However, despite this increased frequency, there are times when I've put a question mark next to something I've written down, because it just didn't make sense or I couldn't quite tell if it was God. I even had one day where most of what I wrote down was very discouraging and negative, and it wasn't consistent with the pattern of comfort, peace, and love I had received the other days, so I scratched out those messages. In other words, despite our best efforts to hear God, we are being constantly barraged with our own thoughts, and thoughts from the devil, that will try to drown out the voice of our Father. Tuning into the right frequency to hear God is always a learning experience.
And one time recently, I really got it wrong. During a program at my church, I saw of vision of my brother Peter and his family being marked by Jesus. His wife is pregnant with their second child, and I thought God was revealing the gender of the baby to me. It was unclear, so I strained even harder to "see" what the vision would show me. I then saw a picture of a child from behind, with long blonde hair, so I thought, "It's going to be a girl!" In my excitement I told my brother, who had been hearing from others that they thought it was a girl too, so this confirmed it for him.
The problem is, when they went to the doctor to find out the gender, it was a boy! I was shocked, and it really shook my ability to hear God for a period of time. How could I miss it?
Ironically, during the time of this increased hearing of God's voice in my life, Pastor Robert Morris at Gateway Church, where I am a member, has been preaching a message from a series called Frequency, based on the new book he released by the same name. It's helped confirm my experiences hearing God, in both the challenges and confirming messages I've heard. During one sermon, he told the story of someone else who missed it too, and he talked about how sometimes we mix up what we are desiring from God's message to us, or want to hear something so badly, we aren't really picking up the right signal from God.
So I've learned that hearing from God isn't always easy, and I'm going to get it wrong sometimes. But this shouldn't keep us from trying - that's just what the devil would want us to do. For those times when I do question if a message is from God, it means I have to wait for some kind of confirmation that it's really from Him, either from reading the Bible, having the word come to pass correctly, or in the other ways God speaks to us.
Getting to hear from God daily, and taking time out of my day to do so, has been one of the most precious gifts God has given me in my life. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. So start today - find some quiet time to ask God what He is saying to you through his Holy Spirit, and you'll be amazed at what He says back. He loves you and can't wait to tell you so Himself!
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:27