How do you know if what you are hearing is truly a whisper from God? Run it through these five filters:
1. Is it consistent with the character of God? God, does it square with who I know You to be?
2. Is it scriptural? (Galatians 5:16-23)
3. Is it wise?
4. Is it in tune with your own character (how we are wired)? Is it consistent with your Shape (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experience)?
5. The Godly counsel test: What do the people you trust the most think about it?
While you are listening and discerning, create time/space for hearing. Then:
1. Pray for ears like Samuel’s;
2. Reduce ambient noise in your life;
3. Fill your head with scripture so you will understand immediately what the Holy Spirit is trying to say;
4. Don’t let wrong-doing compromise your communication with God. Let the laser light of truth permeate every corner of your life. Confess your sin and turn away from it today;
5. If you are not hearing much from God (Mother Theresa), go back to the last whisper you received and follow it to the letter. Perhaps by faithfully executing his last command, a new nudging will have space to emerge;
6. Whenever you find yourself on the receiving end of God’s promptings, be sure to obey no matter the cost. Don’t let fear or doubt rob you of one bit of what God has in store for you. He assigns tasks to the right person every time. Thank God for trusting you with something that needs your particular strength.
Adapted from The Power Of A Whisper, Bill Hybels