Well, all I can share with them is how I have seen the Lord work in my life and sometimes I have missed it! Just simply missed it! But, that is all the more reason we MUST stay tuned in with God. Take the time to hear His still small voice because He does NOT always speak with a loud boom like we would like for Him too!
As far as Him speaking to me He does that all the time. Not in an audible voice but to my spirit. The problem is that sometimes I just don't simply listen. Anyone else have that problem????
However, when I feel He is calling me to a specific task or asking something of me that I am not quite sure about I try to really listen and look for the signs. My rule of thumb is first and foremost:
1: Does it line up with scripture? If it doesn't, then I know that it is NOT from Him.
2: Is it consistent with His character? Not my character or the character of someone else, but His.
3: Is the message I think I am hearing from Him being confirmed? The message could be at church through the Pastor, the Sunday school or Bible study teacher, another mature believer, my quiet time, and foremost what I am reading and hearing during my quiet time with the Lord.
4: Is this something that I could not do on my own?
5: Would it be pleasing to God? Would it bring Him glory?
6: Are my motives based on love and NOT self-seeking?
7: Am I being drawn to a particular area of ministry or action?
This list is a few things that come to mind when I am facing a situation of "How do I know that I know".
Let me give you an example: When I felt the leading of the Holy Spirit calling me to lead women nearly 18 years ago I must admit, I struggled and questioned God over and over. When I look back the main problem I had was unbelief. I could not imagine God using me in that area. I was still looking in the index of the Bible to find the books (and still do at times). I could not pronounce the words right, (and still don't) could not speak in front of a group of women, (and yes, I sometimes still get jitters) I was not smart enough, good enough, and well....my list could go on and on.
God began preparing me for the task long before I even began to sense it! YEP, that is how our God works at times. Long story short, God showed Himself to me through all seven steps I have listed and more! He never ceases to amaze me. And...the bottom line was that He simply wanted me to be a willing vessel! He did not want me to do the work because He knew I couldn't. I stepped out in Faith and trusted Him and I have never been sorry that I did! Sometimes, it may be only for a season that He needs you in a particular area of ministry. Other times, it's for the long haul. The thing is...GOD has called us all to SERVE in some area or another. He may be calling you right now to something!
Maybe the Lord is calling you to a specific task and you are struggling to know that you know! My advice...follow the simple seven rules I've listed. Talk to a mature Christian that will be honest with you and guide you. Get quiet, listen, seek and step out in faith! Above all listen to the Master's Voice. He never makes a mistake!
When we are tuned in to God His Word will line up in our hearts, soul and mind.....
Hugs and Blessings, Cindy