How to Recognize God’s Voice – The Seventh Test
By Rick Warren
— March 21, 2011
"The only time a sense of pressure is legitimate is when you keep saying no to God. That is a relational pressure that comes from holding God at arm’s length. "
“[God’s] peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
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The final test in recognizing God’s voice is to ask yourself, “Do I sense God’s peace about it?” If you think you’ve heard from God, it measures up to God’s Word, you’ve gotten advice from other people and passed the other tests, but you still feel confused or anxious, then it doesn’t pass the seventh test.
Why? “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV). So you wait and remain patient until you sense God’s peace.
God is a perfect father. Parents don’t want their kids to feel worried or pressured when they ask them to do something. No, they want their children to feel encouraged. That’s the same way God wants to relate to you. He doesn’t want you to feel anxiety in anything he asks you to do.
The only time a sense of pressure is legitimate is when you keep saying no to God. That is a relational pressure that comes from holding God at arm’s length.
Satan wants to drive us compulsively in the things we do, but God doesn’t work that way. God wants to draw us compassionately. He’s the shepherd who wants to lead the sheep. He doesn’t drive us; he guides us. And, as sheep, we need to listen for his voice.
Philippians 4:6-7 describes the attitude you should have when you listen to God’s voice. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).
It’s not just a matter of hearing God’s voice; it’s also a matter or responding. Hearing is not enough. You have to act as well.
The Bible says that God speaks to people who do three things. “Listen to this wise advice; follow it closely, for it will do you good, and you can pass it on to others” (Proverbs 22:17 LB).
God speaks to those who listen to what he says, follow it closely, and then pass it on to others.
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More on hearing God’s Voice from Saddleback Resources –
- Foundations is a comprehensive tool for teaching the essential truths of Christian faith in a simple, systematic, and life-changing way. The 24 sessions, taught by Kay Warren and Tom Holladay, will take you 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.