This has been a pretty cool blog series. I have loved hearing from many of you about what God is teaching you and how you are being challenged to listen to God in different ways. It has been a blessing to me because I firmly believe that if we can effectively hear from God and do what he calls us to do, then we will see greater growth in our lives and God’s Kingdom will come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
I believe that God speaks differently to each of us. There are some primary ways that He speaks, but many times how we hear primarily from God can differ from individual to individual. We’ve discussed hearing God from His Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I gave the warning last post that if we can’t confirm a prompting by God’s Word or wise counsel, then we need to tread carefully, because it might not be from God.
I find that it is easier to confirm a prompting by God’s Word, than by wise counsel. What does it mean to have wise counsel anyways? Most of us surround ourselves by those who are like us and who will agree with us. If you don’t agree with me, just think about the people you hang out with the most. They are probably very similar to you. They have similar values, similar distastes, similar convictions. This isn’t a bad thing, however many times surrounding ourselves with people like ourselves means that we won’t receive accurate truths about ourselves.
Most of us say we want to hear the truth. Most of us acknowledge that believing and living out truth will allow us to live more fulfilled lives (John 8:32). However, most of us don’t like it when people speak truth into our lives. Hearing the truth may hurt, it may be tough to swallow, but if it is truth, then it will always lead you to a place of freedom and God’s best.
So how do we receive wise counsel in our lives? Well, let me give you two simple steps to take if you want to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and receive God’s best in your life.
First, seek out truth-tellers. These are people of wise counsel that we need in our lives. These are the people you want in your life when you are trying to discern what God may be saying to you. A truth-teller is one who knows God’s Word, seeks God on a regular basis, and is willing to speak the truth no matter what the situation or who the audience.
Be aware of those who want to be “truth-tellers” but really are speaking from their own experiences or their own ”wisdom” without basing their “counsel” on God’s truths and wisdom. These are people who want to be wise, but they are really just blowing smoke and you need to be cautious not to inhale.
Second, give people permission to speak truth. If you want people to tell you the truth, then you must be willing to give them permission. There are people in your life who are willing to tell you the truth, however many will not do it until you give them permission.
Being a pastor, there are many times when I want to speak truth into someone’s life. If you know me, then you know I am pretty bold and willing to say what I think. Sometimes this is not beneficial, but when it is welcomed, then it can be exactly what someone needs to hear. However, I have been learning over the years that the most effective ministry takes place only when people welcome God’s truth into their lives. Without the permission, many truth-tellers in your life will stay quiet when you need them to speak.
There are going to be many times in your life that God is going to speak to you through a prompting and when he does, make sure you have people in your life that are not going to tell you what you want to hear or who will confirm your emotions, but rather seek out people who will tell the truth, truth that is based on God’s Word.
Next time, we will tackle the topic of hearing God through our emotions. Does God speak through emotions? If so, how do we discern what is a godly emotion and what is just my feeling? Hope you will join us.