Everybody’s talking. Inside their head, that is.
All of us, to one degree or another, have an ongoing INTERNAL MONOLOGUE running that never escapes as audible sounds to the outside world. Researchers think this internal voice starts during childhood in what they refer to as PRIVATE SPEECH and continues into adulthood as a utilitarian mechanism to do get things done throughout the day. On average, we talk to ourselves 26 percent of the time.
Here’s the natural and very important question coming out of this subject for Christians:
“What about GOD’S VOICE?”
That is a very real part of this drama unfolding every day inside our brain. But it is a TRAP to automatically assume that certain parts—OR ALL—of our internal thoughts are coming from GOD.
In fact, we need to DEFAULT to assuming they are ALL ours and then sort out God’s involvement separately.
How can we spot the difference between our thoughts and God’s divine intervention? How do we know when we think our own thoughts are coming from God IN ORDER to create the narrative WE WANT?
In other words, how do we avoid “making stuff up in our head and attributing it all to God?”
Here’s how to spot the differences between OUR voice and GOD’s voice:
- The SCRIPTURE Test
- The TRUTH Test
- The GLORY Test
THE SCRIPTURE TEST
We know with 100% certainty that the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture and that it cannot, ever, contradict itself. From that we know that whatever God tells us inside our head will never run counter to what is written in the Bible.
THE TRUTH TEST
Sometimes people feel that God tells them something that cannot be confirmed or denied by his Word. IF God actually says something, it will always come true.
“…how can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken…” Deuteronomy 18:21-22
THE GLORY TEST
Who does the voice and its message serve? You or God? Usually we know when we are just telling ourselves what we want to hear because in those moments we are trying to glorify ourselves rather than God. The test is whether the voice is squarely pinned to GOD’S WORD or loosely tied to our WISH LIST.
I want to be in perpetual listening mode to hear God’s voice. Not a version I make up to serve my wants and needs, but what He supports with his Word.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you able to sort the voices in your head between YOU and GOD?
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:16-17