How to Identify God's Voice

Roy Hession tells of a lesson God taught him as a young Christian. In his book My Calvary Road, he writes, "I saw a man walking the streets carrying sandwich boards on which were inscribed texts of Scripture--you know, encouraging ones like 'The wicked shall be turned into hell!'"

He said to himself, "I think people like that do more harm than good."

A little voice whispered in his heart, "But would you do the same for Me?"

"Yes, I suppose so," he said, "if You really wanted me to."

"All right, then, get boards and carry texts round the streets!"

He was aghast! He couldn't and he wouldn't. "Then don't expect any more blessing from Me until you do."

He lost all the joy of the Lord and was in darkness. He felt he would receive no more blessing from the Lord until he did this excruciatingly difficult thing.

It came to him that that voice could only be from Satan simulating God's voice. Jesus had said that the devil was a liar, and what he had been listening to and believing was a lie. In that moment he was free from his bondage and rejoicing in the Lord again.

"Lord," he said, "I've learned something today, and I think I'll recognize that voice when Satan challenges me to do things You have not put in me. Surely I can trust You to put into me what You want out of me, so that I have the inner desire and a joy in doing it."

Interestingly, God had him do a similar thing years later. He was a part of a team group conducting a mission in a working-class parish. Wanting to stir up the district, they put a huge poster on a truck: "War declared on Public Enemy Number 1, that old serpent, the devil." They drove around singing and announcing the meetings with joy in their hearts. No painful compunction now. He wanted to do it and was doing so with Jesus.

Thank You, Jesus, that we can trust You to put into our hearts what You desire to do through us.

"May he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:21).