How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Fifth Test
By Rick Warren
— March 19, 2011
"We get ourselves in so much trouble when we start comparing ourselves to others. But when we do this, God says, “What is that to you?”"
“We will all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards, or even our own, but by the judgment of God … it is to God alone that we shall have to answer for our actions.” Romans 14:10, 13 (PH)
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If something is not your responsibility, why should God talk to you about it? Wouldn’t he just talk directly to the person it concerns? This is the fifth test to consider when you wonder if an idea or impression you have comes from God – “Does it concern your responsibility?”
In John 21, Jesus told Peter that he would die a martyr’s death. Peter’s response was to glance at John, who was standing nearby, and ask Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” (John 21:21 NIV). Peter wasn’t satisfied with God telling him what was going to happen in his life. He wanted to know about John’s future as well.
Jesus responded by saying, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:22 NIV).
“What is that to you?” My wife, Kay, calls that the WITTY principle. We get ourselves in so much trouble when we start comparing ourselves to others. But when we do this, God says, “What is that to you?” He wants our focus to be following him, not worrying about other people.
Have you ever heard someone say, “God told me to tell you”? My response to that is, “Are you sure about that?” All believers have a direct line to God. And God doesn’t have to tell someone else to tell you. He can talk to you directly.
Now, does God ever speak to others through another person? Of course he does. But there are three guidelines you need to follow if feel God is using you to speak to someone else.
- Be patient and pray. Give God a chance to speak to that person directly.
- God will typically use you to confirm in someone else’s life what he’s already told them. So when you share your words with someone it won’t be a big surprise if it’s really from God.
- God will usually use you without you being conscious of it. If God is going to speak through you to others, he will often do it in a way that you don’t even realize it was God speaking through you. But the person on the receiving end will recognize its truth.
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God created you for an adventure of trust. Learn how to follow the God who deeply loves you: Say Yes To God: A Call To Courageous Surrender by Kay Warren.
Kay, along with Tom Holladay, also teaches you to see life from God’s perspective: Foundations is a comprehensive tool for teaching the essential truths of Christian faith in a simple, systematic, and life-changing way. The 24 sessions take believers on a thought provoking, life-changing exploration of 11 core doctrines: The Bible, God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Creation, Salvation, Sanctification, Good and Evil, The Afterlife, The Church, and The Second Coming.