If one of your greatest concerns in hearing God’s voice is getting it wrong, you are not alone. Even the people of Israel had this problem: You may say to yourselves; ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ (Deuteronomy 18:21) It’s reassuring to know that others before us have had the same problem we experience.
Sadly, fear of getting it wrong has stopped many people from hearing God’s voice. Fortunately there is a solution (watch or read below):
Probably the most serious concern we have in hearing God’s voice is this: What if I get it wrong? What if it was just a figment of my overactive imagination? Or something I made up?
During Medieval times, church leaders were deeply concerned about preserving biblical truth. If the common people, with their lack of education and their sinful nature, read the Bible for themselves they could make mistakes. This was sacred Scripture containing profound theological truth. What if they got it wrong?
So they chained the Bibles to the pulpits and banned their translation from Latin into the common language. Only authorized priests could read the Scriptures and interpret them. After all the people could misunderstand them if they read them for themselves!
Could we get it wrong if we try to hear God’s voice? Yes, absolutely. But at what cost if we don’t try? Fear of error amongst those church leaders meant that multitudes of people could never get to know God for themselves through the pages of the Bible.
So can we know then if what we’re hearing is from God?
It’s such an important question, but it’s not a new one! The ancients faced exactly the same problem and the good news is that God anticipated we would face it. In response, he has provided us with a number of safeguards to follow so that we can know if a word is from God and therefore minimize our mistakes. We just need to learn them and put them into practice.