I have seen some clear differences. I am coming to conclusions faster and they seem to be not as confusing. I hear messages from God more frequently as well.
How do you hear from God?
Today, I was praying with my early morning men’s group and I sensed a clear message from God. In the middle of my prayer, I was talking to God about a frustration I had. I was really talking fast and hard about the situation and being honest with God about my displeasure. In a conversation, there should be at least two parties involved. Meaning when you pray, you should talk AND you should listen. BUT…how do we know when it is God talking and not simply our imagination? I know it is God when several factors line up.
1. The message lines up with Scripture. If God is speaking to you, it will not ever contradict what the Bible says. If you are not familiar with this, study what the Bible says about the subject. Ask someone if they know where it is found or how the Bible teaches this subject throughout the books. If the word I get from God is challenging or asking me to do something bold, I will always ask at least two other people to confirm with me in prayer about the word.
2. I feel a peaceful confirmation. This one is so hard to describe. It sounds like a fairy tale. However, when it is the Lord speaking, it is accompanied with a peace that feels like no other peace. It is almost impossible to put into words. You just know that you know. Having said that, I still have other people pray with me to confirm all the things I have felt inside.
Looking back over my life, I can see a couple huge decisions that were made during a fast. In 1998, God confirmed to me during a fast that I should marry Erica. I remember the exact place I was standing when I received that special word. In 2009, I was fasting and praying about where we should move. God showed me a vision of the house we were to buy. We had been looking at several different options and we wanted to know for sure where to go. During prayer at the church, I saw an arial view of the house. It was accompanied with a peaceful confirmation.
How would those examples line up with Scripture?
What does the Bible say about marriage? It is between a man and a woman (that are not already married). It is until death. It should be between two people that are going in the same direction. Both spouses are to be looking to God for their salvation and sanctification. In our case, our lives matches scriptures mandate.
What does the Bible say about a business transaction? It should be done legally and ethically. Would I be able to provide for my family in the context of this neighborhood, location and monthly payment? How would it interact with our calling and family life? We knew that all these were “a go”.
I hope this helps some in your conversations with God.
All for now,