In Chapter 4 (“How to Know When You’re Hearing from God”) of The Power of a Whisper, author Bill Hybels clearly states that, while God’s whispers rarely are tangible, there are specific and concrete steps (aka “the whisper test) we can take to discern “if we’re hearing from God or hearing from the sushi we ate last night.” Over the years Pastor Hybels has compiled a list of 5 filters through which God’s perceived whispers must pass- the whisper test (pages 98-106):
1. Is the prompting truly from God? The message must square with God’s character and attributes.
2. Is the message Scriptural? When we sense God’s prompting, we must ask ourselves if we could imagine Jesus taking the action we’re considering taking.
3. Is the message wise? Does it pass the “general-wisdom” test? Pastor Hybels stresses: “Scripture is relentless in exhorting us to be wise in all our dealings, to be wise in all our ways . . . If God is indeed in the plan, it will likely not involve blatantly unwise action.
4. Is it in tune with your own character? Does the whisper pass “the wiring test”? The whisper must be consistent with the person God created you to be.
5. What do the people you trust the most think about that whisper? Consider Proverbs 11:14- “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”