In my Heartlight.org article today, I talk about Jesus knowing us personally and speaking to us. Here are some questions to go with the article that I’d love your feedback on as well as your input into the whole idea.
So if God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are involved in our lives, and if the Lord speaks to us, then how does He do it and how can we can be sure it is really God and not some selfish desire or some worldly wisdom or some evil spirit trying to deceive us?
Ah! Two good questions. I’ll give you a response, but leave it to you to do some digging in Scripture to deepen your understanding and to discover God’s truth for yourself. (Try these ideas out and work through the Scripture references!)
How does Jesus speak to us today?
- While we sleep! (The Bible talks about God ministering to us while we sleep. I encourage you to read the article, While We Sleep.)
- During our times with our church family! We forget that church is more than filling pews and following a worship order. Jesus is present (Matthew 18:20) and through the power of the Holy Spirit, our worship becomes more than a sharing of words (1 Corinthians 5:4). Our songs are Spirit-filled messages where we speak to each other (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:17-19). Those who speak are to do so as speaking the very words of God (1 Peter 4:11). So what is preached, what is said to encourage us by friends, the loving confrontations we help each other face in Bible study, and the messages we sing to each other are one way Jesus speaks truth and hope into our hearts!
- During our everyday life experiences. God is at work in us, speaking to us when we read His word, when we hear repeated thoughts from multiple sources, and through the well-timed note, phone call, or card we receive from a friend (Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:28).
What are some other ways you think the Lord may have spoken truth into your life?
But how can we know it is really from the Lord and not from some other source? Aren’t we taught to “test the spirits” to see if what is being said is true? (1 John 4:1-6)
Here are some ways to test to see if what we hear the Lord communicating is really from Him:
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in knowing what is truth and knowing Jesus’ will. The Holy Spirit is given to us to help us know the truth from error and to recognize what is from God and from some other source (1 John 2:20-27; 1 John 3:23-24; 1 John 4:1-6; John 14:16-18; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:12-15).
Do what Jesus says to do. Not only is Jesus’ truth self-validating when it is lived by His disciples (John 8:31-32), but Jesus promises to reveal Himself to us and come make His home with each of us (John 14:19-23).
What are other ways that you believe we can discern what is truly from Jesus and what is from some other source?