God's voice is clearly distinct from the many voices that we hear each day. There are some giveaways that we need to be on the lookout for to be able to distinguish His voice from others.
God's voice versus Satan's
God's voice is quite different from Satan's in many ways. One of the most helpful criteria to use would be that of their nature: God is loving, true and freeing. Satan, on the other hand, is a liar, murderer and condemning. When you get to hear a certain voice, check if the nature of the message, no matter how soft-spoken the voice may be, is reflective of God's nature or not. Best of all, check that voice considering the Word of God. If the Word of God contradicts it, then don't believe it.
God's voice versus yours
Distinguishing God's voice from our own, however, is a different thing. While Satan's voice is in clear opposition to God, ours is different. The Bible says the "heart is deceitful above all things" (see Jeremiah 17:9), and because of this we find it harder to distinguish our voice from the Lord's.
Some might say "you'll know it if it's God speaking to you." But really, how do you know? Both God and Satan's voice seem to sound like our own inside our heads, and unless we know how to distinguish them, we're sure to be misled at times.
10 Things God Will Never Say To You
God’s voice will never contradict the Bible. If the voice you’re hearing is encouraging you to take Scripture out of context to make it fit your situation, the voice isn’t God.
We can grow to learn and discern God’s voice by studying the Bible, praying, and asking the Holy Spirit to teach us.
1. God’s voice will never deny Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 NLT “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
As sure as we are that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, that He is God’s Son, and that salvation comes only through belief in Him, many others are convinced otherwise.
John 1:1-5 NLT In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
There are voices in the world, trying to convince Christians that Jesus is not the only way to God and heaven. Rest assured, any voice that tells you there are other avenues to God isn’t from the Lord. Thus, God will never ask you to place your faith in another savior.
2. God’s voice will never demean nor demoralize you.
Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
God will convict believers. God will rebuke and reprove us. He will even chastise us. However, He will never demean nor demoralize His children. He will never put you down, nor will He intentionally hurt you. God loves us, and He pours that love upon us as a loving father would. Any voice that demeans you isn’t of God.
3. God’s voice will never instruct you to sin.
Romans 6:1-2 NLT Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
God’s voice won’t entice you to sin. He won’t tell you it’s ok to live a sinful lifestyle. If you’re hearing a voice encouraging you to commit sin, rest assured that voice doesn’t belong to our Father.
For example, the Bible tells us to honor our parents,
Exodus 20:12 NLT “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
not to fornicate,
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NLT God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
and not to lie to one another.
Colossians 3:9 NLT Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
If you believe God is telling you to dishonor your parents, that it’s ok to fornicate, and to lie to someone, rest assured, those instructions aren’t being spoken to you from the heart of God.
4. God’s voice will never cause division between brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NLT There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. (emphasis mine)
Our Father is a God of love and unity. God hates division or discord. He doesn’t want His children to live in disunity. He wants us to love one another, work together in ministry, and be a family. He wants us to get along. He encourages us to live in peace toward one another. Any voice encouraging division within the body of Christ isn’t God.
5. God’s voice will never tell you to hate someone.
Matthew 5:43-44 NLT “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
God won’t tell you to hate someone because the Bible tells us to love our enemies as well as our neighbors. Thus, if you’re hearing a voice encouraging you to hate, you can rest assured that voice doesn’t belong to the Lord.
6. God’s voice will never say someone can’t be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 NLT The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
Salvation is God’s will for all mankind, the Muslim, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, etc. God wants everyone to come into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He wants all of us to spend eternity in heaven with Him. Thus, God’s voice won’t tell you someone can’t be saved. We should continue to pray for our unsaved family, friends, strangers, and even our enemies.
7. God’s voice will never tell you to doubt His will, His Word, or His way.
James 1:5-7 NLT If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Doubt never comes from God. Remember, when the serpent asked Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Satan uses the same tactic on us today. He wants us to question God’s instructions. He wants us to doubt the Lord and disobey His voice. God’s voice won’t tell us to doubt Him. Doubt is not a sin. What matters is how you respond to doubt. Indeed, God’s voice will encourage us to always trust in the Lord.
8. God’s voice will never tell you to fear demons.
Matthew 10:28 NLT “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
“God will never tell Christians to fear demons. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that we should fear God. God alone deserves our reverence and awe. Christians who are walking in the will of God don’t have any reason to be afraid of demons, and so any voice that encourages us to be fearful of demons isn’t coming from the heart of God.
James 4:7-10 NLT So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
9. God’s voice will never tell you to disobey godly authority.
Romans 13:1-5 NLT Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
We may not like nor enjoy godly authority, but we should obey it nonetheless. The key here is the word “godly.” Whether that authority is your spouse, your employer, or church leadership, we should obey. God won’t tell you to ignore your spouse, employer, or church leadership unless they require you to do something illegal, immoral, or sinful.
Ephesians 5:21-22, 25-26 NLT And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.
Ephesians 6:5, 9 NLT Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
Hebrews 13:17 NLT Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
10. God’s voice will never tell you that He doesn’t love you.
1 John 4:16 NLT We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Many of us are convinced that we must do things to earn God's love. When we try we find that the bar was raised, and we work harder to win His love. We soon realize that God loves us, despite our flaws, weaknesses, and even our sin. God loves us through it all. Any voice telling you that God doesn’t love you is a lying voice. That voice doesn’t belong to God.
God is calling His children into a relationship with Himself. We have an open invitation to commune with Him. So, it is to our advantage that we learn to discern His voice. Continue studying the Bible and praying. God will speak to you, and you will learn His voice.