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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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Punch a Hole in the Dam

Punch a Hole in the Dam

Punch a Hole in the Dam “So [Israel] came up to Baal-perazim, and David smote the [Philistines] there. Then David said, God has broken my enemies by my hand, like the bursting forth of waters; therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim(Lord of breaking through).” (1 Chronicles 14:11) Like the bursting forth of waters. I love that phrase! It paints such a powerful and accurate picture of a breakthrough. Do you remember the story of the little boy who saw a leak in the dam and plugged up the hole with his finger? He knew that the force of the water flowing through that one tiny hole would have enlarged the leak with every second that passed. And, as the dam gave way to the pressure, that tiny trickle would have quickly become a raging flood. As you reach out your hand in faith, expect God to break in upon your enemies just like He did for David. That’s how your breakthrough will come like the bursting forth of waters! Punch one little hole in that wall of problems, and no devilish dam will hold you back. Dig one tiny hole in it with your faith and with the Word of God. Then keep tearing away at that hole by speaking out that faith day after day. Don’t quit! Because God’s forces are backed up behind you like an ocean of spiritual water. Each time you speak a word of faith, they leak through. The more you speak and the more you pray, the bigger that leak will get. Begin your breakthrough right now. Say, “Lord Jesus, I rejoice today that You are Lord of my breakthrough. I thank You that the flood of Your power is about to sweep through my life. I know there is no problem that can stand against it. Poverty can’t stand against it. Family problems can’t stand against it. Nothing the devil can do can stop my victory. I praise You for it NOW! Amen.” Keep praying that. Keep believing that. And before long, the forces of God will come bursting through, demolishing every obstacle in their...

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Love is Patient

Love is Patient

Love is Patient (1 Corinthians 13:4)   Patience is the red carpet upon which God’s grace approaches us. The Greek word used here for patience is a descriptive one. It figuratively means “taking a long time to boil.” Think about a pot of boiling water. What factors determine the speed at which it boils? The size of the stove? No. The pot? The utensil may have an influence, but the primary factor is the intensity of the flame. Water boils quickly when the flame is high. It boils slowly when the flame is low. Patience “keeps the burner down.” Helpful clarification, don’t you think? Patience isn’t naive. It doesn’t ignore misbehavior. It just keeps the flame low. It waits. It listens. It’s slow to boil. This is how God treats us. And, according to Jesus, this is how we should treat others. He once told a parable about a king who decides to settle his accounts with his debtors. His bookkeeper surfaces a fellow who owes not thousands or hundreds of thousands but millions of dollars. The king summarily declares that the man and his wife and kids are to be sold to pay the debt. Because of his inability to pay, the man is about to lose everything and everyone dear to him. No wonder “the man fell down before the king and begged him, “Oh, sir, be patientwith me, and I will pay it all.” (Matt. 18:26–27 NLT, emphasis mine) The word patience makes a surprise appearance here. The debtor does not plead for mercy or forgiveness; he pleads for patience. Equally curious is this singular appearance of the word. Jesus uses it twice in this story and never again. Jesus reserves the word for one occasion to make one point. Patience is more than a virtue for long lines and slow waiters. Patience is the red carpet upon which God’s grace approaches us. Had there been no patience, there would have been no mercy. But the king was patient, and the man with the multimillion-dollar debt was forgiven. But then the story takes a left turn. The freshly forgiven fellow makes a beeline from the courthouse to the suburbs. There he searches out a guy who owes him some money. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. “Be patient and I will pay it,” he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full.” (vv. 28–30...

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