Acts 8:29-31 – “Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’ 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ 31 And he said, ‘Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?’”
‘God told me…’ Have you ever found yourself in a position where God has told someone something related to you, while He apparently neglected to tell you? How do we discern when God is wanting to speak to us through another person? How do we discern God speaking to us directly?
In Acts 8, Philip had a clear prompting to approach a chariot. Upon his obedience, he found an opportunity to witness, via the Word of God.
We understand from 2 Timothy 3:16 that all Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ or inspired. When discerning if God has spoken, we should always begin by seeking to understand what the Lord has already said on a topic in Scripture (Acts 17:11). The Bible also tells us that we need to let the peace of God be an umpire in our heart’s discernment (Col. 3:15). James tells us that if anyone lacks wisdom, we can ask God, and He will give it to us (James 1:5). Philippians 2:12-13 tells us that God is at work in us to will and to act according to His purposes. As we become intimate with Christ through repentance, prayer, and obedience to His Word, we receive desires and promptings in our spirit. God also often puts thoughts in our minds that we cannot easily shake. The times we can relax and get quiet without distractions are the times we most clearly discern the Holy Spirit’s promptings in our spirit, our conscience, our minds.
There are filters to pass through to discern when God is speaking as opposed to when someone is operating by their own subjective desires.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are a God who has spoken and continues to speak. I pray that you help me to discern your voice and your promptings amidst all the distractions of our time. I pray you’ll help me to then trust and obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.