Message from Staff
Last week I talked about how God uses a number of ways to talk to us. Often we rely on Point 6 raised in that study – “hearing through circumstances”. I quoted an explanation of this point from the study…
“God is a Holy God, and often uses circumstances to get our attention. But He will usually confirm it in other ways.”
This week I want to take this a little further and want to share some points from the follow-up study I read on how to know God is speaking to us.
Mirror your circumstances with the truth of God’s Word.
God will never contradict Himself. He will never speak to us – even through our circumstances – in a way that will contradict His written word. God uses people to confirm His voice. Every time God has called me to something there have been others to confirm they are hearing the same calling. I seek out wisdom of others. Often God will give others a ‘word or message’ that confirms what others have told us. The person telling you may have no idea what the message means, but it will make sense to you and feel ‘right’ with the message you got from God previously.
Recognize that God operates from a plan.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” He uses life experiences to shape our futures. God knows how to use a past for His good.
Examine your circumstances in light of God’s overall plan.
When trying to hear from God through the circumstances of life, we should not try to make a decision on one event or set of circumstances. Circumstances may or may not be God speaking to us. We should look at our life over a span of months or years. Jeremiah 29:11 indicates that God has a definite plan… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” but it may take the people 70 years to get there. (We often miss that part when celebrating that verse.) When we look at our life over time we will be able to see what God has been doing. When the circumstances of life consistently line up over time with God’s overall plan it is possible that God is trying to speak through those circumstances.
Don’t allow circumstances to keep you from hearing or obeying God. Sometimes our circumstances may look gloomy, but we haven’t heard the truth of our circumstances until we have heard from God. Fear is a great tool of the enemy. The devil can use circumstances also to lead us away from God. This is where the Scripture and other people you trust can help you discern.
Ask God to show you His perspective on the circumstances.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV) As followers of God we will spend our whole life trying to discern the will of God for our life; listening for His voice. Hearing from God is not always easy. When life is coming at us we cannot seem to understand what is going on, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for clarification. We should feel free to ask, “God, what did you mean by that?” We don’t always hear what we want when we ask God for his direction, but so long as we do listen, confirm and act on what He has told us, He has a better plan for us than we could ever imagine.
God bless you and your families in all you do.