I have never heard God’s voice. I have had plenty of times when I wish I would have, but I never had. I think that most people have not heard the voice of God, though I know some have. Despite never hearing God’s voice, there have been plenty of times when I felt the leading of God.
When I started dating my wife I knew she was the one for me. When I was thinking about seminary I got a big scholarship that made the decision a very clear one.
This is one of the challenging things about God’s leading. God does not often lead with a voice from the sky or a message in the mail. He often leads through circumstances or through our own thoughts and feelings. The challenging part is knowing what is really God’s leading instead of circumstances, thoughts, and feelings that we need to overcome to follow God’s leading. Put simply, is it god’s will or mine?
So how do you know? I am not sure there are any rules. But I have found a couple of things to be important. First, don’t make decisions in a hurry. Try to take time to sort out what God’s will really is. Second, clear your head. Step away from the problem. Step away from the business of life. Go hiking or spend a day away so that you can discern God’s will away from all kinds of other voices. Third, draw close to God. Dive into your Bible. Pray a lot. These disciplines help tune you into God’s voice above other things.