There is a lot of talk today about “hearing God.” I am all for hearing God! There’s no question that the eternal Word is still speaking to people’s hearts today. The problem is, if someone says “God told me” thus-and-such, people often take it as “gospel truth” without applying any discernment to what has been said. However, the fact is that we can make a mistake and think we are hearing God’s Spirit, whereas it might be the pizza we ate last night. Or, we might be deceived by the strength of our own emotions or desires.
What’s the solution? Simply this: remember that God will never contradict himself. His written Word in the Bible is final: anything he says to you or me today will agree perfectly with the Bible.
If you think you’ve heard from the Holy Spirit but what you heard contradicts something the Bible has said, then what you heard is wrong. The Bible is never wrong. Remember I John 4:1-3: we are commanded and warned to “test the spirits.” There are many spiritual forces out there, but only one Holy Spirit of God. You may indeed hear something spiritually, but it may not be God’s Spirit. However, if what you hear agrees with biblical principles, makes sense according to your reason, and meets with the approval of the counsel of mature Christians, you can be reasonably certain that it is God’s voice you have heard.
To hear God’s Spirit accurately, let’s keep a humble and obedient attitude, seek God’s will, immerse ourselves in the Scriptures, seek the counsel of others, pay attention, and think things through!