7 Ways to Test an Impression from God

We closed out our series "The Lost Art of Hearing from God" today at The Naz and like with most series, I had more sermon than I had service.  Rather than file these points away I thought I'd share them here. Whenever I talk with someone who is trying to determine if they're hearing from God or if it's something that's from themselves, I encourage them to ask the following questions:

  1. DOES IT AGREE WITH SCRIPTURE?

 Every word of God proves true. Proverbs 30:5 (NLT)

God will never lead you to do something that contradicts what He has already communicated in the Bible. 

  1. WHAT DO WISE PEOPLE WITH A HISTORY OF HEARING GOD SAY?

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. Proverbs 12:26 (NLT)

I often tell students that your friends will ultimately determine the direction and the destiny of your life.  Listen to people with a history of having heard from God.  Ask people who know God to help you sense if what you're hearing is actually from God.

  1. WHAT DOES EXPERIENCE SAY?

 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. Proverbs 26:11 (NLT)

 I'm convinced that the difference between a wise and a foolish person is how well they learn from past experience, their own and those of others.

Here are couple of my favorite quotes about learning from experience:

“In the light of scripture, in the light of my experience & others, in the light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?” - Andy Stanley 

“The best teacher isn’t experience, the best teacher is the experience of others.” - Anonymous 

  1. WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT SAY?

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13 (NIV)

Jesus promised to give the Holy Spirit to his disciples.  This is the same Holy Spirit that was alive inside of Christ, leading him, guiding him, and empowering him to do God's will.  You can sense the leadership of the Holy Spirit in your own life.  Just remember that the Holy Spirit will always lead you in keeping with God's will that has been revealed through the Bible. 

  1. WHAT DOES MY CONSCIENCE SAY?

David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 1 Samuel 24:4-5 (NIV)

Like David, our conscience can keep us from making bad decisions.  Your conscience has been given to you by God to make you aware of places where you may be stepping outside of God's best for your life.

  1. DO I SENSE PEACE ABOUT THIS?

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)

A great sign of peace is the ability to have a calm mind, a quiet spirit, and a good night's sleep when it comes to the decision you're trying to make.  When I find myself loosing sleep, constantly replaying the decision in my mind, and uneasy in my spirit; it's a pretty strong indication I need to reconsider my direction. 

  1. DOES IT MAKE ME LIKE JESUS?

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”Philippians 2:5 (NLT)

Jesus came not just to be a sacrifice for our sins, but also an example for us to follow.  God will always lead you in ways that are consistent with the life of Jesus.  If what you sense God leading you to do does not make you more like Jesus it's safe to say you'd be wise to rethink the decision.