In this post we will discuss how to discern if the direction we are hearing is from ourselves or from God.
This can be tricky as our hearts can be deceptive... and if we really want to do something, we can easily talk ourselves into it.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
So how do we figure this maze out?
Well there are five simple tests that you can use:
- The Holy Spirit speaking to your heart
- The prophetic
- Godly council
- The peace of God
God is speaking to our hearts through His Holy Spirit all the time.
Psalm 139: 17-18
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
We'll cover how this happens more in the third post.
Prophetic words from others can be powerful encouragement in one's life. The prophetic word is usually a confirmation and encouragement though. Very rarely will God ever tell you something directive for the first time through the prophetic.
A word of caution too... who prophecies over you is very important. Every prophetic word needs to be judged and discerned.
1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21
19Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Godly council can keep you from a lot of silly decisions. Having someone trusted, who knows the Word of God well, who is known for his wisdom and application of Scripture in their own life... these people will prove invaluable to you.
A word of caution... when we really want something... we tend to go to those who we know will be sympathetic to our course of action. Bad idea! You may get what you want... but you will not want what you end up with!
Lastly is the peace of God.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
In 2004 God dropped a bombshell in my spirit. I was living in South Africa and out of the blue God impressed New Zealand on my heart. It was with me from the moment I woke till the moment I fell asleep... 24/7.
I went to my wife and asked her to pray about what this could mean. We decided to pray about the matter seperatly for a month and then come together and see what God was saying.
I'm an idea a minute guy so it is important for me to give decisions time (espesially very important ones).
I wrestled and wrestled with this. It didn't make logical sense to me... after all I had been in the ministry for 10 years already in SA, I was well known and I had all my plans tied to SA.
I wished someone would just come up and give me a prophetic word to take the burden of making the descisionm off me... but I knew that God had spoken and I needed to make the decsion to follow.
On the third week I decided this was God, I made my decision, but I still wanted to give it time. Logically it didn't make any more sense to me... but underneath all that confusion I felt a peace in my spirit.
When my wife and I came together we were convinced that this was the voice of God to us. The next 6 months was a whirlwind... and as they say... the rest is history.
Now i feel right in the centre of God's will for our families lives. Its the best place to be!
In the next post we will talk about how to actually 'hear' from God.
Please do leave a comment and share your experiences.