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S SCRIPTURE: PSALM 37:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.

One day a lone hiker was navigating one of the more difficult segments of the famed Appalachian Trail. He strayed from the path, lost his footing, and found himself hanging precariously from a cliff, hundreds of feet above the ground below. He clung to a root growing from the massive sheer face and began to cry out, “Help! Is anyone up there?” After a few minutes of calling into the air with no results, a voice rang out from the sky above, saying, “It’s the Lord. If you trust Me, let go of the root.” A few more minutes went by and the hiker called out a little more timidly, “Is anyone else up there?”

Like the hiker, we often find ourselves desperately in need of God’s guidance and direction, but unsure about what we are hearing is really the voice of God. So, how can we discern what God is really saying amidst all of the other voices?

There are many tests we can apply to the voices we may be hearing. One test is the test of His Word. God will never lead us in a direction contrary to what the Bible teaches. Another test is to seek out wise, godly counsel. Find someone who you trust AND who has a proven record of a spiritually fruitful life—evidence that they live in obedience to God and His Word. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)

One other test for discerning God’s voice is the test of peace. This is the test of the internal guiding presence of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The distinguishing thing about the peace that God produces by His Spirit is that you may not be able to describe it, but you always know when you don’t have it!

What do you do when you need to hear God’s voice about something you’re facing?

T THINK record your observations from the verse(s) above

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E ENGAGE personalize how you will apply the verse(s) to your life

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P PRAYER

Father, I want to passionately embrace the cause of Christ so I can make a difference in the world around me. As we embark on the Beyond journey, help me begin to understand in a greater way the role I’m to play in my church. Amen!