"When you know, you know." Ever heard that saying? It's usually an old person saying that, because old people know. While usually mentioned in the context of finding the right spouse, I think it also applies to hearing God's voice. When you know, you know.
My head is very noisy. In my natural state (which includes sweatpants, whatever sporting event is on tv, and a half-eaten box of Cheez-Its), my thoughts are basically just an endless loop of impossible, imaginary future scenarios, evil plots, and consistent self-ridicule & frustration for not being perfect. That's why I try to avoid my natural state by staying busy. I do things that the evil, self-hate part of my brain can't stand: Running, making new friends, praying, reading good books, hiking, and 12-step meetings. When I do those things, MY thoughts seem to vanish, and thoughts of God begin to permeate within me. That's when I'm able to discern between my own selfish agenda and the very plan of my Creator.
During my drinking days, I carried the weight of my own world. I did that because somewhere along the way, I bought the lie that "God doesn't hear me." I'm really glad I was wrong about that. The even cooler part is that I CAN HEAR HIM.
Here are three simple ways I know something is from God:
1) It is undeniably pure (a good test here is: does it help someone else?)
2) It defies human logic and requires some sort of learning or obedience on my part
3) I know in my heart that saying "yes" is my only option
When God is involved, I don't have to know who, what, where, why, when, or how. All I have to do is say yes, and God does the rest. Amen?