Discerning God's voice
by Michael Hume 6/09/2011 / Christian Living
Before Jesus went into the wilderness he must have been prepared by God to handle temptations maturely. Because when the devil tempted him three known times, Jesus replied with the apt scripture verse. That had the effect of rebuking Satan for a while at least.
Just like Jesus knew his scripture, it is always wise to know the Bible really well for yourself. You never know when you are going to need one verse or another. If you memorise verses, then the Holy Spirit can bring a verse to mind at the time of need. Each can be a shield and an arrow combined. Your shield goes up as the Holy Spirit brings the verse to light when Satan tempts, and then thinking or speaking it is like the arrow that sends Satan away.
The closer you stay to God the easier it is to discern God's voice. Sanctifying yourself by lots of Bible reading goes a long way in being grounded in God. It is harder when you are in the world, in a full-time job for instance. Even though you discipline your faith life, every now and then an idea comes and it needs testing. Checking that idea with a prayerful friend helps. If there is peace it could be of God. Most likely it is. However, if there is a lot of doubt about that idea, I should not follow it through. Though it seems good, and fits in with other ideas, later it proves not to be of God.
Most of the time I get God's direction right. However, I have made a few errors like taking two courses, neither of which I should have taken. God made sure I did not finish either successfully. BothI stopped in less that a year, and were minor mistakes. However the course He did want me to do, I finished fine. I should have discerned the spirit tempting me to do the two wrong courses, but God allowed me down that road, and later turned it to good, in a way. I should have been like Jesus, and knocked the idea out as soon as it came to mind. I did not have much peace or confidence about them throughout so those alone should have been indicators to me, and in the end they were.
Elijah was really good at discerning God's voice. Ar mount Horeb, there was a strong wind, an earthquake and a fire, and God had not spoken. Then the still, small voice of God. He knew how to wait for God, and distinguish his voice from all the noises and sights around him. Similarly I get distractions but God is greater than the world and can enable me to hear His voice accurately.
God bless you.
Michael Hume. Christian since 1987, and in a daily personal relationship with Jesus. A freelance writer. abelongs to author.