?
We can soak up both truth and lies into our lives.
Hearing from God requires us to know the truth and to recognize the lies because that’s what the truth does.
Truth exposes darkness.
When we bring God’s Word into our current thoughts, our thoughts are confronted with two opposing viewpoints. Since Jesus is the embodiment of truth, anything that goes against His Word is a lie.
We hardwire our brains when the same thoughts occur, and the way of living remains the same day in and day out. When our thinking begins to change—when we elevate our thinking to God’s truth—we prune old neural pathways and form new ones. When we realize that Jesus invites us to see His perspective and not ours, then healing comes through His kindness and compassion extending toward our pain and experiences.
Healing has a welcome invitation when we grant permission to ourselves to bring up parts of us that are buried or to rest when needed. Processing through pain and forgiveness does not mean what you experienced does not exist or is not valid. We can experience our feelings and, at the same time, not allow them to form into our worth or our identity. Holding both our feelings and God’s truth is where we begin to bridge the gap from feeling to healing.
Recognizing these patterns allow us to begin hearing from God clearly.
A good way to determine whether we believe a lie or not is by asking ourselves a few simple questions:
1. What kind of fruit is my life creating right now?
2. What do I think about most of the time?
3. How are my thoughts making me feel?
Asking these questions requires us to think about what we are thinking. The more of God’s Word we have stored in our hearts, the easier detecting the lies will become. Awareness requires us to ask the Holy Spirit to help us be aware so that we can repair.
Therefore, to know a lie is to know the fruit the lie produces in our lives. A lie will lead to destruction of some kind, whether defeat in our thought life, jealousy or insecurities in our relationships, or feeling stuck in our purpose or where God has called us. Lies lead us to stay in one place for an extended amount of time. Lies don’t want to see us win. John 8:44 tells us that Satan is not only a liar, he’s “the father of lies” (niv). There is no truth in him. The enemy is a liar. He wants to replace the truth in our hearts and souls with deception. If the enemy can keep us distracted and focused on our painful lies, he can keep us distant from God.
Therefore, opposing the lies will only come through growing our relationship with the Father which tunes our ears to hearing from God on a personal level.
His Word tells us we have the power to control our feelings and work through them without allowing them to escalate. We do not have to guess the results we get when we respond from our feelings. Without creating space, responding from pain or upset ends in more frustration, loss, anger, or hurt. To catch every thought and discern what is truth or a lie is not about perfection.
Here are a few scriptures to point us back to discernment, control, and letting the Holy Spirit do the work.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19–20)
He who is slow to anger has great understanding [and profits from his self-control], but he who is quick- tempered exposes and exalts his foolishness [for all to see]. (Proverbs 14:29 amp)
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26–27)
Jesus got angry without sinning. He had righteous anger. Righteous anger is not sinning. Jesus’ anger led to the bettering of all people. Righteous anger toward evil, not people. Passive anger gives place to the devil. As believers, to “resist the enemy” (actively fight against) is a command, which is why at the same time we are called to “submit to God” (James 4:7).
I want you to know, above all, that you have the ability to discern and hear from God. (In fact, I bet you are hearing from God more than you think.) It all starts and end with the Word. What kind of fruit are you producing and it will bring awareness to who you are partnering with.
To learn more about feelings, discerning the truth, and healing from past pain, you can get my book Face Off with Your Feelings!