Joyce Meyer — How Can I Know I'm Hearing from God?
People have a great tendency to doubt that they can hear from God. "Eh, I don't know. I don't know. I thought I heard from God once, and, boy, I made a big fool out of myself, so I don't know if that's gonna work for me."
You know, hearing from God is not like hearing from a person. When we say, "Hearing from God," we're not talkin' about hearing voices. A lot of hearing from God is just a knowing that you have inside about what you should do or you shouldn't do. You feel right about it or wrong about it. It's called, "A still small voice, the whispers of God". And we all have those. We all have them.
Many people just don't have enough confidence to know how to listen to them. People ask me a lot about the call on my life, and, "How did you know that God was calling you"? Well, you know, I still don't know that I knew 100% for sure, but I was just gutsy enough to step out in and try it. And I don't know that we ever know 100% for sure that we're hearing from God until we take that step of faith and find out.
I always say, "Step out and find out". You do the very best you can do to believe that what you're doing is the will of God, and then you don't do some real stupid thing that's gonna cause you all kinds of problems if you happen to be wrong. But you take a tiny step of faith and you see if God's in it.
I started a Bible study and people came. And after 5 years, they were still comin'. They came when it rained. They came when it snowed, they came. And do you know, when I first started teachin' my home Bible study, I would sit in short shorts and blow smoke in everybody's face? Can you get a picture of that? I mean, smokin' one cigarette right after the 'nother. The room would get so full of smoke, we couldn't even see each other.
But you know what? And I know some of you religious brains couldn't get this, God had anointed me. And He didn't anoint me because I smoked. He didn't anoint me because I wasn't dressed properly. He anointed me because He knew I loved Him and He knew I was ignorant. And He gave me grace in my ignorance, and He knew that I would let Him work with me and change me as time went by.
And after a while, Dave told me, he said, "I think you might need to wear somethin' else while you're teachin' this". I didn't know any better. And I'd been smokin' since I was 9 years old, and so, you know, I didn't wanna quit. The church I was in at the time, a lot of people smoked, so that wasn't all that rare.
But that's how I started. I took a step of faith and I started a home Bible study. And in spite of me, it worked. Not because of me, but in spite of me, it worked. Because I'll tell you, God can anoint a donkey if He wants to. He used a donkey to speak to a prophet, and He can use you, and He can use me. But it's not gonna be because we're perfect. It's because He's perfect.
Our God is an awesome God. I want you to start sayin' about 25 times a day, "I hear from God. I'm led by the Holy Spirit, and I hear from God".
Do you know that I say that every day? And I believe I've been hearing from God for a lotta years, but I don't think I hear perfectly. And I don't want the devil stealin' my faith in that area, because I have to hear from God. I have to be led by the Sprit. I have to hear that still, small voice. I have to hear the whispers of God.
And God wants every one of us to have that kinda relationship with him. This is not just for a select few people who have some kind of a red phone line to heaven. The Holy Spirit dwells on the inside of you, and He will lead you by promptings, by leadings, by guidings, by the Word of God. God will lead you.
But I don't think you ever know then I started a second home Bible study at a friend's house. People came to that one too. Then I went to work at a church in St. Louis. It was a real small church, about 30 people. They asked me if I wanted to start a weekly women's Bible study, and first week, people came. Over another 5 years, that grew to be over ladies every week, comin' to my Bible study.
So then God said, "I'm finished with you here. Now I want you to step out and go to the north, south, east, and west". "Well, nobody knows me". I mean, it was just like... But over a year's period of time, God, through a lot of things I don't have time to go into, He let me know I had to either do it or else just be miserable the rest of my life.
So, I finally quit my job, my secure job. I left to go north, south, east, and west. Now, I live in St. Louis, Missouri, so I went to north St. Louis, east St. Louis, west St. Louis. I did, once a month, I had a meeting in north St. Louis, once a month in south, once a week in west. Childlike faith, "You said, 'go north, south, east, and west,' I did it". And then, pretty soon, I got well enough known that I could go to Chicago and Kansas city and little places here and little places there. I've been at this now 35 years, folks.