by Dr. Charles Stanley
Recognizing the Voice of God
The Lord wants His will to be the singlefactor in our decision-making — not what we want or what others think; not the size of the need, our availability, the worthiness of the request, or our previous experience. “What God desires” is to be the litmus test that decides what we do and say.
To recognize God’s voice, we first set our minds on His interests rather than our own. Then we ask, Is what I’m considering in agreement with Scripture? Jesus’ prediction of His death was scriptural, but Peter wanted a reigning Messiah (Isaiah 9:6-7); He had overlooked the prophetic teaching about the suffering servant (Isaiah 53:3-9). By becoming students of the Word, we will avoid the danger of missing key verses.
When an idea is supported by Scripture, then we inquire, Does it conflict with human reasoning? Ironically, a “yes” means there is a strong possibility that it is God’s voice. Peter had trouble reconciling the words crucified and Messiah, yet it was the Lord speaking.
Next, we examine the concept to see if it involves sacrifice or challenges our faith. God’s commands usually do. To accept Jesus’ words, Peter would have to surrender an earthly relationship with Jesus and believe in His resurrection.
Finally, when God gives us instruction, courage is often required. Peter could see difficulties ahead if Jesus was to be killed.
Learning to identify God’s voice is a process. Agreement with His Word is key, so always check the message against the Bible first. Then use the other steps to assess if what you are hearing is from God.
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