4 Questions to Ask When You Heard from God (Plus a Free Printable)

Margaret —  July 7, 2014 — 25 Comments

4 Questions to Ask When You Heard from God (Plus: a Free Printable)

A few years ago, Leif and I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. When we checked into a hotel near the historic site, Leif discovered that BMW was hosting a special promotion, inviting people to take one of their new vehicles out for a spin on the Blue Ridge Parkway at no charge. We jumped at the opportunity.

Leif wears a size 14 shoe, but nowhere is his foot heavier than on the gas pedal. He drove through the tangled roads of the parkway at arrestable speeds. As the tires screeched around tight turns, I became grateful for the guardrails, which marked our course and kept us from flying off the edge of the mountain.

Just as metal guardrails help a leadfooted driver stay on the road, spiritual guardrails can help keep us on the path as we hear from God. These spiritual guardrails are questions we can ask ourselves to help us determine whether or not something is from God.

Maybe you’ve been spending time with God. Seeking him. Talking with him. Maybe you logged off during the #WeekofSilence and heard a #SacredEcho. Perhaps you’ve had a dream, heard an internal voice, or felt an impression, but you’ve begun second-guessing.

If you’re not sure whether or not you heard from God, these specific questions can act as guardrails for your spiritual journey:

1. Does what I heard line up with Scripture?

The Bible serves as bedrock, determining whether or not something is from God. If you feel led to do something that goes against the teachings of Jesus or the principles of Scripture, then what you’re hearing isn’t from God.

2. Does what I heard line up with wise counsel?

Look for mentors in your life who can provide wisdom concerning your finances, relationships, marriage, career, and faith. Over the years I’ve discovered that one mentor isn’t enough. God speaks through a community. The person who may have the most wisdom in finances may be less adept in relationships. A marriage guru may not be as helpful when it comes to career choices. Leif and I have a short list of people we call based on the situation we’re facing. All of them share common characteristics: they love God and long to see us grow in the fullness of who God created us to be; they pray for us; and they respond with honesty and grace.

3. Does what I heard leave me with a sense of peace?

In the excitement of hearing from God, you sense a wide range of emotions—surprise, joy, fear, awe, enthusiasm, sadness—that compel you toward a response. But before you act, wait for peace. Called the “Prince of Peace,” Jesus heralded peace in people’s lives. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit and an attribute of God, a gift that acts as a guardrail in our lives, warning us when we’re moving in the wrong direction. Philippians 4:7 promises, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

4. Is what I heard blanketed in love?

Love waters the shoots of humility and places others’ needs above our own. When we shine the light of 1 Corinthians 13 on what we think we’ve heard, we’re better able to discern God’s voice. The nature of God’s voice is that it calls us to maturity in love, nurturing the fruit of the spirit in our lives. If love is protecting our actions and decisions, then we’ll be restrained from making grievous errors.

Like the finest of dark chocolates, God’s words are morsels to be savored.

Whenever God speaks something, we need to hold it in high regard. Keep it near our hearts. Let it roll over in our minds and spirits. The words God speaks to you are sacred and are often meant just for you. We put together a free resource as you navigate prayer and the ways God speaks to us.

Free Prayer Bookmark

To download your free bookmark printable:

  1. Subscribe to the RSS Feed at MargaretFeinberg.com by clicking here.*
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. A link to the free PDF reading guides will arrive in your inbox.

*If you're already a subscriber to MargaretFeinberg.com, check your inbox! The free PDF download arrived there this morning. Any questions? Email jessica@margaretfeinberg.com, and she'll help you out.

[Tweet "If you’re not sure if you heard from God, ask yourself these specific questions: #SacredEcho"]

Prayer Bookmark

Each week, we're diving into The Sacred Echo book and Bible Study during the online Summer Bible Study.

This week:

  • Watch. Session .005: Surrender on the DVD.
  • Write. Respond to the second session of homework in the workbook.
  • Read. Chapters .009 & .010 in the book.
  • Interact. Share what ideas or phrases that catch your attention. What God is challenging or showing you through the material. How we can pray for you. And of course, you're welcome to send in quirky questions, too, since I'll be interacting with them throughout our time together. Leave your thoughts at MargaretFeinberg.com or on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using #SacredEcho.
  • Gather. Set a time to meet with your small group face-to-face, schedule a Skype date with your long-distance friends, and join the online community on Wednesday, July 9th at MargaretFeinberg.com.

To purchase the Summer Bible Study Special (which includes a copy of the book, workbook, and set of the DVDs), click here.

Okay—let’s get started! Click here to leave your answer to the question below as a comment.

What echoes have you heard from God during the last few weeks? Did you log off during the week of silence? How did that impact your life?

*Original Photo Source

25 responses to 4 Questions to Ask When You Heard from God (Plus a Free Printable)

  1. Tara Lantieri July 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I am hearing that I need to stay unplugged for a little while longer…
    Hope your time of being unplugged was refreshing and life giving! xoxo

  2. Birdie Cutair July 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Glad to hear you didn’t get a ticket on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a National offense when you get one there, and they don’t usually give warnings. Yes, I used to live nearby in Black Mtn. NC.

  3. I stayed unplugged this week. Even though I do not play Facebook games or anything I did realize how often I open and look at it. So instead of looking at it on break at work or in am I am going to change it up. With the workbook being purse size I can focus on a question out of it on break and stuff.

    • I’ve noticed the same, Kim. When there is a pause or downtime, I go to pick up my phone-a habit I want to break. I love the idea of carrying an alternative around so you can reach for it instead!

  4. I need more whitespace.. Grace is now. Silence is focus. Prayer is God in the matter!!
    Made a list: “What’s really important”
    I have a gift of writing, love words.
    God is establishing me, that’s primary. One Sacred Echo I had recently I took a picture of the yellow lined walking trail, couldn’t figure out why I did that at the time. I’m going to get a lap top hopefully and write
    and I have stopped job searching!
    A car I need. His echo was Car.
    I said yes, I know. If it’s cloudy in the morning, (which here it’s full blown Summer) then I’ll know your answer is it wasn’t from you, no car. When I got up this morning yep! Cloudy & overcast. I was shocked when I looked outside, it’s summertime!
    I cancelled the car idea. Got a call anyway, learned the facts, I can’t afford one. A job has been the issue
    for far too long. I turned off my phone. I need more quiet time to know when it’s really from God. Honestly, it is renewal time.

    • I love the idea of making a list of what’s important, Mae. Praying for more and more renewal of your soul during this time!

      • Margaret, thank you, I need a break-thru to know it is God saying I’ll have a home again, a car. Yes, these are things, our surroundings represent something. A covering. A shawl, if you will. You see, I am sure he gave me so much my life he established, he walked in my home. He was there! I missed His Q – its the saddest thing iv gone thru!

  5. yolanda haveman July 8, 2014 at 2:07 am

    I am in love with Jesus Christ. Have been happily married to an athiest for 33 yrs. With all these so called “christians” doing awful things in the name of God. it’s getting really hard to watd off my husbands beliefs. Please pray for me!! I need to write a book on living with an athiest while being whole heartedly in love with God.

    • Yolanda– Praying that God wraps his arms around you and continues to speak His truth to you.

      Huge hug, Margaret

    • Yolanda-Praying the Lord would open the floodgates of heaven and saturate you in HIs love.

  6. It’s 5 am and I have been awake since 3:27am. I started praying when I woke up and unable to go back to sleep. I asked Lord is there was something He was trying to tell me that I need to pray for. I opened this email and it was amazing that it is about hearing from God. I had been praying and scriptures were running through my mind. I was reminded how our hearts need to be on fire for Christ, get excited about things he has brought us through (some things we’re aware of and some not-I’m a breast cancer survivor) and we need to be in position to receive what He is wanting to give each of us. Margaret, I appreciate the confirmation this email was to me this morning/ I am looking forward to you being at the Ewomen Conference in Roanoke, VA. May God continue to bless you and your family along with safe travels.

    • Sheree, So thrilled this post struck a chord in your heart today. May you continue to be on fire for the Lord in the days, weeks, years to come!

  7. Margaret, what an important post! I love the way you honed in important ways to check if what we are hearing from God is really from God. My husband is a pastor and sometimes people come up to him and tell him things like, “God is telling me I need to divorce my wife and marry my girlfriend.” Uh…I don’t think so.

    Right now God is telling me I need to cut back on activities. Focus on Him. Concentrate on what He wants me to do and not try to do everything the “experts” tell me I need to do. Trust that He’s got my back.

    • May we all lean in and listen to the echoes our Father has for us! Thanks for your faithfulness, Sharla!

  8. This article is perfect timing for me and a small group of new believers I’m discipling. We are going through “Multiply” by Francis Chan right now and learning about how to study the Bible. Last week we got off on the whole “how do I know if this feeling inside is God speaking or just me or was it that burrito I had last night?” I am printing this article for all of us. Thank you so much!

    • “Or was it that burrito I had last night?” Hilarious– that put a huge smile on my face today. Thrilled this was helpful for you!

  9. Love this!This is the question of the day! As a Christian this can be one of the hardest traits/characteristics to develop. One thing I can add to this that has been helpful for me is that I keep a journal of things the Lord has said to me. In this journal I write 1 What the Lord said to me. 2. I ask for confirmation from His word. 3 I seek godly cousel 4 lastly I write down what happens and compare it to the confirmation from His word and from godly people. The reason I do this is that I am looking for consistancy. The best way to hear the voice of God is practice.

  10. Hi Margaret, I saw you speak at EV Free Church in Fullerton, CA…can I just say what a wonderful and refreshing time I had listening to you that weekend in March! You made God’s word come alive to me, in ways I never have had before…when you shared about your breast cancer journey, I felt an immediate connection with you, as I am an 8-yr breast cancer survivor…I experienced God intimately and personally during that time. Thank you for sharing your heart with us! God Bless You and Leif and Hershey too! In Christ, Jeanne

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