Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Romans 8:12-13 “So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.”
A college student says, “I’m in a constant struggle. I find myself swearing too often and I know it’s wrong. God has spoken to me about this area of my life. But then I have the thought, “everyone swears – they are just words – you are making way to much out of this – lighten up.” “It’s almost as if I had God on one shoulder and the devil on the other.”
That is a real life experience that many people experience – Christians and non experience. In learning to discern between Satan speaking to you trying to deceive you or God trying to lead you, you have to understand the voices in your life. First you have to understand that God uses your voice to speak to you. God is a Spirit and He indwells within us by our invitation – by receiving Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior. http://www.freshmanna.org/road.htm But, He is not the only one using our voice. We are also contending with demonic influences. Satan is called the “god of this world.” in 2 Cor. 4:4 and for every way God is trying to draw you near to Him, Satan is trying to draw you into his eternal destiny – Hell. He hijacks your voice.
We have God’s voice speaking to us from within. We have Satan attacking us from without. Both are spirit beings and both use our own voice to speak to us – God by permission from us, and Satan usurping himself into our lives. That is where the confusion begins.
As we think through things, we hear our own voice in three areas. First, we hear our own voice in the reasoning process of thinking and human conscience. (You either think in your head or talk to yourself out loud.) Secondly there is the voice of God’s Holy Spirit. He speaks to us in and through a variety of ways – some which we have discussed and some will look further into. And thirdly there is the voice of temptation, lies and deception, and accusation from the devil.
Christians really could discern Satan’s voice easier if they learned some simple truths exposing his character and remembering them. Satan will most often tempt you to go the route that is most satisfying to your flesh and personal gratification or selfish wants. If you will think in terms of the big picture, his goal is to lead you away from God and toward an every increasing carnal life eventually leading to personal destruction.
Of course there are exceptions in his leading to fleshly desires. He will also attempt to lead people into religious confusion – religious beliefs, practices, and behaviors that sound good but are contrary to scripture. For example, radical jihad extremist who blow up people including themselves as martyrs for God or men or women who do not marry because a religious institution tells them they cannot and still serve God in the same way. Neither of these are rooted in scripture and God is not the inspiration behind these beliefs. I’m not saying someone can’t chose to remain single to serve God more wholeheartly. I am saying that God does not demand it. God never speaks to us in ways that contradict scripture and that is the safe guard for knowing what is and what isn’t His voice and His ways.
For the most part, Satan speaks in seducing voices that attempt to lead us away from God and His will revealed through scripture saying things like “Go ahead, one drink isn’t going to hurt anything – drinking in moderation is okay isn’t it?” or ”God won’t care if you have sex if you really love each other.” Or, “It’s really not sex because we aren’t having intercourse.” The majority of the voices people wrestle with are the desires of their flesh with what their Holy Spirit taught conscience is telling them is wrong. This becomes true from the larger issues of life down to the smallest.
Today’s Fresh Manna says, “So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.” It doesn’t make a difference if you hear the voice of God if you will not learn to follow and obey it.
Someone emails you a video or joke that makes fun at someone else’s expense or that crosses the line using profanity or sexual humor. If you were sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you might hear the Holy Spirit speak to you saying, “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. “ Phil 2:3 OR “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29 The majority of humor comes at the expense of another and God wants you to resist evil not see it as a joke, embrace it and pass it on. But, there will be other voices that say, “Lighten up will you? It’s only a joke. Don’t be so serious. There is nothing wrong with a little humor. Every one jokes about other people or sex, and face it – swearing is mainstream.”
The continuation of today’s Fresh Manna verse says, Romans 8:14 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.“ When your heart is open to the truth, God will expose Satan. When it’s not and you simply want your own way, you will be deceived and confused by the voices you hear. More next week…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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