Hearing God: Was That from Me, God, or the Devil?

Probably the most frequently asked question I receive is, ‘How can I hear the voice of God?’. This question is typically followed by, ‘Was that thought from me, God, or the devil?’ Discerning God’s voice can be the difference between life and death, wealth or poverty, healing or sickness.

Hearing the voice of God is probably the most important tool we have as believers. How can we obey God if we do not know what he is saying to us?  Hearing from God is not optional, we are expected to hear his voice. Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and a stranger’s voice, they will not follow’.  How good of an employee would you be, if you could never hear your boss’ voice?

First, let’s tackle the topic of discussion, ‘me, God, or the devil’.  This is actually a question of mind renewal. Mind renewal, according to Romans 12:1-2, is the degree to which, one’s mind has been transformed from the sinful state to the mind of Christ. When we first received Christ and became born again, our Spirit became brand new; yet our mind and body did not change. Spiritually speaking, we were made to be identical twins of Jesus the moment we received him as Savior. Everything He was able to do on the earth, we are able to do; immediately. So why don’t we? You don’t think you can. Your mind, or soul,  is in the way.  Your mind, or soul, is the filter through which you see the world.

The accuracy to which you are able to hear God’s voice is based upon the degree to which your mind is renewed to God’s Word.

Let me use an illustration. I was watching the Cowboys and Dolphins game yesterday for Thanksgiving, when I received a phone call. I reached for my remote to turn down the volume, so I could hear the person on the other end. However, the volume did not go down. Frustrated, I told the person I would call them back and put in new batteries in my remote. Same thing happened, no response to the TV. I couldn’t change the channel or anything. What was going on? I became very frustrated and was about to call Customer Care when I realized that a book on my TV stand was blocking the TV sensor (which allows the remote to communicate to the TV). I removed the book and everything started working fine again. This is how many Christians are. God is sending  direct messages to us, yet many don’t receive them because there is something blocking the signal. So they become frustrated, and instead of removing what is blocking the signal,  they do all kinds of silly things that never work.

Romans 12:1-2 gives us instructions on how to renew our minds. Present your body to God, and do not be conformed to the world’s system, so that you can hear God and discern His will for your life. An unrenewed mind is going to think in line with what the world thinks.  If the world thinks sex outside of marriage is ok, then you think sex outside of marriage is ok. If the world thinks the economy is getting worse, then you start to pull back and prepare to downsize. Your mind is shaped by what you see and hear.  In Mark 4:24, Jesus says to be careful of what you are hearing, because the measure of thought and study you give to a subject is the extent to which it will show up in your life. What does He mean by that? He means that if you watch reality TV for 5 hours a day and read the Bible for 10 minutes, the thought patterns in line with that reality TV show will be more prevalent in your life than the 10 minutes of Bible study.

Don’t be fooled, the messages that come through television watching are not in line with the Word of God. According to Nielson, the average American household watches 35 hours of television a week! So for us to renew our minds to the Word, we must resist the temptation to conform to the world and stay in the Word. Keep the Word always present before you. Study it, read it, and meditate on it (those are 3 different things).  The more you spend time with it, the more you will want to spend more time with it. This is how you renew your mind, and a renewed mind receives the Jesus-type of results.

So back to our original question? Is it Me, God, or the devil? If your mind is 100% renewed and the signal is pure, what you say and what you are hearing will line up with what God says. Also, the devil, who is a thief, and a liar, will become totally exposed.  The devil’s thoughts are always based in fear, negativity or selfishness. What do I mean by having a pure signal? A pure signal does not have anything blocking the receiver. In short, living a holy life is vital. Nothing can twist up your signal worse than living in sin and unforgiveness (which also is sin). Sin destroys your boldness and confidence towards the things God says, and instead adds condemnation to the mix. It gives the devil something to talk to you about. So disconnect that evil line of communication by repenting from sin, rebuke the condemnation, and walk boldly in the confidence that God speaks directly to you.

Have you received a thought or idea that was so big, you are not sure what to do? What if you received a big thought about moving, accepting a new job, or opening up a business? Here is a basic checklist to know if what you have heard came from God:

  1. You can find it in the Word of God. God never contradicts his Word. Ever
  2. It takes faith to accomplish it. God tends to give us ideas about big things, and this thing is so big, you know you couldn’t have thought about this on your own.
  3. The world and the unsaved probably think you are crazy. They are not in agreement with it all.
  4. It will take courage to do it
  5. You have a peace about it.


Troy Anthony Smith is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Demonstrate It, an organization that believes in healings, signs, and wonders. Mr. Smith currently resides in Hollywood,CA, where he can be found at the grocery stores, malls, and street corners, laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.


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