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  #11  
Unread 10th February 2005, 10:16 PM
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A few hints.

God's voice is most often gentle, peaceful and respectful of our right to choose. The devil is harsh, can cause you to become stressed, and demands rather than encourages.

Generally, you feel peaceful once you have made the descision if that is what god wants. "Let God's peace arbitrate in your heart.."

If you have shared the situation with others, there is often a sense from them that they also feel your decision is OK as well as you.

Many times (but not always) the right decision is also the most reasonable, sensible or practical, especially if any of the above also apply. The devil often tries to push you against your reason - show you faith, be bold etc. Remember his words to Jesus - "jump off and let the angles take over... "

John
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  #12  
Unread 11th February 2005, 12:23 AM
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What do you all think about shepharding or a support group? If you feel like
God might be leading you to a particular place or a pasrticular someone, but you're not sure how to get there, should you ask someone (a Christian) in achieving God's calling in yor life?
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  #13  
Unread 11th February 2005, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnz
A few hints.

God's voice is most often gentle, peaceful and respectful of our right to choose. The devil is harsh, can cause you to become stressed, and demands rather than encourages.

Generally, you feel peaceful once you have made the descision if that is what god wants. "Let God's peace arbitrate in your heart.."
Your post brought to my recollection a section in a book I recently read regarding the differences between the voice of the Lord and that of Satan. It is as follows:

God's Voice....

*Stills you
*Leads you
*Reassures you
*Enlightens you
*Encourages you
*Comforts you
*Calms you
*Convicts you

Satan's voice...

*Rushes you
*Pushes you
*Frightens you
*Confuses you
*Discourages you
*Worries you
*Obsesses you
*Condemns you
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  #14  
Unread 11th February 2005, 01:49 AM
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I believe that this requires discernment. This is a skill that is honed over time by reading the Bible and other Christian literature. Intuition is unreliable but discernment is an improvable skill. Seek God and He shall reveal His glory.

On a more immediate level, it sounds like you have sought God's will on this matter. Maybe at some point it is best to make a decision and be responsible for the consequences and learn whatever lesson God will teach you, rather than being paralysed with fear of the results.
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  #15  
Unread 11th February 2005, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Starcradle

God's Voice....

*Stills you
*Leads you
*Reassures you
*Enlightens you
*Encourages you
*Comforts you
*Calms you
*Convicts you

Satan's voice...

*Rushes you
*Pushes you
*Frightens you
*Confuses you
*Discourages you
*Worries you
*Obsesses you
*Condemns you
Yup.
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  #16  
Unread 13th February 2005, 11:06 AM
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I agree with most of what has been said in here- but I also think there are times that God has a plan for us (im thinking of Esther when I write this), and we know that His 'plan' is going to involve something that might be frightening to us--or how about when God told Abraham to set out for a land that He would show him- Abraham set out not having a clue where he was going, with his entire family, flocks, servants, etc---and trusted God to lead him. If I had been Abraham, I can tell you that although I would feel peace that God had in fact instructed me as to what I was supposed to do, I would still feel a great deal of nervousness wondering if I heard right, etc.- not to mention the fact that he had a lot of people with him who had to trust the fact that Abraham had indeed heard from God, and was doing what God wanted him to do....I imagine Jesus in Gethsemane, praying and terrified (humanly speaking), heavy with the weight of what was on His shoulders, knowing what lay ahead- and yet as everyone with a physical body, feeling fear and apprehension---I don't believe that God's will is always an easy, comfortable thing---but then I never believed that christianity in and of itself was an easy, comfortable, always happy thing either--I think there are times where we feel at peace in our hearts that God wants us to do something, go somewhere, etc....but our humanity gets in the way and it can be scary. I believe that there are lots of times that God's will in our lives necessitates moving out of our comfort zone, so that we can rely totally on Him, and not on ourselves. It's an easy thing to do 'God's will' when it's something easy, and we don't mind doing whatever it is to begin with, and it fits in well with what we would like to do anyway. It gets hairy when it's something that we might not really want to do, or doesnt appeal to us--and I think that's where God helps us hone our faith and trust in Him---I recall once that I was standing at a bus stop, and I saw an older man who had just got off work (he had a uniform on)---He was driving a small truck, and he pulled over by the bus stop- there were quite a few people at the bus stop, and I watched him as he sat there a minute (he wasnt really supposed to be parked there), he got out, stood there, started walking toward the bus stop, turned around and walked back to his truck- then turned around and walked back to the bus stop- he walked up to me (I was going through some horrific stuff at the time) and told me (very haltingly, and not sure of himself) "I don't know why, but God wants me to tell you that He loves you and He cares for you"---I stood there and cried, because I needed to hear that so badly---now im sure that when this man heard God telling him to stop his truck, and come up to me and tell me this, he probably thought "???"---and wondered if he had even heard right. Im sure he didn't want to do this, thinking I might think he's nuts, etc---but he listened...and he did it. And God knows at that moment, I needed it desperately. I guess im trying to say that there are so many times where we act on what we believe is God's will, and it isn't always a 'fun' thing to do---but I also believe that over time, God honors the fact that we want to honor Him in what we do- and I believe that when we honor Him by listening? He honors us by leading- and that over time, He uses us in a mighty way because He knows that we are listening, and willing to obey- even if it causes us discomfort at times. I also think of Moses, and how he didn't want to go to Pharoah (can't you send Aaron? lol)
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  #17  
Unread 14th February 2005, 12:24 AM
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The best way I know to describes God's voice or words or his direction is to describe it as a gentle redirection. Not usually a total about face, more a subtle change in the way of looking at things. This subtle change is also encouraging and positive.

This is seperate and apart from artistic inspiration. With inspiration peace comes from the writing down of the words or another way to put it is to say peace comes when you follow God's words/instructions. With me, till the word is written down I do not have peace. Granted there are times I have to think over how I wish to fill the page and keep an idea in my head for quite awhile till I feel like I am ready to work with it. Peace comes when the idea is written down.

The devil provides negative thoughts, poor images of my self, defeatist thinking, etc.
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  #18  
Unread 14th February 2005, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sara986
So I have a question that has always bothered me. How do you know if the devil is attacking you, or if it is God trying to discourage you from something that could be harmful? I have been praying about a certain tricky situation where I'm not sure what is right and what is wrong...there are a lot of gray areas. I have been searching the Bible and praying for wisdom and talking with my best friend who is my accountability partner. I know that God promises to give wisdom to those who ask for it. Usually I always am encouraged after I read the Word and pray about it, but there are also times that I feel really discouraged and fearful about the situation and I'm scared that I'm taking the wrong steps. I'm not sure if this is the devil trying to discourage me from the right thing, or if it is God trying to tell me that I'm doing the wrong thing. Is there a sure way to tell if it is God speaking, or the devil? Because I know that Satan sometimes "masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Cor 11:14

Hi Sara986 , and all ,

Yea , your concern is warranted .

The general rule is - " when in faith do : when in doubt don't . "

Yet , how often is our assurance tainted by some uncertainty , especially prior to experiencing the fruit , or consequences , of a particular decision , or course of action .

Since the goal is to become intimately familiar with the " voice of The Lord " , and the nature of His leading ; it stands to reason that we should exercise our faith primarily with those things which have most clearly be made known unto us as being God's good and perfect will for us .

If we consistently apply our gift of faith to that which has been made plain unto us , the things which are not yet clear , will be revealed unto us , by and due to the spiritual growth and confirmations which occur while being vigilant and responsive with what we are most assured of .

It is as though The Lord has a list of things which need to be addressed in our life ... and we progress the best ... when our focus is upon the same item / detail which The Lord is highlighting by His Spirit .

It's overly simplistic to think God's leading is always one way and Satan's always the opposite .

From the little experience given with both , it's more a case of God encompassing all extremes and wondrously bringing them into a miraculous harmony together in the manifesting of the beauty of Perfection .

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. <-----> Deuteronomy 32:39


I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. <-----> Isaiah 45:7

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God ... <---> Romans 11:22


While Satan being less capable , does the hopscotch back and forth from one extreme to the other .

Because whenever one strays from the honest truth , in one direction , there is a compulsion to try and compensate for that deviation , by straying as much again in an opposite direction : for no one seeking to influence others , wants to appear as being a bold faced liar .

This principle manifests when one reaches for justification to defend questionable deeds ; or when specific efforts are made to impress another / others of things which are not otherwise self-evident for the sake of some self-seeking agenda -contrary to giving God the glory which is rightly due .

In Genesis Ch. 3 - Satan incorrectly proclaims that humans are not subject to evil consequence while disobeying God.

Then in Job Ch. 1 - He asserts that even obedience to God should not yield protection from evil consequence .

On both counts he strays from the truth .

First in an inordinately optimistic way . ( No evil could possibly befall you , 'cause God loves you . )

And then in an exagerated pessimistic manner . ( Protection from evil is inappropriate , for man cannot be tested properly while secure in this life . )

Both have a little truth , but on their own they form a lie .

The truth is that because God loves us he allows us to suffer , if and when , that's what is necessary for our spiritual growth and development ; which holds the promise of completion , and the end of all suffering and misery ; through our being brought into harmony with the will and the way of God's Heavenly Kingdom . Outside of that Blessed Harmony there is torment ; but inside that Glorious Peace there is perfect healing and everlasting joy .

In summarization :

Concetrate on the aspects of God's Kingdom which have been made plain , and all others will be revealed in their proper time .

Recognize that The Lord is constant , and over all , able to ultimately utilize all things for God's glory , and for everlasting good .

But the Devil is bound to be contradicting , either over emphasizing , or under emphasizing an issue , with the propensity to vacillate back and forth .

Like presenting God's will as though we can do whatever we carnally please without consequence .

Or that The Lord's will is so strict and demanding that we cannot possibly live in harmony with Him .

Either way , the nature of these emphases is one which tries to discourage genuine faith and repentance .

Discernment is a gift of The Spirit .

What is discerned , is the spirit of something , or the spirit behind something .

The fruit , or form of expression , which something gives substance to , serves as confirmation of the nature of the spirit which sowed the inspiration behind the motivation which prompted the act .

Source = spirit > inspiration > motivation > action > consequence > confirmation > acknowledgement > spirit > Source .

To whom does the glory go to ?

All flesh is spirit driven .

And things return from whence they came .

It's a matter of knowing our source & thereby choosing the Right Source .

The Right Source > The Right Inspiration > The Right Motivation ... etc .

But the wrong source > wrong inspirtion > wrong motivation ... etc.

We practice choosing well with small things , to prepare for choosing well in great matters .

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
<-----> 1st Corinthians 12:7-11

[And]...Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required ... <---> From Luke 12:48


But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. <-----> Hebrews 5:14

Though freely given , the gifts of The Spirit require our attention & devotion , for The Lord's will to be done in our lives .

Also consider what your weaknesses / vulnerabilities are , and know that the Devil will approach with one extreme or another , to entice or intimidate .

But The Lord speaks with unique majesty .

Below are a couple of links to similar discussions from a while ago .

1. Listening To God

2. God's Voice ?


May The Lord be Pleased To Bless .

wm

Last edited by wayfaring man; 14th February 2005 at 05:33 AM.
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  #19  
Unread 14th February 2005, 10:14 PM
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Could go both ways...

Originally Posted by Sara986
So I have a question that has always bothered me. How do you know if the devil is attacking you, or if it is God trying to discourage you from something that could be harmful? I have been praying about a certain tricky situation where I'm not sure what is right and what is wrong...there are a lot of gray areas. I have been searching the Bible and praying for wisdom and talking with my best friend who is my accountability partner. I know that God promises to give wisdom to those who ask for it. Usually I always am encouraged after I read the Word and pray about it, but there are also times that I feel really discouraged and fearful about the situation and I'm scared that I'm taking the wrong steps. I'm not sure if this is the devil trying to discourage me from the right thing, or if it is God trying to tell me that I'm doing the wrong thing. Is there a sure way to tell if it is God speaking, or the devil? Because I know that Satan sometimes "masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Cor 11:14
Without really knowing the circumstances, I'd say it could go both ways.

I know God sometimes gives me an uneasy feeling about something, to keep me from getting into something I shouldn't. I remember God giving me a very uneasy feeling about something, but I went ahead and did it; the results were a nightmare that lasted a long time (several months). Now I'm a LOT quicker to say "better be safe then sorry."

On the other hand, there are times when the enemy tries to use fear to keep us from doing what's right.

To really give you an accurate answer, it would be vital to know the facts, because God can and does give people uneasy feelings to stay away from 'traps of the enemy', and yet the enemy can put fear in somebody to keep them from doing what is right. So it can go both ways. How would God warn you not to do something, if he didn't give you an uneasy feeling about it? On the flip side, the enemy is known for putting fear in people to keep them from stepping out and doing what is right. Discernment is the key here, and in order to really give an accurate opinion, the facts would be a necessary ingredient.

I know this probably wasn't what you are looking for... but I hope this helps clear some things up for you.

In Christ,
Bobby
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  #20  
Unread 15th February 2005, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sara986
The reason I didn't get into specifics is that 1) it's a very long, complicated, highly unusual situation (to explain everything would take pages...the situation has been playing out for the past 15 months) and 2) a big aspect of it involves wisdom in discerning somebody's character and you do not know this person...but I will think if there is a way that I can give a short version of the story and post it later...but in the meantime if anybody has any advice they think might be helpful based on what I've already said, it would be appreciated. But I realize that is probably difficult...
Sara, the best advice I can give you (with regard to discerning someone's character) is to look at the person's ACTIONS rather than words. You know the saying, "talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words." So if after 15 months, you are still unsure of someone's character, that should be a huge, red warning flag to you. Don't try to overanalyze something to the point of confusion. Take people at face value. Don't try to read into someone's words or what you think they meant, etc. If they say they are Christian, yet they act ungodly, then that is your answer. No need to second guess your gut feeling. Go with your gut instincts. Women always seem to have that extra sensory ability (called "intuition") !! I pray that you no longer agonize anymore over someone's character. Obviously since it has taken you now 15 months and you still haven't figure this person out--that should tell you already there is something very WRONG with that person.

Let go and let God lead you to people you can trust and people who are godly people. It's best not to hang out with people that leave you questioning things because it will only drag your spirits down and leave you confused. Hope this helps. Move on with your life and find friends who are honest and easy to understand. Life is too short and too good to be around people you have to figure out for 15 months, true? May God give you discernment and wisdom to make good choices for yourself. God bless.
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