27 Mar Can I Have a Word?
Do you hear from God? I am not asking if God shows up in traffic and directs you home…that’s Ways. But I want you to think about the ways God communicates with you. With all of the voices swirling around social media, television, and well-meaning people around us, it can be hard to distinguish God’s voice amongst the din of other voices.
Lots of people heard a good word from God this past Sunday during our worship service. Many of us struggle with discerning God’s voice, and we have a way to get better at that process. We just need to be willing to apply it to our lives.
Rick Warren has one of the best teachings on how to recognize God’s voice with seven steps. Here are the steps we can follow to test a message we feel God is giving us:
1. Does it agree with the Bible?
2. Does it make me more like Jesus?
3. Are there other people who can confirm what I believe God is saying to me?
4. Is it consistent with how God shaped me?
5. Does it concern my responsibility?
6. Is it convicting or is it condemning?
7. Do I sense God’s peace?
It is natural to hear a word from God and know with all certainty what we must do in response to that word. But contrary to popular opinion, we are fallible—we make mistakes. We are better off if we use these seven tests to be clear about what God may or may not be telling us to do.
You may read through this list and see one area that speaks to you more than others. For me, the convicting/condemning test speaks to me. The Enemy speaks to us through condemnation: telling us we are not good enough; we don’t deserve love; we do not measure up; Jesus would never want us; … These are some of Satan’s best lies, but God does not condemn. God’s word for us may convict but it never condemns.
Paul says in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God may convict us when we are outside His will, but God does not condemn us. If we are feeling forsaken or worthless, that is the voice of Satan, and we need to learn the difference.
The best way to learn how God talks to us is by reading the Bible. The Bible is a gift from God, and it is a living vehicle for God to communicate with us. If our Bible study is centered on God and hearing from God, we will be amazed at God’s faithfulness, devotion, and direction.
There is no time like the present to get started. We have groups for men, women, and college/young adults, and our men’s and women’s groups are about to start new studies. Bible study is essential to discipleship and becoming more like Jesus. Please let me know when you want to get involved in one of our groups.
Blessings to you,