Tag Archives: Discipleship

How to Effectively Hear God’s Voice in Another

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4 NASB 

Have you ever heard someone tell you that they have “A word from the Lord”?

In the past you may have been the recipient or a giver of such a word inspired by the Holy Spirit that was meant to admonish or exhort another. Today I want to encourage you by sharing what I have learned (through His grace) about effectively presenting such words in order to bring God the utmost glory. May you be further equipped to present yourself as an ambassador for Christ when sharing a message with others.

First, I’d like to review a few important prerequisites that you and I should observe in an individual providing a word from the Lord:

1. The messenger should be a God-fearing Christian. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s extremely wise to ensure that the person providing a word from the Lord is a believer and not a follower of mysticism, new ageism, or any other deceptive form of religion.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28 ESV

2. The messenger should read, know, and believe in the Bible. The word that they are speaking should align with the Word of God. Be wary of a message from anyone who spends more time reading books by Christian authors than the Bible that God Himself has authored.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV

3. The messenger should live a life worthy of the admonishment given. When we obey God’s commands, there is no room for sin to dominate any area of our lives because Jesus occupies every space. If a person is knee deep in a particular sin and tries to provide exhortation to another in the same area of sin, it can result in confusion about the righteousness and justness of God and apathy towards that sin. For example, I would recommend being wary of any individual that gives you a word about seeking a life of sexual purity who is openly involved in sexual immorality (meaning they refuse to obey by that same admonishment). No one but this person who gives the word is glorified.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Next, assuming that all of the above characteristics can be seen in the messenger, here is how the message can be communicated to best glorify the Lord.

1. The messenger must come from a stance of humility. They understand the word is from God and therefore make no attempt to add or remove anything from it, no matter what the associated cost may be in giving the admonishment. The messenger must keep in mind that they are merely a vessel being used by the Almighty, not because they deserve it, nor because they are His favorite (He has no favorites). Only in His great wisdom has He decided to use them, and they have obeyed (which is still by His grace).

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8 NLT

2. The messenger must communicate the message in gentleness and in truth. Not only should the word align with Scripture, but it should be gently spoken. Beware of speaking harshly or using coercion to persuade someone to hear what you have to say. Also, beware of using force or manipulation to get the person’s attention. The messenger’s role is not to control the actions of the receiver; that is the pure right and duty of the Holy Spirit. Use extreme caution when speaking on behalf of the Lord. As His ambassador, it is a great privilege, honor, and duty to represent Him well.

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 ESV

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 ESV

Join me tomorrow as we discuss two more real-life examples to demonstrate how to practically apply today’s teaching. You will not want to miss this. May your hearts be encouraged, and may God’s will be done in each of your lives. To God be the glory!

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Four Ways to Quickly Identify a False Prophet

False prophets are all around us. They are wolves in sheep clothing, appearing to be good, but deceptive to the core. We must be alert, beloved.

The single most effective way to counteract these false prophets is by knowing and leaning on God’s word.

We must know God for ourselves, which includes reading and studying Scripture on a consistent basis. 

If you’re just joining us this weekend, you’ll quickly notice that this post is part of a series called “Beware of False Prophets”. Feel free to catch up on the first two articles, which cover my personal confrontation with a psychic and the lessons that God taught me in the process. You can find those both by clicking the following links: Beware of False Prophets and Jesus Loves All Sinners

What makes someone a false prophet? In the most simple terms, this person is speaking falsely on behalf of God. They may have once received the gift of prophecy and then abused it for their own glory and gain. Or they may have self-appointed themselves (perhaps under the inspiration of a demonic spirit) to speak on behalf of the Lord when He hasn’t chosen them at all.

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” Jeremiah 5:30-31

Generally speaking , the words of a false prophet aim to accomplish one of two things: to exalt the speaker as one with power and knowledge, or to win the approval of mankind (including the church) by flattering people and affirming sinful behavior. These individuals crave attention. Yet because they are false, they speak from their own imagination and lead others astray from God’s word. Beware of these people. 

“His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” Psalm 55:21 

“Because they lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, ‘Where is the whitewash you covered it with’?” Ezekiel 13:10-12 

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

Allow me to share a few characteristics of false prophets that the Lord has shown me:

1. They exalt themselves as a prophet, with the expectation that they are to be esteemed and worshipped in some fashion.

“For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Romans 16:18 

“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5 

2. They seek monetary gain by claiming to share words from the Lord – This is detestable in God’s sight and an act of pure heresy.

You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.” Ezekiel 13: 19

3. They bring a message on behalf of the Lord that does not align with God’s word – Pay very close attention to this beloved.

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.” John 14:6 

Allow me to give you an example: A false prophet approaches someone in an inappropriate relationship (perhaps dating someone but living together as a married couple; or someone involved in an adulterous extra-marital affair) and claims to have a message for them. The prophet may claim that the Lord desires to further bless this relationship or that this relationship is in His will. Because the recipient is comfortable and enjoying this relationship, that word will greatly appeal to their flesh (sinful nature) and will feel good. But it is not the truth, beloved.

A false prophet may affirm sinful behavior, create confusion and unrest, or lead an individual away from Biblical truth. We must see that God is beyond our feelings. If it’s not truth, then it’s not of God, no matter what we feel.

The Lord is honest, just, faithful, good, and righteous. Most importantly, He is holy. God cannot partake in sin because He is holy; therefore He cannot bless anything that is sinful. Does He want the best for us? Of course! But His hand is removed in situations that are sinful (which are choices made completely by the free will of mankind). If we want God’s blessing, we must obey His commands.

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving towards all He has made. The Lord is near to al who call on him, to all who call in him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. ” Psalm 145:17-19

4. They deliver a message that never transpires – This is the most obvious sign that what was shared was not of God. Just as described in the book of Ezekiel, the Lord intentionally frustrates false prophecies to show both that He alone is Sovereign and to demonstrate what is true and false.

Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.’” Ezekiel 13: 22-23 

“He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings; ‘Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm’.” Psalms 105: 14-15

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Personal Rejection vs. Faith-Based Rejection

If you’re just joining us today, please make sure you read the first portion of today’s topic in yesterday’s post by clicking HERE.

Under normal circumstances, rejection hurts. It’s exceedingly uncomfortable, and often avoided. But, as a Christian, rejection is inevitable. As people resist God, they will also resist you.

“And he said, ‘Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown’.” John 4:24 ESV

But, when you and I harbor unhealthy rejection, experienced either as a child, in a marriage, or by authority figures who should have been safe and loving, it causes being rejected as a Christian (because of our faith in Christ) to be almost unbearable. 

And when our past (or present) isn’t properly acknowledged by the healing touch of the Holy Spirit and the power of Jesus Christ, we can wear our rejection like an invisible mask, while fearfully making every effort to avoid speaking about the Gospel (in order to avoid more anticipated rejection).

If you have experienced any forms of the following rejection in your lifetime, and have not resolved the issue with Jesus Christ, present your memories along with the corresponding hurt or bitterness, and ask for healing. Here are just a few specifics:

  • Rejection caused by abandonment from a loved one (a parent, a spouse, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or friend)
  • Rejection caused by bullying and hurtful remarks made today or in your past (perhaps due to race, income of your household, or a physical ailment)
  • Rejection caused by an absent parent or spouse (due to a disabled child, or perhaps a mental disorder)
  • Rejection caused by abuse of all forms (verbal, physical, or sexual)

I’ve also included a list (taken directly from GreatBibleStudy.com) of several symptoms prompted by (past or present) rejection. May this serve as a guideline in whether rejection may be a present issue in your life.

  • Fabricated personalities (being somebody you aren’t, in order to be accepted)
  • The tendency to reject others, so that you aren’t the first one to be rejected
  • A tendency to always wonder if a person rejects or accepts you
  • The need to fit in or be accepted by others and be a part of everything
  • Self-pity where a person feels bad for themselves being all alone
  • Inability to be corrected or receive constructive criticism
  • Rejection creates an environment where you are starved for love or just don’t fit in
  • A tendency to blame God (“Why did He give me this big nose? Why did God make me so short?”)
  • A sense of pride that says, “How dare they reject me!”
  • Opinionated personality and the need to be right about things
  • Feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, or hopelessness
  • Seeking a parent’s approval is a sign that you are basing your identity upon what they think of you
  • Fear of confrontation (because your identity is based upon what they think of you)

The irony of it all is that often, when we hold unresolved rejection within us (without giving Jesus permission to heal), we actually expect rejection from others, because we innately believe we deserve to be rejected. It’s an unfortunate and perpetual cycle of rejection. And it’s not at all in God’s will for us.

God desires us to walk in acceptance of knowing to whom we belong. When we’re confident and restored because of what Christ has made us to be, then being rejected because of our faith isn’t so hard. It hurts, but it’s tolerable.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

May you seek the Lord with your need for healing and the truth that you are accepted in Him. As Christians, we cannot shy away from speaking the truth about Christ. We cannot allow the sin of others to creep into our faith and forfeit our call to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:7-10 ESV

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Let’s adopt an eternal perspective. We won’t be the most-liked, appeasing the masses, and receiving their approval if we are following and obeying Jesus. You know why? Because He didn’t. Our own King Jesus was rejected by the people, so why should we dare to believe it’d be any different for us?

“And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me’.” Matthew 11:4-6 ESV

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to subscribe and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. To God be the glory!

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