Q. How does one tell between the voice of God speaking to you and you talking to yourself (thinking)?
Distinguishing between the voice of God and your thought life is nearly impossible until you start memorizing scripture. Scripture is how all voices get interpreted and discerned... we all have many voices if influence that trigger thoughts. We have our own voice, the voice of things spoken over us by people that impacted us... we have the voices of our close peers, the voice of cultural perception based on the environments that impact us etc. etc. These are all “voices” that pop up.
The voice of God is recognized to the extent that we understand God’s personality and values as revealed by every story, command, action, inaction, judgement, and emotion expressed in scripture. There is no short cut. In the same way that we learn who someone is by experiencing how they treat you, seeing how they treat others, paying attention to what comes out of their mouth and why they do what they do; God reveals himself as you read how he interacted with others in the bible, and you learn the reasons why God does what He does.
It is thru scripture that we get meanings to specific symbols words and numbers and these “signs” are ways that God communicates with us but if we don’t have a relationship with studying scripture to learn about God and what these things mean, as defined by him, our ability to discern His unique voice is a hit or miss. Sometime you get it sometimes you don’t. But this is not God’s intent for us.
Just like you can make a decision and say to others with certainty, “I know that I know that I know, my mom will not let me keep this stray cat because she despises all animals” you will be able to discern God’s voice when you have a relationship with how God has interacted with humanity throughout scripture.
God uses signs, symbols and numbers but there are occult applied interpretation to these things and even people can superstitiously apply erroneous meaning to signs, symbols and numbers, which is not of God and leads to confusion at best.
We test everything with the word of God. That is the rock of our foundation upon which we build and trust.
How I would describe God...
God is the perfect Father-God, who desiring children of His own, created a stage and mankind both male and female, in HIS image, for the purpose to “breed” for Himself a people/children who will love and worship Who-God-Is in a genuine way (in spirit and in truth).
A father God willing to fully adopt any and all who dare to have a relationship with Him and follow in the footsteps of his Holy Spirit. A Father who desires to pass down the family business of pro-creating family, love, healing, justice, and holiness to faithful, responsible and mature sons and daughters.
A Father God who is not a weak passive pushover but is all powerful and with a Mighty and Just hand, is willing and able to annihilate that which hurts, pollutes, and defiles HIS family!.
A God whose holiness is like an all consuming fire that prohibits anything unclean to see him and live; yet is so passionately desiring communion with us that He devised a plan that enables unclean humans to be covered, with something holy, so we can experience today a relationship with a living holy Father God. This holy covering is the innocent sinless blood of Jesus, voluntarily shed on a cross as he took upon himself the justified punishment of all who hurt and defile what Father God Creator King loves.
A Father God King who long suffers the foolishness and ignorance of rebellious humans hurting themselves with sin so that those who become sick of the dysfunction, pain, and filthiness of our own sin, might rationally choose to follow His kingdom rules and leadership here on earth as it is in heaven.
Adam and Eve sinned because they were given 1 rule that they knew about and were informed about the consequences if they ever decided to eat: “In the day you eat of it you will surely die”. So with full knowledge of the consequences Adam and Eve, used their freedom to “transgress”/disobey the one rule God gave and test whether God was a liar.
Knowledge of good and evil by itself is not bad. In fact, after God created everything including the tree of knowledge, God said it was all “very good”. It is the creative ways we use knowledge that makes any act good or evil. And it is action that incurs consequences. Death was actually a secondary consequence of their disobedience.
In life there are some rules we break that have a lasting impact beyond what seems reasonable. Example. I hit the streets when I was 12 and by the time I was 14 I got pregnant. I “repented” and stopped doing drugs and sleeping around but I could not reverse the fact that I had a life in my womb that I was now responsible for. Or take the example of people living recklessly who contract a incurable disease, or commit a serious crime and are then sentenced to prison for life.
The direct punishment of God on Adam and Eve for their sin was,
I encourage you to read Genesis chapter 2 & 3 over with this lens. God cut access to the tree of life in order to put a time limit on evil. Death was a secondary consequence that was both necessary and good or else God would be permitting evil to live forever.
"Original sin" is a doctrine created from a manipulative paraphrased view of the "fall of humanity" story. The wrath of God on babies due to Original sin is NOT and was NEVER affirmed in scripture.
Understanding Humanity & Christianity
There is logic behind all human behavior. Christianity was never intended to be above rational thought; and what is good & evil, right or wrong, is best understood by what we have individually seen, heard and experienced. So how can we discern the difference? What is the logic behind some of the most atrocious acts of violence or crimes against humanity? What logic or "good" could there be to evils like murder and war? How real is spirituality and what role does it play in human behavior? Follow us here as our Visionary attempts to explain and expand awareness to the powerful and painful complex realities of the human experience and biblical controversies.