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.
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Understanding Humanity & Christianity
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