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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

God’s Voice Brings Peace

In review of Philippians 4:6-7 it says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray. Tell God what you need, and thank him for what he has done. As a result you’ll experience God’s peace, which is beyond anything we can understand. This peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ.

What this means to me:
I am to not worry about anything, rather I should take these concerns to God in prayer, telling him what it is I need with thanksgiving for what He has already provided. Then His peace will descend upon me and guard my heart and mind as I continue to live in Christ Jesus.

Today I will look at two additional things to test whether an impression or an idea is from God or not.

I can ask, “Is the thought or impression convicting or is it condemning?”

There is a tendency to go through life living under condemnation and guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But what I learning is that it’s not. That’s the enemy!

Conviction comes from God and condemnation comes from the enemy. The purpose of conviction is to correct something that’s out of whack in your life. The purpose of condemnation is just to put you down and make you feel miserable and guilty and ashamed. The motivation behind conviction is that God loves you and wants to help you be better. The motivation behind condemnation is that Satan hates you and wants to make you miserable. When God speaks to you about an area in your life for conviction, he’s very specific. Condemnation is general.

God will be specific when something is out of whack. He follows this up with a solution. I then confess it to God, and then the feeling of conviction leaves instantly. Condemnation, on the other hand, will go on and on and on.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). God will never do anything to attack my value. If I hear a voice that says, “You’re hopeless! You’re worthless! You’re unlovable!” I can know with certainty that is not the voice of God.

Finally, I need to ask if “I sense God’s peace about it?”

If I get an impression and it makes me feel pressured, overwhelmed, or confused, I need to question whether that impression is really from God. God doesn’t want me to live under pressure. He wants me to sense his peace.

The enemy wants to drive me compulsively. But God desires to draw me compassionately. I should consider if I’m sensing God saying anything encouraging, or is it all about pressure?

The word for the pressure that comes into our lives that drives us away from God’s peace is: worry. But Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

These verses point out that worry is never from God. It only creates pressure in our lives. Those verses also provide this incredible promise: Take your worry to God, and leave it there. Listen to his voice. It will bring peace if you only obey it.

So in recap, God will always specifically point out what’s out of whack so that I can correct it and make me better.

Overall, here is a summary of questions I can ask to know if an impression is from God.

Does it agree with the Bible? (John 7:17)
Will it make me more like Christ? (James 3:17)
Does my church family confirm it? (Ephesians 3:10)
Is it consistent with how God has shaped me? (Ephesians 2:10)
Does it concern my responsibility? (Romans 14:4)
Is it convicting rather than condemning? (Romans 8:1)
Do I sense God’s peace about it? (Philippians 4:6-7)

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