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How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Third Test

How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Third Test

“God’s intent is that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.” Ephesians 3:10 (NIV) God has not meant for anyone to go through life alone. He made us to live in relationship with other people. So when it comes to hearing God’s voice, you need to listen to the people around you. You need a church family and a small group to confirm whether what you sense God directing you to do is true or not. This is the third test question: Are there other people who can confirm what I believe God is saying to me? If God has genuinely spoken to you, he will confirm it through other mature believers. This idea that we have to do everything on our own is an American idea, not God’s. He wants you to share your idea with others for confirmation and listen to their feedback. And if you feel resistance to the thought of even asking somebody else about your idea, that should be a huge red flag that the idea did not come from God. The reason God tells us to get advice is because he wants to save us from a lot of things. As it says in Proverbs 11:9, “The wisdom of the righteous can save you” (GNT). Advice from other mature believers can save you time wasted doing the wrong thing. It can save you from wasting money. It can save your reputation. It can save you from making mistakes. One of the main reasons people mess up their lives is that they have no godly friends to give them feedback. That is why it is so important to be in a small group with fellow believers who can hold you accountable and give you advice. The Bible says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14b KJV). If you are not in a small group, you are skating on thin ice and you don’t know when you might fall...

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How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Second Test

How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Second Test

“In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NCV) God’s number one purpose in your life is to make you like Jesus. He is the standard for your life in how you think, act, feel and speak. That’s why the second test to determining whether an impression is from God or not is to ask this question: “Does it make me more like Christ?” God is never going to tell you something in your mind that would cause you to do something that’s un-Christlike. If it is not like Jesus, believe me, you didn’t get the idea from God. What is Jesus like? James 3:14-17 gives us some specifics that are a good measure for testing an idea: “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition … such ‘wisdom’ is of the devil. The wisdom that comes from God is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere” (NIV). First of all, this passage tells us two things God’s wisdom is not. It will not be motivated by bitter envy or selfish ambition. These verses instead give seven things to test if an idea that comes into your mind is from God: Is it pure? If any thought is impure, God didn’t give it to you. Is it peace-loving? If the idea is from God, it will promote harmony and reconciliation, not conflict. Is it considerate? Any idea that would hurt or harm someone, even though it may benefit you, is not from God because he cares about the effect it might have on others. Is it submissive? If you get an idea from God, you must be open to having it tested by other people, asking them what they think about it. If you are hesitant and don’t feel like letting other people test the idea, then it didn’t come from God because it isn’t leading you to submit to others’ feedback. Is it full of mercy? An impression from God will make you more gracious and forgiving. It won’t make you judgmental or critical. Is it impartial and sincere? When you get an idea that’s from God, you don’t use it to manipulate people to get your own way. Any idea that encourages these seven qualities in your life is an idea that will make you more like Christ....

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How to Recognize God’s Voice

How to Recognize God’s Voice

How to Recognize God’s Voice – The First Test   “Don’t believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God; test it first to see if it really is!” 1 John 4:1 (LB) When I get an idea in my mind, how do I know if it’s from God? How do I know it’s not my own desire or even a lie from Satan? The answer is clear in 1 John 4:1 – I must test it to find out. This week I want to share with you the seven biblical ways to test an impression and find out whether it is from God or not. These seven tests form a filter and you need to make sure that the idea you are testing passes all seven of them. When it does, you can have absolute confidence that the idea is from God. The first test is to ask the question, “Does it agree with the Bible?” God will never contradict his written word. Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). God’s truth is consistent. He is not going to tell you one thing in the Bible and then tell you something different in an impression. And as Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truth stands the test of time.” How does this apply as a filter? For example, the Bible tells us to pay our taxes when it says “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21 NIV). So if you feel God telling you not to pay your taxes this year, that thought isn’t from God. It would be a contradiction of his Word. There are also many verses in Proverbs that say God will bless your business if you have integrity and if you are honest and fair in all your business dealings. So if you get an idea that you could make more money and increase your profits by being dishonest, that idea is not from God. The vast majority of God’s will for your life is in God’s Word. So if anyone ever comes up to you and says you need the Bible plus another book to find truth, they are wrong. Galatians 1:8 says, “Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed” (NLT). That may sound harsh, but God’s truth does not change. If you want to know God’s voice, the only book you need to read is the Bible. You need to memorize it, study it, and meditate on it. When you know God’s Word you will not be fooled by lies. But you will...

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You have begun to live the new life

You have begun to live the new life

“You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you.” (Colossians 3:10a NCV) Every day Jesus wants you to become a little more like him: “You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you.” (Colossians 3:10a NCV) Today we’re obsessed with speed, but God is more interested in strength and stability than swiftness. We want the quick fix, the shortcut, or the on-the-spot solution. We want to instantly resolve all problems, remove all temptation, and release us from all growing pains. But we are learning, as we prepare for our Decade of Destiny, that real growth and lasting change come when we stay focused on our goals day-in and day-out. Real maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving. Growth is gradual, but as we stay with it, we are “becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Corinthians 3:18b...

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He Makes Up the Difference

He Makes Up the Difference

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “…for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength)” (2 Corinthians 12:10, AMP) TODAY’S WORD No matter what weakness you think you may have, no matter what inadequacies or setbacks you’ve encountered, God wants to give you His divine strength! He wants to make up the difference and put you further ahead than you ever thought possible. One time in the Old Testament, God simply multiplied the sound of four men’s footsteps and caused them to sound like a mighty army. When their enemies heard them, they took off running. There were thousands of enemy troops running for their lives, scared to death, thinking they were being attacked by a massive army when, in fact, it was just four people! What happened? God made up the difference. Friend, God can make you seem bigger than you really are. He can make you look more powerful. He knows how to multiply your influence, your strength, your talent and your income. You don’t have to figure it all out; all you have to do is put your trust in Him. If you will release your faith for a supernatural year and wake up every day expecting God’s far and beyond favor, then you’re going to see God show up and make the difference in every area of your life!...

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