Summary: We will always experience the pressure that comes from circumstantial adversity because it’s the only way Satan can move you off the Word of God, the will of God, and out of the blessing of God. If he can’t do something to change your faith, then you’re m
A. According to Romans 12:3, God has given every man “the” measure of faith—a capacity to receive the Lord. Once you are saved, you can grow that measure of faith up: first, by accepting the Bible as a revelation of God’s Word and the divine and final authority in your life, and secondly, by hearing the Word of God over and over (Romans 10:17).
B. You hear the Word over and over again by going to church, listening to CDs and podcasts, surrounding yourself with godly friends, and confessing the Word over yourself. You then take that a step further and do the Word that you’ve heard.
C. The Bible is God’s written Word and the general will of God for all believers, but it is only part of the will of God for your life. There’s a specific will of God for each one of us that has to do with where we live, where we go to school, vocational endeavors, etc.
D. According to 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye hasn’t seen, ear hasn’t heard, neither has entered the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” That’s good news. God has a plan for you that is eye popping and mind boggling, but you’re only going to get it from one place. Verse 10 says that God has revealed it to us by the Holy Spirit.
E. Here comes the challenge. God speaks to your heart about where to work, where to live, where to go to school, and other issues of your life. Once you’ve matured enough to be basing your life on what you know of the written Word, God’s spoken word to you becomes a major target for the enemy because you can’t go to the Bible and confirm the specifics. You are more vulnerable to the enemy planting questions in your mind such as, Did I really hear from the Lord?
F. If the enemy can cause you to question God’s word to you, he can cause you to back away from the revelation of that will. He’s now altering your belief system and moving you away from the will and blessing of God.
G. What is God telling you to do with your life and how can you become so grounded in it that the enemy can’t bring enough adversity to move you off of it?
H. First, remember that we always measure any word or direction we think we get from God by the principle of God’s Word. He will never tell you to do something that runs counter to the principle of the Bible.
I. Second, be serious enough about your walk with God that you don’t make any major decisions without seeking God for His direction. Jesus said that His sheep will know His voice (John 10:4). God will never put you in neutral. You will become progressively more convicted as you pray about the direction to take because He said you would know His voice, and He always answers you.
J. Realize that God never deals with you in questions. Only the enemy is going to question you: “Did the Lord really say that to you?” and then contradict what the Lord said, “That won’t really happen!”. That contradiction is called a “second word.”
K. Take, for example, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. What happened after God directed Adam and Eve not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Satan asked Eve a question: “Hath God said…?” and then contradicted God’s Word with a second word (Genesis 3:1–5).
L. Second words are subtle. First Kings chapter 13 tells us another story that illustrates it well. After reading through it, you will see that young prophet obeyed the word of the Lord to a certain point, but disobeyed the word of the Lord when he listened to the older prophet. I have to think the older prophet lied to the younger one because he was a bit jealous that God had used this young prophet in such a mighty way. Perhaps the younger prophet listened to the older one out of respect for the older man’s office, but it was his choice to disobey the direction of the Lord to him. God didn’t have a lion waiting to slay him since he disobeyed, but disobedience always moves you out from the umbrella of God’s protection and blessing and it always leads to death.
M. God never deals in second words. He is immutable and unchangeable. He has the best idea right out of the box and won’t change His mind and give you a second word.
N. Second words make you question the initial word of God. The enemy may use people you respect and have been a blessing to you previously just as with this young prophet, but for individual matters of your life that are unique to you, you don’t go to a prophet somewhere to find out who to marry. You have no need that any man should teach you about these things (1 John 2:27). God will deal with you personally about the unique path He wants your life to take. God may use someone to confirm something you already knew, but it won’t be news to you.