How do we know something is really from the Lord?
As we grow in cooperating with the Holy Spirit this becomes a critically important question.
We believe that God does indeed speak to us and guide and direct us. As Christians it is all-important that we receive this guidance, other-wise we do not know what to do. The issue becomes, then, how can we be sure that the guidance we are getting is actually from the Holy Spirit and not just our imagination or even from the Devil.
The Bible gives us four guidelines that can help us determine if something really is coming from the Holy Spirit. In this sermon video, given at Clinchfield Presbyterian Church on February 28, 2010, I point out how to apply these four guidelines to several very practical pastoral issues.
These guidelines for discernment are as follows:
1. DOES IT GIVE GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST IN THE PRESENT AND IN THE FUTURE? John 14:26 John 16:13-14
2. IS IT CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENTIONS AND CHARACTER OF GOD AS REVEALED IN SCRIPTURE? John 2:22 2 Tim 3:14-17
3. DO OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT HAVE A CONFIRMING WITNESS? 1 Cor 14:29
4. IS THERE CONFIRMATION IN OBJECTIVELY VERIFIABLE EVENTS OR FACTS? Deut 18:21-22 Isa 55:10-11
I know that in PRMI we talk about these all the time!!!
But they are so important for staying on track with the Holy Spirit and not being deceived that we must repeat them again and again.