Five principles for knowing if it is God speaking to you

Marko Joensuu         No comments

Many Christians want to hear God's voice and prophetic word but are not quite sure how to discern it. Obviously, we can hear God through reading the Bible but that doesn't always help when it comes to specific situations where we need God's guidance. Here are five principles for knowing it is God speaking to you rather than your imagination or a demonic spirit.

1. Word comes with a strong presence of God
Unless a word or thought comes with a strong presence of God you shouldn’t accept or share it straight away. Instead, pray over it until you are sure that it is from God. Often, God will reveal you more.

2. Prophecy should never contradict the Bible
A prophecy should never contradict the Bible but it can challenge your Bible interpretation. God often speaks to you to illuminate a biblical truth you might not be aware of. If a revelatory word challenges your Bible interpretation but you discover through your Bible study that it is in fact consistent with the Bible truth, the chances are that God is dealing with your imperfect understanding of the Word. After all, God is the chief theologian of the universe.

3. God’s words are always enveloped in His presence
The Holy Spirit never speaks a word that doesn’t come enveloped in His presence. The devil can camouflage as an angel of light but he can’t fake God’s presence. Words spoken by the enemy are either full of poison, or when he masquerades as the angel of light, like empty shells, devoid of life. They have a presence of restlessness about them. The enemy might recite the Bible, as he did to Jesus when He was tempted, but he can never manufacture the unique mix of peace and energy that accompanies the presence of God. Jesus said,

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:1-5)

The enemy often tries to conceal his venomous presence behind false sense of triumphalism, as if it were the Holy Spirit promising you victory. This is designed to appeal to your pride. 

2 Samuel 24:1 says,

"Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, 'Go, number Israel and Judah.'"

The events are seen from a different perspective in 1 Chronicles 21:1.

"Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel."

God tests His people by letting the enemy whisper in their ear. If your heart is right with God you don’t listen to the enemy. God had given the kingdom to David but now his heart was puffed up and he thought that he owned God’s people. Joab was aware that the Law of Moses advised against counting people and tried to stop David. 

Exodus 30:12 says,

"When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them."

There is no indication that every man gave a ransom for himself as part of this census, and God cursed Israel with a plague.

It seems that David genuinely failed to distinguish between God and Satan’s voice. If your heart is proud, the enemy’s voice can sound indistinguishable from the Lord’s. There are deceiving spirits who know how to appeal to your desire for significance.

4. God will give you enough time to test a prophecy
God has already factored in the time it will take for you to discover whether a prophecy is from Him or not. He will never ask you to proclaim or act on a prophecy you aren’t 100% sure about.

5. God’s focus is on your relationship with Him
Sometimes discerning whether a word really came from God takes a lot of time. I have spent months in seeking clarity regarding certain prophecies with the Holy Spirit never answering to me clearly but drawing me deeper into His presence. This is God’s way of luring you to spend more time with Him!

This is an excerpt from Five Movements: Winning the Battle for Your Prophetic Gift by Marko Joensuu.

You can connect with Marko on Twitter @markojoensuu and on Facebook at or by visiting
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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