I think the way we discern God's voice is we learn to recognize it the way we recognize the voices of those close to us: by knowing Him. And when we know Him, we can tell if what we're feeling led to do is from Him or not.
When God speaks to me, it is a certain impression on my heart that I've come to recognize as Him. There are five keys to help me determine if what I am hearing is from God or not?
1. Does what I'm hearing line up with Scripture?
2. Is it consistent with God's character?
3. Is it being confirmed through messages I'm hearing at church or studying in my quiet times?
4. Is it beyond me?
5. Would it please God?
Asking these questions helps me determine if it is God speaking or ideas in my head.
We must spend time in the Word and in prayer daily with Jesus. There is no way around it and sometimes it is hard to find that time. We must get into God's Word and let it penetrate our hearts and let the Holy Spirit illuminate it to make things clear. Lysa tells us to
As you are reading a passage ask yourself:
acting as a result of this verse?
both in the Old Testament and New Testament?
God wants you to hear from Him. (Read that again: God wants YOU to HEAR from HIM!) He wants your faith to grow. In Philippians 1:9 it says
Daily adventures with God will add an excitement to your life that will change your whole perspective. Hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered. These are "divine appointments!" You will begin to live in expectation of hearing from God every day.
Even as a minister's wife I struggle with whether what I am hearing is from God or my own impressions. By going back to these five questions I can clearly distinguish the difference.
I challenge you to take a moment in your quiet time and ask God "What is it you have to say to me today, Lord?"