Knowing God's will

God promises to guide us in our daily life.

Psa 23:1-2 1 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want (ie lack for anything). 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

Proverbs 3:5­6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Seek God’s guidance

Proverbs 3:5­6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Remember the Jews suffered serious consequences because they did not first inquire of God.

Depending on God doesn't mean we don't think for ourselves.

Isaiah 1:18 (NIV) "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

God encourages the use of reason. The only thing wrong is when we only use reason and not inquire of God for His will in our life.

Proverbs 3:5­6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

"lean not on your own understanding" doesn't mean that we don't use our own understanding at all. It simply means not to put all the weight into it.

Seeking God for guidance doesn't mean we cannot plan

Romans 1:13 (NIV) I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Paul does not think that it is so unspiritual to plan for the future. The problem does not lie in planning but in excluding God from our plans. It is wrong if we do not allow even God the right to alter our plans according to His will.

Not enquiring the Lord before a decision can have serious consequences.

When the Jews were making their conquest of the surrounding neighbouring enemies, one of their enemies, the Gibeonites, knew that they were no match for the Jews and wanted to make peace with them. Israel, however, had the policy of not making alliances with their enemies. So the Gibeonites deceived the Jews by sending representatives to the Jews who pretended to be foreigners from distant lands. The Jews fell for their trick and made a peace treaty with them. This later resulted in so many problems. The Bible points to us that the root of the problem is because the people did not inquire of the Lord before they made the decision to sign the peace treaty.

Joshua 9:14 (NIV) The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.

God does speak to the church

(1 Cor 12:8-10 NIV)  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, {9} to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, {10} to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

How does God lead us?

God leads us and speaks to us through different ways.

Some people tend to hear from God more from one way than the other. Some may see visions while others are constantly reminded of God’s word by the Holy Spirit. One should not think that if we don’t see visions, God is not speaking to us. Let God speak to us in any way He chooses.

Through the Bible

Psalms 119:105 (NIV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Through the Holy Spirit

John 14:26 (NIV) But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Holy Spirit guides us by giving us ideas as to what to do or even giving us the peace when we have made the right decision.

Luke 2:27 (NIV) Moved by the Spirit, he (ie the priest Simeon) went into the temple courts.

Here the Bible says that the Holy Spirit moved the priest to the temple courts to meet the baby Jesus perhaps by giving him a compulsion to go.

Through friends

Proverbs 12:15 (NIV) The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Through situations/taking the first step

The son of King Saul, Jonathan, wanted to teach the Philistines a lesson for showing disregard for God but he didn't know whether it is God's will. What should he do? He decided to take a step first and if God would lead him to certain circumstances, he would take it as confirmation that it is God's will to attack the Philistines.

1 Samuel 14:6­12 (NIV) Jonathan said to his young armour ­bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows (ie the Philistines). Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. (You see, he wasn't sure at first.) .... Jonathan said, "Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands." 11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. "Look!" said the Philistines. "The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in." 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armour­bearer, "Come up to us and we'll teach you a lesson." So Jonathan said to his armour­bearer, "Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel."

We can learn from this incident by asking God for specific situations that we can use as clues as to what God wants us to do. For example, when we apply for a job, we can ask God for confirmation as to whether it is the right job for us by either making the job available or not. In other words, we can tell God that if He does not want us in a particular job to please make it not available to us.

1 Corinthians 16:8-­9 (NIV) But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

Paul decided to stay in Ephesus because the Lord has shown him opportunities there.

Can we use any sign we like to ask God to act according to?

Judges 6:17, 37­40 (NIV) 17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favour in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me....37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew­­a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Although God may at times be gracious and speak to us in the manner that we specified, this is hardly appropriate. God should not be told what to do. We may ask God to show us his will but He should be free to choose how He wants to reveal his will to us.

Matthew 12:39 (NIV) He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 4:7 (NIV) Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Through trials

The people of Israel were under a curse because they had concentrated on themselves and stopped rebuilding God’s temple. They came to a point where the harder they worked, the less they have. God asked to prophet Haggai to tell them to give careful thought to their ways. In other words, look at the difficulties they are experiencing to see where they have gone wrong. God spoke to them of their mistakes through their trials.

(Hag 1:5-9 NIV)  Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. {6} You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." {7} This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. {8} Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. {9} "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.

Through common events

Jeremiah observed a potter at work and God taught him that just as a potter can shape the clay in any way he chooses, so God can do whatever He wants with the people of Israel.

(Jer 18:1-6 NIV)  This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: {2} "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." {3} So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. {4} But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. {5} Then the word of the LORD came to me: {6} "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Through open and closed doors

(1 Cor 16:8-9 NIV)  But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, {9} because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

(Acts 16:6-7 NIV)  Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. {7} When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

This is sometimes an inaccurate indicator of God’s will. Closed doors can be closed because of Satan’s work and not because of God. We need to be sensitive to the difference.

Through dreams and visions

(Acts 10:11-12 NIV)  He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. {12} It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.

(Joel 2:28 NIV)  'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

 

Through prophetic ministry

(1 Cor 12:28 NIV)  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

There are those in the church that have prophetic gifts who can hear from God and give you a specific word from Him.

Through God’s audible voice

(Acts 22:6-10 NIV)  "About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. {7} I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?' {8} "'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. "'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. {9} My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. {10} "'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. "'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.'

(1 Ki 19:10-13 NIV)  He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." {11} The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. {12} After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. {13} When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Hearing God through an audible voice is not common.

Through impressions

(Neh 7:4-5 NIV)  Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. {5} So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:

Nehemiah did not hear the voice of God in an audible manner but merely felt an impression that God wanted him to do something.

Through angels

(1 Ki 19:7-8 NIV)  The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." {8} So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

(Luke 1:19 NIV)  The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

(Heb 13:2 NIV)  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hearing the voice of angels is also not common.

How to hear from God?
Ask to hear from God

The reason why we do not hear from God may simply be we did not ask to hear from Him.

(James 4:2 NIV)  You do not have, because you do not ask God.

Anyone who asks will eventually hear the wisdom of God.

(James 1:5-8 NIV)  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. {6} But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. {7} That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; {8} he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Walk close to Him

(Gen 6:9-13 NIV)  This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God… {13} So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Of all the peoples of the world, God chose to reveal His intentions to destroy the world to one man, Noah, because he walked with God.

(Psa 25:14 NIV)  The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

(John 10:3-5 NIV)  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. {4} When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. {5} But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

Sometimes it is not a matter of whether God speaks to an individual or not. It is a matter of whether that individual recognizes the voice of God when He speaks. In the above illustration, the sheep knows the shepherd well and recognizes his voice. They do not recognize the stranger’s voice because they don’t know him at all.

Likewise, when we want to hear from God, we have to spend enough time with Him so that we really know Him.

Expect to hear from God

When the people complained against God, Habakkuk looked in anticipation to see what God has to say about that.

(Hab 2:1 NIV)  I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

 (Job 33:13-14 NIV)  Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man's words ? {14} For God does speak--now one way, now another-- though man may not perceive it.

Many times God speaks to us but we do not perceive those “voices” as coming from God. We can hear from God if we are in a state of expectancy to hear His voice. Would you like to talk to someone who is not paying attention to what you are saying? Why would God talk to us if we are not interested in what He has to say?

Consider the famous words of Elizabeth Barett Browning:

Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.

Humility

Besides Jesus, the person who heard most from God is Moses. In fact, God said that He spoke to Moses face to face.

(Num 12:6-8 NIV)  he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. {7} But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. {8} With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.

In that same chapter, it was also said that Moses was a humble person.

(Num 12:3 NIV)  (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

Daniel was another person who heard the voice of God in remarkable ways. When the angel came to Daniel with God’s message, he said that it was because Daniel humbled himself before God.

(Dan 10:12 NIV)  Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

Desire to do God’s will

(John 7:17 NIV)  If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

How to recognize God’s voice? By firstly desiring to obey whatever He tells you. If you have no intention of obeying, you won’t be able to discern His voice.

(Num 12:6-8 NIV)  he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. {7} But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. {8} With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.

God spoke to Moses clearly because Moses was faithful with the work God gave him to do.

Spend much time in prayer

(Mark 1:35-39 NIV)  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. {36} Simon and his companions went to look for him, {37} and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" {38} Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." {39} So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

(Luke 6:12-13 NIV)  One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. {13} When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

Jesus heard from His Father and got guidance from Him only after spending much time in prayer. How much more do we need to do the same.

Seek God with our whole heart and you will hear from Him.

(Deu 4:29 NIV)  But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Give God time to speak

Samuel is one person who learned to give God the opportunity to speak.

(1 Sam 3:10 NIV)  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Why did God have to call so many times? Because during the previous times, He was not given the opportunity to speak.

(Psa 5:3 NIV)  In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Someone once said, “Spend 51% of your prayer time in listening prayer. Ask God if He has anything to share with you or ask Him a question and then sit in His presence waiting for an answer.” (Listening Prayer, Mary Ruth Swope)

The great fault of prayer is that it can so easily be self-centred and self-seeking. We can be so busy thinking of what we want that we have no time to think of what God wants. We can be so concerned with our own desires that we never think of God’s will. We can be so busy talking to God that we never give God the chance to talk to us. We can be so busy telling God that we never stop and listen to God. (The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer for Everyman, William Barclay)

Advantages of hearing God’s voice
Overcome temptation

(Mat 4:1-4 NIV)  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. {2} After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. {3} The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." {4} Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

God speaks to us through the written word and that was what Jesus used to combat the devil. If we don’t know what God’s will is, we will not have the motivation to resist that temptation.

Warned of dangers of sin

(Job 33:14-18 NIV)  For God does speak--now one way, now another-- though man may not perceive it. {15} In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, {16} he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, {17} to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, {18} to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

Finding directions in ministry

(Mark 1:35-39 NIV)  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. {36} Simon and his companions went to look for him, {37} and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" {38} Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." {39} So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

(Luke 6:12-13 NIV)  One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. {13} When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

Jesus knew where to minister to and which twelve apostles to choose after He consulted His Father.

Warned of the dangers of ministry

(Acts 20:23 NIV)  I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.

Judging matters

In the course of Jesus’ ministry, He was frequently called upon to be the judge.

(John 8:3-7 NIV)  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group {4} and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. {5} In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" {6} They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. {7} When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Jesus tells us that He judges only what He hears the Father judges.

(John 5:30 NIV)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Christians are sometimes called to give an opinion on moral issues. Some areas are clearly black and white and some are not. We can follow Jesus’ example to hear from the Father before we give our judgment.

(Isa 11:2-4 NIV)  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- {3} and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; {4} but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

More effective evangelism

(John 4:6-19 NIV)  Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. {7} When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" {8} (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) {9} The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) {10} Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." {11} "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? {12} Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?" {13} Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, {14} but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." {15} The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." {16} He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." {17} "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. {18} The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." {19} "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet.

The Samaritan woman was impressed with the knowledge of Jesus about things that no ordinary stranger would no. She immediately acknowledged Him as a prophet of God.

When we witness or counsel someone who is resistant to the gospel, we can open them up if we get a special revelation from God.

Praying more effectively for others

If we have a revelation from God about a person’s problems (it may be a root problem that he is unwillingly to share about), we can begin to pray more effectively for that person.

How to differentiate God’s voice from others’
What are the other voices?

Besides the voice of God speaking to us, it could be the voice of our own emotions, pressure from others or even the voice of demons.

We need to be able to differentiate the voice of God.

God’s voice always agrees with the Scriptures

 

If it comes true or is correct, it is from God

If God gives you a prophetic message concerning the future of others and it is correct, it is from God because the Bible teaches that only God knows the future.

If you pray for someone and God gives you a word about him which when you share is an accurate depiction of that person’s situation, the voice is from God.

However, we should recognize that some of God’s prophecies are contingent prophecies. That means if God prophecies judgment on someone but that person repents, those judgments may not come to pass.

(Jer 18:7-10 NIV)  If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, {8} and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. {9} And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, {10} and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

Secondly, even a true prophet of God may at times misunderstand the message that God has given him to transmit. Occasional errors does not mean that that person is not used by God to transmit His voice.

It is also possible for prophecies to come true through demonic intervention rather than through the purposes of God. Just because something comes true does not make someone a prophet of God.

(Deu 13:1-3 NIV)  If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, {2} and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," {3} you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Jesus did not emphasize fulfillment as a test of true prophethood. Instead, he institutes another test.

(Mat 7:16-18 NIV)  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? {17} Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. {18} A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Does the idea come through deliberate thinking and natural observation?

If you pray for someone and notice that he is depressed through his facial expression, that is a natural observation and not a supernatural revelation from God.

If you ponder about a person’s problems and through logic come up with a solution, that is a natural thought (which God could have aided you in) but is not a supernatural revelation from God.

(Isa 55:8-9 NIV)  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. {9} "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When God speaks to us, frequently the content of His message will be different from our own thoughts about how to handle the situation at hand.

That is not to say that knowledge through natural means is bad or God cannot use the natural wisdom that is given to us, this is just a differentiation between natural observation and supernatural revelation.

Keeping a journal

A practical way to record God’s voices is to use a journal. When we are serious about hearing God’s voice, we can begin to record what we believe are messages from God. And when these voices come true, we know that it was the voice of God and that God speaks to us that way. This helps us to pick up the voice of God more easily in the future.

At the start, it could be that most of what we write are from our own voice and not from God. Do not despair. Continue at it and as you progress, more of what you write will be God’s voice as you begin to be able to pick up His voice better and better.

Finding out God’s will through prayer and fasting