How to Tell If the Voice Is God’s, Not Satan’s
People often ask me, “When I listen for God to speak after I pray, I sometimes seem to hear two voices. How do I know if I’m hearing from God or Satan?”
This is a legitimate question because the enemy of our souls also attempts to speak to us. We know from Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness that Satan will try many tricks to convince us to listen to him instead of God (Matt. 4:1-11). The apostle Peter warned us that the devil is always on the prowl, seeking to instill fear and confusion (1 Pet. 5:8). We must be on the alert continually to make certain we’re hearing God’s voice as we pray and listen for God’s answer.
Peter had been a follower of Jesus from the beginning of His earthly ministry, yet he was likened to the arch-enemy himself. After Jesus told His disciples that in Jerusalem He’d suffer many things from the religious authorities, be killed, then raised from death on the third day, Peter took Jesus aside privately and said to Him, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You” (Matt. 16:22). As well-intentioned as Peter may have been, his words were not God’s but were lined up with Satan’s message. Jesus turned to Peter and rebuked Him saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matt. 16:23).
As we learn from the example of Peter above, sometimes Satan’s voice comes to us not in our thoughts and imaginations but through the words of other people—some of whom may seem to be well-intentioned. The Bible assures us there’s a way to tell Satan’s voice from that of our Lord. I believe that we’ll hear some distinct differences in the messages.
· Do your own thing; do what you want to do.
· Live for the moment.
· Don’t concern yourself with what others say.
· You’re as mature as you ever need to be. You’re an adult.
· Consider the effects of your behavior on others. Live a selfless, giving life.
· Live with an eye on eternity.
· Receive godly counsel.
· Continue to grow and mature and to become more and more like Jesus Christ.
Certainly, the outcome is different for us when we follow Satan’s voice and message rather than the Lord’s. Satan’s path always leads to loss, destruction, and death. The Lord’s way always leads to abundant and eternal life (John 10:10).
As you continue to walk daily with the Father, meditating on His Word and seeking Him in prayer, you’ll grow in your ability to discern the voice of God and develop an ear to hear what He’s saying to you. You’ll come to know His voice unequivocally and immediately, for He is your Father, and He calls you by name.