There are all kinds of doctines in the world today. And often people tell us,"You have to do this to be a Christian." or "You can't do this if you are going to be a Christian." How do we tell what doctrines are right or what things really are sin?
How do YOU determine individually what is of God and what is not.
You are right Vondi, there are so many people saying so many things, that sometimes it's hard to decide who to hear and believe, right?
To me, and we have mentioned this before, it's very important that we know the right thing, in order to recognize the wrong one. You very sweet explained us that in another thread. We really need to study our Bible, and ask the guide of the Holy Spirit, so we will inmediatly say if something it's Biblical or not.
When in doubt, I always try to look for the subject or issue in the Bible. Is it discussed in the Bible? If it is, I read all the passages, and learn what is it said in the Bible about it. I learn from the context too. Of course not everything said in the Bible I can personally apply to the issue in my context.
When I'm unable to figure it out, I always ask. It's good to have people around who have been in this way more than I have, and are more experinced in the biblical teachings. There is always somebody who "knows" more that us in biblical matters, and those persons are always a great help in our spiritual growth.
Thank you, Damaris. You gave us a good outline to follow in sorting out the huge mass of information innundating us from all media today. We have to follow the Lord carefully.
I liked that you to pointed out that we have 'people around' who can help us. When the people we go to for direction are known to us we have already seen the witness of the Lord in their lives. We can know that they are godly and living the Life of a child of God. Those are the people we can trust.
I say that because there are too many radio and TV preachers who talk such good talk, but we must be very careful about accepting all of their teachings because we can't see how the walk before God!
Think about all of the TV preachers who have preached so long and so loud and yet they have been demonstrated as false prophets when their actions have been exposed.
I was thinking that this topic was pretty much finished, but they yesterday this came in one of my mailings. I thought it fit this topic so well that I just decided to copy it here.
For God is not the author of confusion, I Corinthians 14:33
Let's consider together why people see things so many different ways. We may be ready to become settled on some truth, but if we're not careful, we'll be interrupted by a babble of clamorous voices in our mind.
One of the voices speaks out of self-interest: this is a bad one. Another voice insists on worldly maximums...telling us how the world does it. Another voice tries to get us to assume human wisdom: "Well, it's just not wise anymore to do such and such." Another voice is pleading general policy; this voice tells us that others do it, and they attend the Church. This is how we're led away from the singleness of eye and get carried over into confusion.
If we're not very careful to get a hold on God's leading, our confusion can open a door to deception: thereby, we can be taken in by darkness for life and be led astray. This truth is more serious than we're able to make it. We need to fear this device which the devil has used with great success to wreck and ruin souls.
Thus we must lift up a standard against these voices, or impressions, which will arise to fog our focus and destroy our singleness of eye. These interpretations are fatal to a sound decision. We must run from all of these and keep our spiritual focus on Christ and Him alone.
When God definitely sees the deep desire in our heart is to do His will, He will come to our rescue. On the other hand, if we don't have that honest desire to know what is right, He won't give us clarity. In John 7: 16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, We must first have a desire to know what is right. Then we must be willing to do it. Then God will make his will clear to us.
Some people have ideas of their own: "It's more comfortable if I do it this way. It's less trouble if I do it this way." We must lay those thoughts aside and come to a place of honesty before God where we want to know what is right, regardless of how much trouble it might put us through. It put Jesus through more than a little trouble to perfect our salvation; it wasn't all so easy.
Now, when these clamoring voices begin to affect our mind and begin to confuse us from the singleness of our focus, unless we lift up the standard against it and show God an honest desire to do His will, it is right here that we have confusion set in and have difficulty telling what God's Will for us really is
This post was modified from its original form on 15 Mar, 5:39
Sometimes we need to make split second decisions on what is God's will for us. Like, do I speak up when someone is being mistreated, or do I shut up and let someone else handle the matter? Or, better yet, is what I'm saying in response to this sort of thing withing God's will for me? We won't always have the time to think it out.
These are excellent points by Damaris an Vondi and yours Christine is one I hadn't thought about but one that happens all the time....split second decisions. Usually my heart tells me (or is it God speaking to me) to do what I think is right at that particular instant. Now if I have a decision to make that is not immediate, I too, will try to find scripture on it but for me the main thing I do is pray about it and ask God to lead me.
I would like to add that many times when something is on my mind and keeps coming back again and again, I consider that it may be God nudging me to do something for Him or trying to tell me something. So I pray before I do the thing that has been on my mind, and I will ask God ~ "God if this is not your will, please let me know before I do it".
This post was modified from its original form on 24 Apr, 18:09
You gave us a good guidepost to follow there, Vicky. When God is directing us to do something he keeps bringing it back and reminding us of it. Lots of times we try to shrug something off. Or we ask a friend if they think this or that is required by God. And the human conclusion is, "oh no, it doesn't matter." but the Lord keeps bringing it back and bringing it back until we yield
Therer is danger in using this as your only key for determining the leading of the Lord. Satan will see to it that our heart begins to become hardened to that persistent voice. I know a lady who, by her own testimony, confessed that when she was first saved was convicted of smoking. But quitting was difficult for her and after trying for a while she came to the conclusion that it wasn't so bad after all and if that was the worst thing she ever did, then it would be OK with the Lord. Unfortunately, once God has required something fo us, it does not just "go away" because we stop feeling guilty of it.
So yes, God is faithful, as Vicky said, to bring these things of His leading back to our minds over and over. But in some things relying on that could be dangerous for our soul
And in re-reading the thread I thought of another thing, Someone mentioned split second decisions or opportunities and knowing what is really God's will. The very best way to know this is to stay close to God and walk close to Him every day. When we let ourselves "cheat" on our prayer life and our bible reading time and study time and fail to meet with our other brothers and sisters, then our relationship with the Lord grows cold.
When our relationship with Him grows cold, we begin to waver in our faith and devotion. And when THAT happens we start to be confused with what what He requires of us and how He wants us to live.. So we have trouble seeing clearly what He'd want us to do.
The best way to know the Lord's will is to be constant in our private bible reading and study, in our own prayer life. That way we have His promise. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart " It is our responsibility to put in the study and prayer time to make that reality.
Then we won't have so much difficulty understanding what God has for us to do.
This post was modified from its original form on 25 Apr, 12:40
You're absolutely right, Vondi....staying in prayer and God's Word will allow us to get closer to God and to hear better what He wants from us. It will also be harder for Satan to make us doubt. I am guilty of not staying in the word as much as I should....I need to work on that.
I was reading back though old posts today and came across this. there are some good thoughts and comments in it so maybe we should look at it again....