According to Oswald Chambers, chastening is an invitation to listen.
Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances.
In small and ginormous ways I have interfered with God’s purpose in and for my life by doing some fuzzy ‘simultaneous translation’. It happens like this: I hear, “Follow Me”, and I immediately translate that into action – the phone call or comment or purchase I’ve been longing to make. Inevitably, disaster on one scale or another results. The impulse may have been benign but the end of the thing was bitter – not better, because I did not wait on God to reveal the exact context or precise steps He intended for my following.