Wouldn’t it be nice if you could audibly hear the voice of God? It would make discerning His voice so much easier.
All the questions of, “is this me, God, or the devil saying this?” would quickly be resolved. But God doesn’t speak to our physical ears, He speaks to our spiritual ears, which means we must learn to distinguish His voice from the other voices spinning around between our ears.
In John 10:3, Jesus says, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him [the shepherd], and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
Jesus gives us two clues about how to tell when it’s Him speaking. First, he says His sheep will recognize His voice, and second that He calls them by name. The first is straightforward. If we take time getting to know Jesus, we will become familiar with His voice and know it when we hear it.
The second clue takes a bit more mining.
Whenever the Bible mentions “name” it isn’t just referring to the word someone is called by, it’s also referring to that person’s true identity–who they are at the core of their being. This is why when we pray “in Jesus’ Name” it’s not just about saying that – it’s about praying in alignment with who Jesus is.
So, when God speaks to us, He will speak to our true identity in Christ. Even when we’ve made a mistake, God isn’t going to name-call or devalue us for it. He will lovingly correct us, but always reaffirm our value in Christ and set us right again.
So, if the voice you’re hearing attacks who you are, know that it isn’t God and remove any of the false identities that voice tries to place on you.