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How to Know If It's Really God Speaking to You - Check Everything Against Scripture

The president of a local college one day came to me and told me that God spoke to him. He said that he asked God to give him a teacher who would teach in his college. According to him God answered by telling him to get me to teach in his college.

Did God Really Speak to Him?

Was it really God who spoke to him in this instance? Or was it just his subconscious mind which suggested my name as a possible teacher in his college?

How do you know that it is really God who spoke to you? Or how do you know that it was not God who spoke to you but only your subconscious mind or other spirits?

Some Clarifications About God Speaking to Us

First of all, let us clarify the idea about God. God is not like us who have bodies and who have mouths to speak. God is spirit and he has no parts like us. He is simple. He is one without parts. All good books on theology tell us about this simplicity and unicity of God.

When we say therefore that God speaks to us, we are using an expression to describe our way of thinking about God, not what God is in himself.

Secondly, we human beings speak in order to communicate with other human beings or sometimes with animals and plants. (There is scientific proof that speaking to plants helps them in their growth.) And in speaking we use words which contain the ideas we want to communicate with others.

God, however, does not need words to communicate with us. He communicates with us all the time. If he stops communicating with us we would go back to non-existence.

Think of it this way. God is the one spirit in whom we live. We know that on earth we are immersed in a sea of air. The oxygen of this air is what we breathe in order to live. If we do not breathe after a few minutes we would be dead.

We can think of God as the spirit in whom everything is: human beings, plants, animals, the stars, the planets, the spaces between these heavenly bodies and beyond, everything that there is. We are all immersed in God, in a similar way that we are immersed in the air around us.

If we therefore live in God he communicates with us all the time and he does not need words to do so.

Thirdly, there are moments in our life when we need guidance from God, like the president of the college I referred to above. When we receive this guidance we term it as “God speaking to us.” It is clear therefore that in this instance when we say that God spoke to us, it is not by means of his mouth that he spoke to us because he has none. Nor does he necessarily use words in speaking to us because he can communicate to us without the use of words, unlike in our case as human beings with other human beings.

When we say that God speaks to us, we are using figurative speech to say that we receive a communication from God moving us to think, speak or do something.

Of course, we have read of cases where God spoke like a human being to certain chosen persons, like Abraham, Moses, Samuel and the other prophets. But again this was done by God so that human beings could easily understand him.

Now the question gets more precise and clear. How do we know that it is God who communicates with us, not some other spirits, and not our subconscious mind?

Be Imbued With the Scriptures

All Christians will answer that question by saying that we need to check everything against the Scriptures or what is contained in the Bible. If the idea is something that is forbidden by the Bible, we conclude that God cannot be the source of this idea. An example would be if we get a communication from a source we think is of God but it tells us to kill our neighbor, that idea cannot be from God because it is clear from the Bible that we should not kill.

But there are thousands of cases where the Bible does not specifically prescribe. For example, a young man may ask God what course he should take up in college. How would this young man know that the answer is not from another spirit or just from his subconscious? What does it mean to check this answer with the Scriptures? Does it mean that he opens the Bible at random after sincerely praying to God for guidance and reading the first verse his eyes alight upon and then getting the idea from this verse about what God wants him to take up as his course in college?

As an example, if his eyes alight upon the verse where Jesus calls his disciples, then he concludes that he is called to the ministry and takes up a course in the seminary for the ministry.

There are some Christians who really do this. But I do not do it.

When I say that we should check the Scriptures for the guidance of God what I mean is that everyday, not just when we need a particular guidance, we read a portion of the Scriptures and meditate on it. In so doing the Scriptures become a part of our lives and when we need a specific guidance, the Lord will take, as it were, a passage from the Scriptures and move us to think, speak and act along that passage from the Scriptures.

Going back to our example, if the young man has the habit of daily meditating on some portion of the Scriptures, and he asks God to guide him on what course to take, God will take a passage from that Scripture without his opening it randomly and impress upon his mind what course to take. How do we know that this idea comes from God? We know because he is constantly in fellowship with God through the Scriptures. The other spirits cannot insert themselves in this fellowship to disturb his mind. And his subconscious will be formed according to the mind of God himself. Therefore even if it comes from his subconscious it ultimately comes from God who is master of his subconscious.

So, let us go back to our original question at the beginning of this article: Was it really God who spoke to the college president to take me as one of his teachers? That depends on the quality of the Christian life of that president. Does he meditate on the Scriptures on a daily basis? If he is in constant fellowship with God, then it was indeed God who spoke to him. If he does not have this constant fellowship with God then the idea that I teach in his college came from his subconscious desire to have a qualified teacher in his college.

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