Satan is the original counterfeiter. Pay attention and you’ll see how he operates.
As you know, God’s kingdom is one of good order. Satan formed his kingdom out of rebellion and chaos. God created a system of sacrifice for sins and Jesus (the pure one) was the final atonement for our personal sin. Satan mocks this system with his demonic altar, collecting the blood of the innocent; a blood lust that can never be satisfied.
True to his nature, Satan stole/copied what God was doing with His prophets. If evil men can dedicate their lives to hearing and implementing evil, why can’t the children of God carefully pursue the voice of God, our Father...the one who promised to lead us, teach us and show us His ways? And, how is this even possible if we don’t hear from Him?
The prophets of the Old Testament were known for their correction (most notably-Elijah and Jeremiah). These men were not called to encourage but to warn. In Biblical times, The Israelites hated these harsh truth tellers because they were not appealing to those who would only tolerate messages of prosperity and encouragement. In order to truly grow, we must be willing to listen (and hear) the truth even if it goes against what we wish or want.
The good news entails the gift of prophecy which is meant to edify and strengthen the body of Christ. This is a powerful tool meant to lead us into a deeper connection with Him and our calling. This is about the community of Christ keeping each other accountable; if God’s people needed this back then, how much more do we need this today?
The only way to truly know is to watch him/her for a while. Is this individual living (as best they can) according to God’s will? Is he/she producing good fruit? Are they willing to listen to correction or are they only willing to give it? Any prophetic words given should result in the pursuit of God as God would never have His people do anything contradictory to His will or character.
We all can hear from God and from the enemy, too.
For Christians, the Bible is the scale we measure our standards by. Throughout history, there have been plenty of evil hearted people who’ve done their deeds, claiming they were obeying the voice of God. Most of these individuals, unfamiliar with the nature of God, ignorantly plucked out single passages, wielding them out of context. In blasphemous irreverence, these sinful people disgraced God’s holy name.
Again, God never contradicts His word or His nature. Hence, any person claiming to hear from Him should have their words of knowledge fact-checked by the scriptures, preferably under the guidance of a trusted authority of scripture.
Soaking in the word of God by diving into deep study of His character.
Soaking in worship music.
Fasting from the cares of this world. (Temporarily quitting social media or television time to make space for Him).
Fasting from food, (or anything that the Lord may lead you to do).
Fasting from gossip (or any activity that could taint you from hearing clearly).
When you give honor to any other source than Him, you’re stepping into dangerous territory. This will open doors and create opportunities for you to be deceived. Anyone longing to hear the voice of God should never engage in these activities:
Dabbling in horoscopes.
Tapping into psychic readers of any kind; card readers, ball readers, tea leaf readers, etc..
All Yoga practices (for this is steeped in pagan religions honoring different deities).
Use of mind-altering substances.
We are co-laborers. God Himself claimed His children are His hands and feet on the earth, sanctioned to do His good will; to be witnesses of His unseen reality. As believers, we overcome our enemy when we walk according to God’s lead.
If not us, who? Who will speak and stand up for the things of God? Your goldfish?
Religion proclaims the noble things of God cannot be touched by man, but Jesus was generous with the precious things of God, promising the weak would confound the wise. This was because in their humility (as we are all weak compared to a great God) these sober individuals were able to apply the simplicity of the gospel to their inner lives; not just the areas that were exposed for others to see.
God’s love and personal touch (and voice) are available to all who accept every part of Him; for He is the righteous judge, a loving Father our savior and our friend. He isn’t the kind of comrade who’ll claim your cancer spot looks fine...and go on His merry way. God cares enough that He will always provoke a deeper examination into anything working to destroy us. (Even as we kick, scream and grab for our cancer sticks.)
These men pursed God at all costs; they paid a high-price for the privilege of carrying the torch, modeling what was possible (with a life fully submitted to God). The process of sanctification takes a lifetime and when we understand that, it’s easier to accept God’s grace over performing good works (to remain on His good side). I hope to be the kind of prophet who reaches heaven and hears God say, “Well done my good and faithful Julia.”
Simply put, faith is believing. To be strong in faith, you must believe God with all your heart, soul and mind; you must be willing to let go of everything competing against His Godhead. The Almighty could never (and should never!) share His glory. When we fully release all other gods, pursuing Abba with our full heart, we shut out other influences that would cause confusion. And, once you hear from Him, no man on earth can snatch that precious ‘knowing’ He gives. Unless you’re ready to let God be the only voice you heed, it’s wise to hold back claiming you’ve heard from Him. Only after honoring Him with your full heart, should you have the confidence to say anything is from Him.
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirt of the Lord is, there is freedom. So, all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3: 17-18
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-He will teach you everything and remind you of everting I have told you.” John 14:26
“But I will send you the Advocate-the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.” John 15:26
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, through Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
“But it was to us that God revealed these things by His spirit. For His spirt searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (Not the world’s spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.” Acts 9:31
“So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father” for His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:15-16
*Just a note: I’m not a biblical teacher or preacher, this is what I’ve learned from my study of God’s word and through personal trial and error.