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How to tell when God or satan is talking to you?

Discussion in 'Young Adults' started by jko, May 30, 2004.

  1. jko

    jko Master Chief using the Stargate!

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    Sometimes it's hard for me to tell. There was a time when I knew God was speaking to me, it was, commanding. I was really down and needed some comfort and I was listening to a CD that didn't help my mood at all, and He told me to switch to the Christian radio station and a song that I really like was playing, Never Alone by Barlow girls.

    Then sometimes I have things in my mind that I can't tell who is speaking to me..
     
  2. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican Supporter CF Ambassador

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    IMO, that's more like intuition, although God can work through intuition if He wants too ;)

    I highly doubt the Devil dwells around one person much for long; he's too busy with others :p
     
  3. Pope Gonzo

    Pope Gonzo New Member

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    The Devil loves to confuse you. I often get confused about my convictions as well. The first thing I do is make sure which, if not both, conviction is in line with God's Word. If I'm still confused, I just pray about it, calm myself, and try not to get worked up about it. I hope that helps :)
     
  4. Apollonian

    Apollonian Anachronistic Philosopher

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    This is an issue which weighs heavily with me since I tend to think too hard about many things. Hence, it is easy for the Deceiver to confuse me. I have encountered a few pieces of wisdom however.

    Seek tranquility of Mind and Heart
    There is a reason that we call His voice the "still small voice" (1 Kings 19). If a voice in your head (be it 'conscience' 'thought' 'intuition' or whatever you would call it) is quite insistent about something - chances are it is a deception. This does not mean that it is wrong but it may be incomplete. This is the primary reason we are called to pray and to meditate (quiet our minds and hearts). If you hear a persistent voice which speaks to you while your mind is calm - that is most likely God's hand. Still, this is no final guarantee and there are many paths of deception.

    Understand your own weakness
    If you work hard to understand your natural biases, then it will be easier to see a deception when it comes. If you desire a thing, you will very easily convince yourself that the thing is good even if it is not- regardless of careful deliberation. This is where the whole wisdom against "fools rushing in" came about. Furthermore, read the Word. A knowledge of scripture and its proper interpretation is important. If you understand the identity of God the best you can, it will be easier to see where He is leading you and where the Enemy is masquerading as God to confuse us. Yet, in the end, be wary of too much thought lest the enemy take advantage of your confusion. I am of the opinion that God will never fault a person for acting out of faith even if he or she is deceived. If He would find fault in such travesty, then what purpose does Christ serve?

    Seek fellowship - "comrades in arms"
    Finally, if you have others pray and think for you, it is far more difficult for the forces of the enemy to win against many. Solomon said that "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12. If you fall under attack (and you will) then call out to the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. As soon as possible, seek fellowship with friends you can trust to help break the siege. Have them pray for you, and ask them about what they think is right. Sometimes, a friend can see some deceptive ploy which you do not. Furthermore, friends in Christ will help you gather your strength when you do find God instructing you.

    I myself am very interested in this topic right now, but I have yet to do much study. If anyone else is interested, I am thinking about reading CS Lewis's book "The Screwtape Letters" where he chronicles the (fictional) plots and ploys of a masterful demon who is instructing his apprentice on the art of temptation and deception. I highly recommend CS Lewis as a resource in general.

    -Apollonian
    20/m INTj
     
  5. TriZz

    TriZz The Recreated

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    I have trouble with this issue as well. This has been great reading.

    When I feel like God's tugging on my heart to do something, I ask someone else what they think about it. I mean, I feel something tug everytime I see an attractive girl walk by with a mini skirt on, is that God? The most common answer is "NO".

    When I get clarification from someone else, I tend to ask someone who has previous experience...or is where I want to be, which means they are a stronger man of God than I am.

    Example: I'm in a deep "like" with this Christian Girl. She is someone who I hope to have a future with. She feels the same too. Now, when I want to call her often...or hang out with her late at night...I'll ask a Christian man who is married to a Christian woman (whos marriage I look up to) if he thinks it's a good idea for me to call her or hang out with her...

    I'm the type that will take a deception and turn it into "God's will" quickly with a little imagination. I ask others to keep myself from that. Along with prayer, meditation, bible reading...
     
  6. R.James

    R.James God will Provide

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    God says to test all things, and hold on to what is good. If you are suspicious of what the voice in your head is saying, test it with God's word.
     
  7. snoopyloopysk8a

    snoopyloopysk8a #1 Stunna

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    Satan can imitate Jesus/God/Holy Spirit quite well seeing that he used to be in Heaven. But, generally, if it feels Godly but is telling you to do something contrary to God's Word, then it's probably Satan.
     
  8. BIRTHED OUT!

    BIRTHED OUT! Godseeker

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    Amen. I had the same problem. and the lord told me he has to reveal his voice to you, first and foremost God will not say nothing thats against the Word of God. Because he and his Word are one, his Word does not return void. I would also like to say that God speaks through scripture, audiobly, a quickening you feel in your heart and spirit,and through his prophet. But you have to discern whether something you hear is evil or from the Word of God. Because satan is not going to say the word of God to you,thats not wise to do on his case if he is out to confuse or trick you, now what he will do is try to twist the Word of God thats why its important to STUDY to show yourself approval unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashame but rightly dividing the Word of truth. How are you gonna test the spirit if you dont know what the Word says about the spirit?

    That the spirit is peaceable and is not the author of confusion. Now I dont know personally how he is gonna sound to you, but one thing I do know is that he wont go against the Word. And you have to spend time having intimacy with him for him to reveal his voice to you. Get your self in a quiet place, calm your mind and spirit. Get everything off of it, and in your spirit tell the lord to speak to you and if you dont say nothing he will speak to you. One thing about God speaking is also I must say everything we do is by faith, if you believe God will speak to you then he will. He cant speak to you if you talking to everybody and your mind has so much on it cause if he tried to you would not be sensitive enough to hear him.

    Also Most people think God is going to come to them with this loud and scary voice ' I AM THE LORD GOD, DO THIS AND THAT!!!!" why would he do that?:scratch: he would then scare you to pieces LOL:D NO, he is going to talk to you by your personality, he is that small voice inside of you. be blessed:clap:
     
  9. invisiblebabe

    invisiblebabe He will restore the years the locust hath eaten

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    God's voice will do one of three things: it will either encourage you, convict you, or enlighten you.

    satan's voice will do the opposite.

    And of course, you can't forget your OWN voice in all this mix. I think sometimes we dream up all sorts of things and say "God told me this" when in fact, it's nothing more than our own minds.

    A bit more in-depth explanation:

    1) encouragement vs. discouragement: A message from God will give you hope in the face of adversity (i.e. if you are depressed, and suddenly a friend calls you out of the blue and tells you he believes God has an awesome future for you**.... or if the small voice within you is telling you everything will be okay...that is likely from God. **i don't limit God's "messages" to only the mind.... I believe He can and does use circumstances to speak to us).

    satan, on the other hand, will always try and plant thoughts such as "i'm not good enough," "i'm ugly," "i have no future".... etc.... in your head. these thoughts are ALWAYS from the evil one.

    and of course our own imaginations.... i'd attribute that to when things get a bit too specific. say, "God told me i will marry so-and-so..." or "I'm totally sure I'll win this competition because God told me I will." Well, 99.9% of those are wrong.... it's just your own overactive heart telling you exactly what you want to hear. Of course, you may end up marrying that person or winning that competition... I just see no reason for God to habitually reveal these things supernaturally.

    2) Conviction vs. condemnation/dismissing sinfulness: If you, say, steal something, and a voice inside you is telling you that you messed up, and you have to stop stealing.... that'd be from God. However, if the voice harps on you for being such a stupid, evil, unlovable person, that's satan talking. Sins are forgiven through Christ....we are called to accept His sacrifice, stand humbly before Him, and repent of our sins. We know we are sinners, but we are forgiven and walking a new path in His ways, and any more condemnation is unjustified.

    There is, of course, satan's way of erring on the other side. "Oh, it's okay that you stole those clothes. You can keep doing it... it doesn't matter. God forgives you anyway... nobody's perfect." This is minimizing God's glory and Christ's sacrifice. We are not called to keep sinning just because grace is given.

    I don't think satan has to work particularly hard on this subject.... with our own voices, we tend to err on one side or the other. the key to hearing God's voice with this is, if it elevates Christ, it's from Him. if it doesn't, it isn't from Him.

    3) Wisdom vs. confusion: if you're learning more about life, about Him, and about who He made you to be.....and if you desire to keep seeking to learn more.... that is from God. However, satan likes to twist this and use it to suit his own purposes.... he'll either try to get you to believe that knowledge either makes you better than everyone else, or isn't useful at all. And of course, satan will try to get you to believe false information (to test this, check it in line with the Word) or get you confused.
     
  10. Machachachi

    Machachachi Becoming Orthodox

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    Here is my take and consider it however you will...........

    God's voice is not so discernable from our very own thoughts. God gives us the tools to make our own decisions. There have been so many times in my life that I have had a "good" thought only to later realize it was God speaking. Over time, I've just learned to recognize the difference between me and him.

    I think he does it like this, cause he isn't a jerk to be honest. How would you feel if someone were always just butting in on your thoughts telling you how to think. I would be mostly resentful, and very uninclined to listen, but there is a beauty in his wisdom, he speaks to our hearts, and our hearts speak back to us. Jesus, takes his precious time with us, knowing that change and love are two things best not rushed.... Its his love that makes his voice so quiet and still. Its not learning to listen as it is so much learning to go with it....

    Telling the difference? Heck sometimes I still can't tell the difference, but it hardly matters, I know he is in my life, and I trust that what I need to know will find its way to me, whether its through books, music, my own thoughts, or Star Wars;-).... Learn to be patient, I mean, after all is it gonna kill you to wait for his voice? After all he does know what he's going....


    And I wouldn't worry about Satan, his only power is in you thinking he has any power. You are a being of free will, and nothing can take that from you, its is God's greatest gift, its yours, and let no one say otherwise. If it is an issue, its an issue because you want it to be, read into that deeply.
     
  11. Apollonian

    Apollonian Anachronistic Philosopher

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    You make some good points Machachachi. However, I question this last part. I would caution everyone not to stop and think at "Satan only has power because he makes you think he has power... and nothing can take [free will] from you." It is the very fact that we have free will that makes such illusions potent. Satan does indeed have power - the power to make us believe that we are 'free' to sin just as much as we are 'free' to live for God. If you believe that Satan has absolute power, he will destroy you through apathy. If you believe that Satan has no power - he will subdue you with that power which you don't see hidden within yourself. If you believe that Satan has power but has no dominion, he may still seduce you with willful sin. And if you do not know what you believe, how can you know that your choices are your own and not influenced subtly by the evil one?

    I hate to be droll or melodramatic on this issue, but the fact is that we are at war. I say we must worry about Satan. Otherwise, he is free to act unhindered by the will of people like you and me. Do not lower your guard and say "I will not worry about it" but also do not worry your heart by dwelling upon it. Fix your eyes on God so He may show you what to worry about.

    Be careful of band-aid solutions to spiritual problems. Never stop questioning yourself and God. If you ever stop, then how will you hear His answers even if you have to pick them out of many others?

    -Apollonian
     
  12. Machachachi

    Machachachi Becoming Orthodox

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    Actually really your view is not so different from my own, but my personal belief is that we are more of an enemy than Satan is. He may attempt to distract us, but it is us that makes the decision to follow. Hence why I say he has none, all he can do is talk, its your choice to follow, which means the issue is your own desires, because if you choose his lies, it really is because you wanted to.
     
  13. superdave

    superdave are you super-natural?

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    Here is my 2 cents--

    This is what I consider when I hear a voice from the Lord-

    1) When I hear God speak, how does it line up with scripture?- if it is something against God's Holy Word, it's most likely not God.

    2) Do I feel a peace when I hear this voice?

    3) What exactly brought this up, was it based out of a "fleshly desire" or is it based out of something that will either build my relationship with God or build God's Kingdom?

    That's really how I can tell if this is from God or not. Then I wait for conformation. When things are confirmed, I know without a doubt that God did speak to me. Like for instance, God told me 3 years ago, I was suppose to go to the UK- and 3 years to the date he said, "It's time!" And he was right. The grace was there to go to the United Kingdom on a mission trip. When God usually speaks to me, he wants me to agree in faith. And he usually gives me a timetable. And it never has failed yet. Now he has me on a 6 month timetable for me to agree about a ministry opprotunity, meeting "the one", and a lot of other things. I just agree with it- because I know deep inside that it is TRUE. God, also gives me warning- and usually when I don't obey it, what God said would happen IT DOES. God, also gives me words for others- to be in prayer about- and they have been accurate everytime. So, the only thing I can say- is when you hear that voice, discern it. And if it comes from deep within you- in your spirit... it is the voice of the Holy Spirit- LISTEN to it- and agree in faith- and then it will come in the natural.

    God bless,

    Superdave.