by Dr. Charles Stanley
In Touch Daily Devotional
What Determines What I Hear?
1 Samuel 3
The book of First Samuel describes how the boy Samuel came to hear and understand the spoken word of God. We are told that the word of the Lord was rare in those days; Samuel, therefore, had to learn how to recognize the voice of God and not get it mixed up with any ideas that were not true to God's character.
We sometimes let our preconceptions abut God influence what we think we hear from Him. If, for instance, we think of God as a wise and caring counselor, we will be open to the love He has for us in the midst of calamities brought on by our own foolishness. If, however, we think of God as a vindictive judge, we will expect to hear words of condemnation and harsh punishment when we act foolishly.
This same problem besets us in any area where our ideas of God's character are unscriptural. We may think of Him as a generous provider or a stingy one. We may view Him as a faithful, trustworthy guide or as a fair weather friend. Whatever the case, it's a sad fact that too many Christians are falling for twisted conceptions about God. There are too many condemning, fearful voices that misrepresent our gracious, consistent, patient, trustworthy Father. We have all heard too many unbiblical ideas that are offered as if they are gospel truth-such error can lead us into horrible emotional and spiritual bondage. God is gracious, consistent, patient and trustworthy. Take the Bible's advice and prove whatever you hear against the truth of Scripture itself. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
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