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Girlfriends in God - Apr. 29, 2008

April 29, 2008
God’s Voice or the World’s Voice
Part 2
Sharon Jaynes


Today’s Truth
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Friend to Friend
Yesterday we looked at how we discern if the voices we are hearing are form the world or from God.  When I talk about “voices,” I am not talking about audible voices, but that inner voice that affects our thinking and our doing.  Let’s examine more about how to detect if the voice is from God or from the world systems.

In the New Testament, there are three words for “world.”  One refers to the “world” as the collective group of people that God loves.  We see this in John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The other two refer to the “world” as our enemy, as in John 15:19: “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”  This same reference to the “world” as an enemy is found in I John 2:15-16: “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boast of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.”   In both of these incidences, the “world” refers to “the organized system of temporal values that are opposed to the life of Christ in the believer.”   The human systems oppose God’s purposes – man’s wisdom apart from Christ.

From the time we are born, we are programmed by the world around us.  From movies to media, education to entertainment, and friends and family, we are pushed to fit into cultural norms and expectations. As long as we are in the world, we will have the tension of discerning whether the wooing we hear is from God or from the world. Again, the only way to discern between the two is to know the truth found in God’s Word. 

It’s not simply knowing the Word of God, albeit that is the first step.  We must believe it as well.  That may seem like a strange statement; however, there are many Biblical scholars who know the contents of the Bible back and forth, up and down, but don’t truly believe in God’s power through those words.  “This is the victory that has overcome the world,” John wrote, “even our faith” (1 John 4:4).

When Paul wrote to the various churches in the New Testament, he wanted to make sure they knew his wisdom and his words were from God and not the world.  “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).  Library shelves bulge with books on philosophy and self help diatribes.  Magazine racks are weighed down with the latest new age wisdom which changes as quickly as each new issue is printed, and television talk shows clutter the airwaves with weak attempts at mental and spiritual health. It is the sick tying to heal the sick, the blind leading the blind, and the lame trying to teach the mental cripple to walk.  What we don’t need are more new ideas.  What we do need is a new life.  We need God.

Let’s Pray
Dear Heavenly Father, the world’s voice is so loud.  Talk show hosts fill the TV screen with ways to discover abundant life.  Celebrities fill the internet with thousands of eager readers trying to discover the meaning of life.  Writers pack bookstore shelves with self-help books boasting great promises.  But Lord, I know that only You bring true abundant life.  Help me to shut out the enticing voices of the world and listen only to You.  And Lord, please help me to discern the difference.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever been drawn in by the world’s voice?  A talk show host? An internet book club? A New Age idea?

Do you know how to detect the difference between the world’s deception and God’s truth?  I bet you do.  First, we have to know the truth.

Today, pay attention to the messages that you hear and determine whether they fit with God’s truth.

More from the Girlfriends
If you would like to learn more about how to tell if the voice you are hearing is from the world, the flesh, or the devil - or from God, then you’ll want to read Becoming a Woman who Listens to God.   In it, Sharon looks at how God speaks today, the counterfeits and imposters, and the barriers and bridges to hearing God’s voice.  

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