Summary: This is the third sermon in the series: Communicating with God. The sermon gives seven filters for testing the voices you here.
Communicating With God:
How To Test The Voices You Hear
Today we are continuing our series “Communicating With God.” Last week we are looked at “How To Recognize God’s Voice” and we found that God speaks through The Bible, through Fellow Believers and through Our Thoughts. Two weeks ago we looked at “How To Listen To God’s Voice.” We learned that listening is vital if we are to be doers of the Word. We must be receptive to God’s Word. We must be like good soil if we are to be productive for God. This week we are going to look at “How To Test The Voices You Hear”. We touched on this last week but today we are going to study this more in depth. The Bible says:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 (NKJV)
Circle the words “test the spirits”. That’s our responsibility. We are to test the voices that we hear. We are to test the advice that we get to see if it is accurate. Now some advice that we get is not all that important such as where we should eat lunch. On the other hand some advice is vital such as what should I do for a career. So what I want to do today is give you seven filters so you can test the voices you hear.
SEVEN TESTS FOR VOICES YOU HEAR
The first test is:
1. Does it agree with the BIBLE?
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Luke 21:33 (NKJV)
God never contradicts His written word. Never! He would never tell you to do something that is against His Word. God would never tell you to ignore or disobey anything is the Bible. God doesn’t tell you one thing one day and change it the next. God is consistent. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Here are some examples.
God is never going to tell you to lie. God is never going to tell you to steal. God is never going to tell you to murder someone. He is never going to tell you to commit adultery. God is just not going to do it. We always get in trouble when we disobey God’s Word.
Most of God’s will for your life is found right here in the Bible. He tells us not to lie, cheat or steal. He tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated. He tells us to pray for those we don’t like. He tells us to be honest and to obey His Word. Anything the advise we receive goes against God’s Word is not from Him. That is the first and most important test of all. Are the voices I hear consistent with God’s word?
2. Does it make me more like CHRIST?
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)
Jesus is the standard by which we measure everything we do. In fact God wants us to become more like him everyday. Not that we become God but that we become Godly. The Bible tells us that we need to develop the character that Jesus had. What characteristics did Jesus have? He had love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith. These are fruit of the spirit. But these are also the characteristics that God wants to see displayed in our lives. If we hear anything that doesn’t make us more like Christ – that voice is not from God.
Here is a practical application of becoming like Christ.
“Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.” Philippians 2:3-5 (MSG)
God’s wisdom is not self ambition. God doesn’t give you ideas for self promotion. He gives you ideas so He can be glorified.
Here is a secret: If you have impure thoughts they are not from God because Jesus is pure and God’s goal is make you like Christ.
Over a hundred years ago there was a book written. It was written by a pastor from Topeka, Kansas. His name was Charles Sheldon. The name of the book was, “In His Steps”. The sub-title of the book was, “What Would Jesus Do?” I have in my hand an 1899 edition of the that book. The premise of the book is as true today as it was a hundred years ago. Do you what to know what the premise of this book is? It is: Before I do anything I need to ask the question – What would Jesus do? That is the same question we should ask ourselves today – What would Jesus do if He were right here in my situation? If we asked that question it would change the way we think and the way we act.