So I'm leading a Bible study at church and last night we met. I have to be the Evangelical-Mike, out of politeness. Bob, a visitor who drops in now an then from across the big pond, did say a couple of things that caused jaws to drop . . . like he believes in evolution and an old earth (implied). I avoid those topics at all costs. But I know Bob, and he is a delight as he and I are the only two on the same page (I don't happen believe in evolution . . . single cell to human evolution but I still respect those who do).
Okay, my point. To play Devil's advocate a bit, I did decide to bring up this topic of hearing God's voice. It did relate to a verse we were reading.
I put the question in the context of "How do we know that it is God who is speaking?" I also mentioned the points; 1) our hearts are deceitful and 2) my roommate in college, Barry, was totally convinced that God had told him to marry the prettiest girl on campus . . . and that God was calling him to be the "greatest prophet since Jesus."
The immediate response was one I would agree with (after I loaded the question with those after thoughts), "We only know God's real voice through scripture."
But then, to continue playing the devil's advocate, I sat in silence. Then, in somewhat of a dichotomy, one by one people started to share stories of how "God had spoken clearly to them." It boiled down to emotional feelings, a sign from a stoplight etc. Those who did not share a story, certainly shared in a supporting "Wow," "hmmm" (that's a positive hmmm) to those who did share.
I was tempted to share that I was 100% confident that God has spoken to me to only wear red underwear for the rest of my life . . . just to see what people would say . . . but I dropped it. It would serve no purpose in that setting to show the contradiction between saying that we can only trust scripture . . . but then say out the other side of our mouths, "You know when God is speaking to you . . . you just know it!"
But, Barry "knew" God was speaking to him (as about a million other wackos). But I could tell that if I pushed it, that I was quickly falling out of favor of the whole group . . . save Bob.
So how do we know it is really the voice of God? Personally, I don't trust any "voice" because I am deeply fallen. I don't trust myself. I don't trust others and most of all, I never, ever trust anyone who is considered "godly."