Testing What We See and Hear. 

(1) Introduction.

All the various methods we have been looking at by which we can see and hear God's will MUST BE TESTED. Are they from God or our emotions or from the enemy or...?
This section looks at the various tests we must mentally submit all forms of guidance to.

(2) The Various Tests.

Put all guidance through the following tests...

(i) The Fellowship Test (See  1 Corinthians 1:9)

God's calling will always lead us into greater fellowship with Himself and/or others.

Group or Individual Excercise: Look at the Greek meaning of 'fellowship' (by clicking on the verse above and then clicking on the underlined word 'fellowship') and discuss what kind of fellowship God calls us into.
Think about/ discuss an area where you think God may be calling you as a person or as a group and ask the following questions...
Does it bring you into closer fellowship with Christ and/or others ? (i.e. cause you to hunger after Jesus more and love other more). He always calls us into that which increases this area.

(ii) The Liberty Test (See  Galatians 5:13).

 His calling always leads us into true liberty.There will never be a negative sense of bondage in going according to God's call (unless we are walking in the right direction with a wrong attitide!).

Group or Individual Activity: Look at the Greek meaning of 'liberty' and discuss.
Again ,discuss the same issue as before. Does it bring you into a sense of freedom (true freedom to serve Him with joy) or bondage ?

(iii) The Peace Test (See  1 Corinthians 7:15 and  Colossians 3:15)

His calling is always one of peace, within yourself but also with others.

Group or Individual Activity:Look at the Greek meaning of 'peace' and discuss what it means.
Discuss the same issue as before answering the following...
Does it bring a peaceful witness in your spirit ? (all prophecies etc. should be confirming what the Lord has already been showing you - God is not the author of confusion).

Does it bring you into greater peace with others or in conflict with them ? (NB. not conflict for the Gospel's sake, but negative strife).

(iv) The Life Test (See  1 Timothy 6:12)

God's calling will cause us to come alive with His life. It will cause us to feel more alive and clearer in ourselves as to His life in us.

Group or Individual Activity: Look at the verse and the Greek meaning of the word 'life'. What kind of life is being referred to ? Explain.
Ask the following questions of the same issue...
Is there a sense of life or a heavy sense of 'death' about it ?

Does it lead you to feel full of life, clarity and lightness or the opposite ?

(v) The Holiness Test (See  1 Thessalonians 4:7 and  2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

God always calls us to greater purity. His calling should lead to a greater level of holiness,of separation unto Him. If the so called 'call' does not lead into greater holiness then it is not from God.

Group or Individual Activity: Look at the Greek meaning of 'holiness' and discuss what it is referring to.
Again, ask the following questions of the same issue...
Does it cause you to live a more pure life ?
Does it challenge yout to greater holiness in your Christian walk and to be more Christ-like ?

(vi) The Blessing Test (see 1 Peter 3:9)

As the call to Abraham was to be a blessing (see  Genesis 12:1-3), so is our call. We must ask whether the direction we feel God is leading us in leads to blessing for others or not. He always draws us out beyond ourselves to be a channel of blessing.

Group or individual Activity: Look at the Greek meaning of 'blessing' and comment.
Ask the question 'Does this course of action bring blessing to others ? What does true blessing really entail ?

(vii) The Suffering Test (see  1 Peter 2:20-21)

This test must not be misunderstood. The word 'suffering' comes from the Greek word 'pascho' where we get the term 'passion' from. It means going through certain hardships or allowing certain things that go against the flesh to happen for the sake of Jesus. In old English if one said 'suffer it to be so' it meant to allow something to happen as it was the best course.

Group or Individual Activity: Look in more detail at the Greek word 'pascho' (click on the verse above and then on the underlined word 'suffer'). Discuss it's meaning.

Consider this of the course of action you are talking about: does it lead you to 'suffer' in that you need to give up something or go through some pain/discomfort so as to see His glory manifest ? If not it may well not be His will!

Click here to read about more things we are called into. Look at each verse and discuss the meaning. Relate each point to the course of action you have been discussing above.

(3) The Main Test.

The Word Test.

Most importantly, does it agree with the overall counsel of God's word - the Bible. In all the above tests the underlying test must always be that it agrees with the Word of God.

For example, you may have peace in your spirit and a sense of freedom in pulling away from a Church group, but still have bitterness in your heart towards certain members. This bitterness must first be dealt with as the Bible clearly shows we must not allow a bitter root to form that will defile many (See  Hebrews 12:15 )(this course of action you feel you should take may be of the flesh).

Group or Individual Activity: Ask the following question of the issue you are discussing...
Does it agree with the Word of God or is there a some area that would be contrary to His Word ?

(4) Conclusion.

As you receive what you believe to be guidance from the Lord you must subject it to the above tests. Does it pass ? If not then it is not of the Lord.

Go back and recap what you have learnt then carry on as instructed....


This lesson adds colour to your life
Copyright 1999 Gibson Family Productions
E-mail Tim with any queries.