Summary: 1John 4: 1 - 3 tells us not to believe every spirit but to test them. How do we do this? This teaching addresses this question

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1 John 4: 1 – 3

I read passages like this and I can feel the accountability God places on me. Then I begin to feel small so many people seem so much more knowledgeable than I when it comes to scripture and God’s word. How am I supposed to know?

I have listened to many different teachings and for the most part this is what I hear…. That we should


James 1: 5

If any of you lack wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him


Psalm 37: 7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him

Godly Confirmation

Church family, Pastors, mentors, trusted friends

Godly Provision

Is God providing the skills, tools, resources necessary to accomplish the task at hand


Does it cause me to step away from my responsibilities? God will never ask you to drop the ball on something he has called you to


Does it build up or tear down? Is it a potential growth opportunity or is it more of a shackle


Do you sense God’s peace –

Peace does not mean easy it means you have found comfort because you have chosen to rest in God regardless of the outcome or the effort involved

Listening to all of those it “feels right” it seems to make sense but then I run into scriptures like

Isaiah 55:8

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the LORD

And I begin to wonder, what if, what if there is more to it or what if that is not it at all? It doesn’t mean all of it is wrong or any of it is wrong I just think that it is worth looking into, after all it is a scripture that says …. Don’t believe everything you hear but that we should test the spirits to see whether they are from God. So even though there are some great messages out there about how we hear from God and decipher his voice from all the others that beg for our attention I think it is worth the effort to dig a little deeper and see, are they right is that how we discern God’s voice from all the others?

(it is at this point that I revealed the math problem) Show math problem

(we have a mathematician in our small congregation whom I had contacted prior to this teaching and asked her to give me a insanely huge math problem, I of course did not have the slightest idea how to solve this problem. I applied everything I had just taught as you will see below to solve the problem of course it made no difference I still was lacking in one crucial area ~ Knowledge ~ I used this illustration to bring the teaching to its conclusion)

How do I find this answer?

I can Pray and truth be told I should, I can wait and hope the answer just pops into my head chances are slim but ya never know God is much bigger than me after all.

I can ask others and hope they can help or at least tell me it looks like I am on the right track confirming in me that this is what I should do to find the answer

I do have the paper, pen, and a brain it looks like God has provided everything I need to be able to solve this problem

Now I need to make sure nothing distracts me and I remain focused (at this point I fumbled through the problem making it up as I went along coming up with my own answer)

As I was attempting to solve the problem I acknowledged that it was my responsibility to edify others teaching them all that I have learned through this process

I must admit this is a tough problem probably the hardest math problem I have ever encountered but I still feel good ~ I believe Gods’ peace is filling my spirit I am not worried

I have used everything I just shared with you to solve this problem is my answer the correct answer? Of course it is not


(at this point I invited our mathematician to come up front and solve the problem for us, and she did )

Why did it not work when I attempted to solve the problem? Because if I truly want to know the answer I need to be studied

She knew the answer because she had taken the time to study and learn the rules of engagement for this type of math problem. I could have very easily convinced all but one of you that I had solved this problem and because none of us know anything about this type of math we can either choose to believe the “teacher” or we can take our notes and go home and STUDY find out for ourselves if what we were being taught was in fact the truth.

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