This week’s news plus some help in determining if the voice you’re hearing in a noisy and violent world is from you or from God
IT’S NEWS TO ME
Reminder: I typically don’t include articles covered extensively in mainstream news.
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
How do I know it’s from God?
This week’s news shows what a violent place our world (and our nation) has become. We’re seeing violence in our politics, violent and disgusting images from so-called comedians, another dead body associated with the DNC/Clinton machine, North Korea’s unhinged leader has fired up his war machine, and Muslim jihadis are ramping up their brutal assaults on Christians all over the globe. Is this the new normal? It looks like it is.
It used to be that all the nasty stuff was “out there” somewhere, far from our peaceful and protected little enclaves. All that is changing. Despite Hillary’s defeat, more and more Christians in America are finding themselves in the enemy’s cross-hairs. Our brothers and sisters around the world have been experiencing persecution for many years and have accepted it as “the way it is.”
If ever the Church needed to get its act together it’s now. If she were to live out the truth and avail herself of all that Christ has already given her, no power on earth could conquer her. The reality on the ground, however, is that Christ has a lot of building to do to grow His bride into the powerhouse it will one day become. In the meantime, followers of Jesus Christ must learn to hear God’s voice as never before. We must seek God’s will and recognize His voice when He speaks.
My guess is that most Christians struggle in this area. We’re often not sure if a thought is from our own flesh or from God. We wish God would speak louder and in an unmistakable voice, but so far, He has denied our requests. He seems to prefer to speak in a still small voice. If only there was some way to tune our spiritual ears into God’s spiritual frequency so we could know that the “voice” is His.
This kind of spiritual fine tuning doesn’t come easily. It requires continual submission to His will and a continuing desire to grow closer to Him, willingly shedding anything that gets in the way of the intimate relationship God wants with us. While I can’t help you in that area (that’s between you and God), I can offer some practical and helpful questions to ask when you’re trying to identify the author of a thought you’re considering. I am specifically addressing those “directives” that demand a response from you-something you will have to do-something God may be commanding you to do. Here are the questions to ask:
- Will this take me out of my comfort zone? If it will, it’s likely from God.
- Is there a scriptural basis for this? If there is, it’s likely from God.
- Is this confirmed by the Holy Spirit through other believers, your circumstances, your prayer time, or your time in the Word? If you’re getting a similar response from several of these, it’s likely from God.
- Does this make perfect sense to you? If it does, it’s likely not from God. His ways are not our ways. He has a much different and larger agenda that we do. (Conquering Jericho by marching around it seven times made no sense at all.)
- Will it cost me something? If it won’t, it’s likely not from God. We can’t follow Christ without denying ourselves and taking up our cross. Everything He asks us to do will cost us something. The good news is that He has something infinitely better and greater to replace everything we give up.
While this is not a foolproof “method,” it’s pretty close. Let me show you how it works with a recent real life personal example. During one of our recent prison ministry classes, one of my fellow facilitators held up a copy of my latest books to show the men. He has done things like this before, spontaneously acting like my promoter with no prompting from me. Since none of the men had the money to buy a copy, I guess he just wanted them to know they had a published author in their midst. That was really nice of him.
The rub came when I arrived home with the distinct feeling that God was “asking” me to give them all a copy, not just this class, but all my classes in both prisons. That’s a lot of books, and my books are my sole source of income apart from social security. On one hand, I could argue that I couldn’t afford to do that, but on the other hand was the painful fact that my yearly royalties for the past few years have just about covered the cost of a dinner for two at Wendy’s.
After giving thought to what God had been teaching me about trusting Him and engaging in reckless generosity, I was convinced that I had indeed heard God’s voice. I was convinced He was inviting me into something I would never regret. Going down the five questions, this was definitely taking me out of my author/income comfort zone. God’s Word clearly said that God loves a cheerful giver, and once I decided to do it, I had felt a great sense of joy.
It was immediately confirmed by my wife who was all in with it. Practically speaking this made no sense, but practicality was no longer an issue. Finally, this was definitely costing me something. It was costing me a lot, but I realized that that not obeying would cost me far more, and God had something bigger and better in store. Perhaps it was simply learning the joy of obedience with no other “return.”
I hope this helps as you as you listen for God’s voice in our increasingly violent world.
Check out my YouTube channel to get my biblical analysis of current events and my suggestions for surviving and thriving while the world falls apart. Click the link or enter edrodgersauthor in the YouTube search box.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Americans (including a southerner, a New Englander, and a Californian), an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovak, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, a Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahaman, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Kyrgyzstani, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, a Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and an African walk into a fine restaurant….
“I’m sorry,” says the maître d’, scrutinizing the group one by one and barring their entrance, “You can’t come in here without a Thai.”
Inclusion of photographs and/or images in no way implies the endorsement of this blog or its information by the photographer or designer.