How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Third Test
By Rick Warren
— March 17, 2011
“God’s intent is that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.” Ephesians 3:10 (NIV)
"One of the main reasons people mess up their lives is that they have no godly friends to give them feedback."
God has not meant for anyone to go through life alone. He made us to live in relationship with other people. So when it comes to hearing God’s voice, you need to listen to the people around you. You need a church family and a small group to confirm whether what you sense God directing you to do is true or not. This is the third test question: Are there other people who can confirm what I believe God is saying to me?
If God has genuinely spoken to you, he will confirm it through other mature believers. This idea that we have to do everything on our own is an American idea, not God’s. He wants you to share your idea with others for confirmation and listen to their feedback.
And if you feel resistance to the thought of even asking somebody else about your idea, that should be a huge red flag that the idea did not come from God.
The reason God tells us to get advice is because he wants to save us from a lot of things. As it says in Proverbs 11:9, “The wisdom of the righteous can save you” (GNT).
Advice from other mature believers can save you time wasted doing the wrong thing. It can save you from wasting money. It can save your reputation. It can save you from making mistakes.
One of the main reasons people mess up their lives is that they have no godly friends to give them feedback. That is why it is so important to be in a small group with fellow believers who can hold you accountable and give you advice.
The Bible says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14b KJV). If you are not in a small group, you are skating on thin ice and you don’t know when you might fall through.