Being able to distinguish between our own thoughts, thoughts the enemy may speak to us and the thoughts of the Lord is a long-term process that begins with becoming aware of what we are thinking. We will likely find that we have a thought-life that is flesh-based rather than Life-based. But if we are going to hear from the Lord, as He cleans out our ears we will likely have to lay aside that which interferes with our hearing to begin with.
The Voice of the Butcher
The enemy is subtle, and will often speak to us in phrases we use ourselves. The test, “Is that You, Lord,” will likely expose him with some effort. That’s fine with the Lord; He wants us to grow in confidence and authority. The enemy is NO HINDRANCE to hearing from the Lord, as he is a conquered enemy. God has left him here, though, to reveal where we are wounded and living out of our flesh, and to teach us how to overcome (how to hear the voice of the Lord). Just because you’re hearing the voice of the enemy doesn’t mean you’ve missed God or are in some kind of dire straits. It simply means God has placed an opportunity before you to overcome the enemy by standing on your authority and commanding him to skedaddle or to reveal a wound so you can get healed. Either way, his presence in your life is allowed by God and serves His, and your, purpose for that time.
As we learn to IDENTIFY the voice of the Lord, we will also be learning to discern if what we are hearing and being taught from others is from God or some other source. Our confidence in our ability and judgment grows, and we become free from the fear of being exposed to “error.” Your discernment will become so sharp that if even an angel of light were to appear spouting scriptures you’d be able to inwardly know if the source was God or of some other origin. This hearing comes with time, experience, trial and error, but it is more than worth the effort.