Discerning God's Voice
1 Timothy 4:1-2
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."
I am frequently asked, how a person can tell the difference between hearing from God and hearing their own thoughts. We all face this dilemma at one point or another and if we are honest, the voice of God will rarely match up with our own desires. Throughout my ministry, I have learned that God is innovative and will often give direction and information that is unique and that I never would have thought up on my own. One thing that we can be sure of is that God will never contradict his own character or nature. He is not a God of confusion or death. How then, do we know if we are hearing from God or not?
The best way to discern God’s voice is to be familiar with his nature by being steeped in his word. When we read Scripture, God begins to reveal himself to the reader. We learn how he chooses to interact with humanity and creation throughout history and in that interaction his character is revealed. It takes a concerted effort to learn about our Creator. If we do not take biblical study seriously, the noise of the world will begin to shape our worldview and the character of God will evade us. The Bible tells us that Satan will come as an angel of light and there is no question that this will deceive many (2Cor. 11:13-15).
God continually warns us of deceiving spirits throughout Scripture. I cannot help but wonder if the modern-day professing Christian is able to sense God’s Spirit without confusing it with the spirit of this world. God’s Spirit never lies and will always direct us in the right path. A path that leads to abundant living and fellowship with him and our community of true Christ followers.
It is imperative to check ourselves and ask; Is it possible to think that we have heard from the Holy Spirit, but instead have been deceived by the lies of mankind? How easily are we swayed by what seems to be popular opinion (but in reality, is instead a belief that has been formed due to the deceptive tactics of the enemy)? Do we allow ourselves to get carried away with contrived issues that claim to seek social justice? Do we ask ourselves; Is it God’s idea of justice, or is it humankind’s idea of justice enforced upon humanity?
The world we live in is in absolute turmoil and the god of this world (John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) is busy at work deceiving the multitudes and destroying lives. His lies do not make sense to the clear-thinking individual, but to those who are grounded in this world, it seems that logic evades them.
Jesus warned that in the last days many would be deceived by the spirit of the anti-Christ (Luke 21:8).
I continually see professing Christians making excuses to link arms with secularized ideologies that are devoid of God and claiming that the ideas are indeed in line with God’s will. I believe that there has never been a more important time to discern the voice of God. Be careful Christian!