When I get an idea in my head how do I know when it’s from God? Is it from God, is it my idea, or did it come from the devil? There are seven ways to test an impression so that you know it’s a message from God.
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Here are some highlights from this message about how to Recognize God’s Voice by Rick Warren.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “What you think is the right road could lead to death.” 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Rick Warren shares seven ways you can test an impression so you know it’s from God.
1. Does it agree with the Bible?
Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Opinions change but truth doesn’t change. If you think you aren’t suppose to pay your taxes this year that is not from God. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.
At 12:32, Rick talks about becoming like Christ in character:
2. Does this idea make me more like Christ?
Life is a temporary assignment, He wants you to become like Jesus in character. Everything, every body, mind, relationship, environment…nothing is perfect. It is all broken because of sin. James 3:14-17 says, “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
At 26:40, Rick talks about the importance of the church family:
3. Does my church family confirm it?
Test your impression with mature believers. If they question it you should too. Proverbs 11:9 says, “The wisdom of the righteous can save you.” Also Proverbs 11:14b states, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
At 31:21, Rick talks about how God shaped you:
4. Is it consistent with how God shaped me?
S is for spiritual gifts
H is for heart
A is for abilities
P is for personality
E is for experiences
Your SHAPE determines your purpose. God never gives you a talent He wants you to waste. Romans 12:6 says, “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well..” However, just because you love to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
At 40:55, Rick talks about responsibility:
5. Does it concern my responsibility?
Don’t try and be the Holy Spirit for other people. You work on you! Romans 14:4 says, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
There are three guidelines if God is going to speak to you about somebody else.
A. Be patient and pray. (Give God a chance to speak directly to them.)
B. God will use you to confirm what He said to them.
C. God usually uses you without you being conscious of it.
Romans 14:10, 13 says, “We will all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards, or even our own, but by the judgment of God…It is to God alone that we shall have to answer for our actions.”
At 55:00, Rick addresses convicting versus condemning:
6. Is it convicting rather than condemning?
God never attacks my value because that’s not the way God speaks. Romans 8:1 says, “ There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” When God convicts you that you have done something wrong and you repent then Jesus takes the condemnation and you are set free. Revelation 12:10 says, “Satan is the accuser of believers.” Before you sin Satan minimizes your sin and after you sin he says how could you do that and call yourself a Christian?
At 1:00:38, Rick talks about God’s peace:
7. Do I sense God’s peace about it?
1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not the author of confusion.” God wants to draw us compassionately. Do you sense God’s peace about it as you listen to Him? Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 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.”
If you have allowed sin to come between you and God and His message is muted or perhaps you have never been saved please pray the following prayer. Pray Dear God, I want to know you and I want to hear your voice, and I want to know what you want me to do with my life. I don’t understand it all but I thank you that you love me and you made me and that you shaped me for a purpose. Take away my condemnation, show me the things in my life that are keeping me away from hearing you. I ask you to accept me into your family and help me to hear your voice and feel your presence.