21 July 2010

Recognizing God's Voice

Four voices speak to us:
  1. God speaks to us
    • Job 33:14
      God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.
    • Acts 8:26
      As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, "Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza."
  2. Our own voice speaks to us
    • 1 Corinthians 10:27
      If someone who isn't a Christian asks you home for dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you and don't ask any questions about it. Your conscience should not be bothered by this.
  3. Others speaks to us. This also may be good, netural or wrong
    • Galatians 1:10
      Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant.
    • Colossians 2:1818
      Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And don't let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud.
  4. The devil speaks to us
    • Acts 16:16
      One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.
    • 2 Timothy 1:7
      For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
    • Revelation 12:10
      Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
      "It has happened at last--the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth--the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night.
Four tests help us recognize His voice
  1. God does not contradict His written word
    • John 10:35
      And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people, who received God's message, were called `gods,'
    • 1 Corinthians 14:37
      If you claim to be a prophet or think you are very spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself.
  2. God's voice has a consistent character
    • James 3:17
      But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere.
    • Philippians 4:6-7
      6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
  3. The fruit of God's voice is good
    • Matthew 7:15-20 - The Tree and Its Fruit
    • Matthew 7:21-23 - True Disciples
  4. God's voice is different from our voice
    • Isaiah 55:8-9
      8 "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
These tests only work with practice and in an environment of friendship with the Lord
  1. Skill at anything is only acquired by practice
    • Hebrews 5:14
      Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.
    • Jeremiah 33:3
      Ask me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here.
    • Isaiah 11:3
      He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay.
  2. God shares His secrets and His plans with His friends
    • Genesis 18:17
      "Should I hide my plan from Abraham?" the LORD asked.
    • Psalm 25:14
      Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him. With them he shares the secrets of his covenant.
    • John 15:15
      I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
    • Matthew 13:11
      Then he explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not.
    • 1 Corinthians 2:7-15
      10 But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets.

      12 And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
    • 1 Corinthians 4:1
      So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God's secrets.

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