If only life were that simple, right?
In her book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa TerKeurst describes five questions that have helped her discern the will of God and hear His voice. Five questions that cause us to ask, “Say what!? Did I really hear God’s voice??” Here they are:
- Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
- Is it consistent with God’s character?
- Is it being confirmed through messages I’m hearing at church or studying in my Quiet Time?
- Is it beyond me?
- Would it please God?
Our Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study has been discussing these all week. They are excellent in helping us make decisions, both big and small. Everything from, Should I move across the country for a new job? …. To, Should I go to that event where I might not know anybody and be forced out of my comfort zone? … To, Does this outfit honor (or dishonor?) my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit?
As I read Chapter 2, I couldn’t help but catch what Lysa wrote about Question number one, Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture? She writes:
“God will not speak to us or tell us to do something that is contrary to His Word. But unless we know Scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.” (p. 27)
As I shared in a previous post, through my years leading women’s ministry so many women of faith have confided in me that they are not in God’s word nearly as consistently as they’d like to be. This can lead to broken marriages, un-addressed addictions, and frazzled, frustrated believers who are just taking up space in our pews and our small groups. Sound familiar?
As Lysa continues … “God’s Word is the language the Holy Spirit uses to help us understand what God is speaking to our hearts. We must get into God’s Word and let God’s Word get into us. This will transform our mind and prepare it for whatever God wants to tell us.”
Did you catch that? We must know God’s Word — His language — in order to speak God’s language. In other words, that first question is the foundation for everything else. I definitely find this true in my life. In fact, here’s the deal:
When I am spending consistent time in God’s word, the rest of my world has more consistency to it as well.
- My exercise and food choices are healthier when I am intentional about how I order my day.
- My patience levels increase and I can be a better mom, as patience is a fruit of the Spirit (one part of God eternal)!
- My ability to extend grace to my husband grows by leaps and bounds, because I know I serve a God who gives me grace in abundance.
- My ability to say #YestoGod, and the things He wants me to do, allows me to say No to what God doesn’t want me to do. (Keep in mind, we need to say No to an awful lot of “good” and “better” to say Yes to God’s best!)
- My spiritual gifts grow when I am serving in my “sweet spot” (as Bill Hybels dubs it) and living passionately for Christ.
- My friendships are richer because my prayer life is growing, as well as my discernment in seeing who are ‘safe people’ to be around.
In other words, if I am living out Question No. 1, I am able to live out questions 2-5 so much more easily! One question, with one answer. SOO simple, yes?? Simple, but not easy!
How about you? Which question most resonates with you? Which question(s) most intimidate you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!