Was this thought from God, from Satan, or from Me?


Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said,
“Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
1 SAMUEL 3:10


 We’ve all had the experience of wondering if the word we have received is from God, Satan, or us and our selfish desires. This is the most common question we hear in our prison ministry, and it’s probably near the top of the list for most Christians. Some people approach the issue by studying Satan so they can recognize him when he shows up. This usually proves problematic since he is a Master of disguises. A far better way to know if your “word” was from God is to become so familiar with Him that you can easily recognize any thought, idea, or command as something He would say or do.

 Bank tellers learn to identify counterfeit bills, not by studying the bogus bills, but by becoming so familiar with the real thing that any discrepancy immediately stands out. This is what God expects us to do, and it takes a lot of work. This is why I keep stressing our relationship with God so much. Our spiritual survival depends on it. By knowing God’s word, we can learn His ways and can recognize something that doesn’t quite fit. By spending time in His presence, we come to know His heart and His motivation.

 This doesn’t mean that you ignore Satan completely. He will do his best to derail you by suggesting something you are likely to buy into. Jesus set the example for us to follow as He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He weighed everything Satan said against God’s Word. If it didn’t match, He ignored it.

 To be obedient to our Master, you must learn to recognize His voice. Jesus said that His sheep knew His voice, so if you claim to be one of His sheep, you must know Him so well that His is the only voice you follow.


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