How do we know it’s from God?

Moses was a man who heard clearly from God, and knew when God spoke.

Exodus 3:11+12 ‘But Moses said to God “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and say that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” And he said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”’

When God had delivered them – when it was all over, then he would know. Up until then he had to trust in the word that God had given him and act in faith!

We look at prophets like Jeremiah as if they must have heard from God so clearly time and time again, that they never had a problem with doubt! Scripture suggests otherwise.

Jer 32:6-8 “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Behold Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you saying, “Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it. Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of the Lord and said to me, ‘Buy my field, please that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself,’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.”

Jeremiah, however only knew for sure after the deed was done! The same is true for us; we have to step out in faith especially to begin with.

Do not try to work out with your mind what God is communicating! Act in faith

One of the mistakes that people initially make is trying to judge the word that they receive. As Graham Cooke so helpfully puts it “A postman never worries if the person whose letterbox he puts the bill through can pay it!” (Cooke 1994) It is the person(s) to whom the word is finally communicated who is/are responsible to judge it. Click here for a section on judging prohecy.

If Moses had debated logically with God over the staff in Exodus 4 ‘Oh yes, of course it will turn into a snake, that's what staffs do!’ He would have lost the very weapon that delivered them from Egypt.
If Moses had said to God at Marah (Exodus 15:23-25), ‘Hang on aren’t there already bits of this tree floating in the water, how is this extra one going to turn the bitter water sweet?’ They would have gone thirsty.
If Joshua had said to God “Walking around the walls for six days is just going to give them a chance to mock us, and we are going to be too tired to fight at the end of it!” One of the greatest victories in scripture would have been lost.
If Elisha had said in 2 Kings 2 “Oh yes God, putting in a bowl of salt is bound to cure bad water – everyone knows you get sick drinking sea water!” He would have lost his first public miracle.

James 1:21-22 puts it this way “Therefore put aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

A pencil drawing of God's tools - including a spanner, screwdriver, tape measure and pliers

God's tools by my son Tim aged 14

It is possible to make mistakes before we can become sure of God’s voice. This will develop the humility necessary to be entrusted with the prophetic! If at the beginning we follow the guidelines, to strengthen, encourage and comfort we will not go far wrong. The voice of God becomes surer as we grow in Him and he will always provide the tools we need if we ask.


1. Introduction.
2. God's nature as creator and communicator.
3. The role of the Bible.
4. Turn aside when you notice something.
5. Be careful what you worship.
6. The Holy Spirit quickens things.
7. Hide and seek using parables.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit.
9. The inner room is where we meet with God.
10. The importance of peace and stillness.
11. Don't hurry God will speak.
12. Waiting and longing takes us higher to a place where God acts.
13. What price do we have to pay?
14. Holding a word for a time and part of the whole picture.
15. How do we know it's from God/Act in faith?
16. Jesus is open to persuasion!
17. The Language God uses to communicate.
18. God communicates through our sensory organs.
19. God communicates primarily to the heart.
20. God offends our mind to change our heart.
21. Listening depends on your heart attitude.
22. Circumcision is the cure to a hard heart!
23. Listen to your heart
24. Eyes.
25. Lift up your eyes.
26. Make sure your vision is clear.
27. Ears/hearing the voice of the Lord.
28. Reach for higher levels.
29. How God communicates - impressions.
30. Seeing with the eyes of your heart.
31. Visions.
32. Open visions.
33. Trances.
34. Signs.
35. Dreams.
36. Conclusion.
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