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FRIDAY— Weekly Wrap Up
Big Point: Bill Hybels gives us five filters to evaluate if a prompting is from God.
From Bill Hybels: “Over the years I have complied a short list of filters that help me test every whisper I receive. No matter how confusing, challenging or unsettling a prompting may be, if it passes the following five filters, I attempt to obey it every time. Similarly, if a whisper doesn’t stand up under the scrutiny of these five filters, I am reticent to accept it as being from God without further careful examination.”
FILTER #1: Is the Prompting Truly from God?
Whenever you receive a prompting—whether from God directly or through the lips of another—take whatever time is necessary to ask, “God, is this message from you? Is it consistent with your character? Is it aligned with your attributes?” Before taking a single step to obey the whisper you’ve received, be sure you get the all-clear that the voice you have heard could be from God.
FILTER #2: Is it Scriptural?
Scripture is replete with examples of how God would behave in any given life situation, and the Example’s name is Jesus Christ. Whenever I sense a prompting from God, I ask myself if I could imagine Jesus doing whatever action the prompting is suggesting I do. If I can’t envision Jesus following suit, I fear my wires somehow must have gotten crossed. Messages that contradict Scripture are not from God.
FILTER #3: Is it Wise?
God’s whispers rarely go against wisdom and common sense. The entire book of Proverbs is devoted to dissecting wisdom and all her attributers. Scripture is relentless in exhorting us to be wise in all our dealings, to be wise in all our ways.
God’s direction rarely violates the wisdom test. Be sure you’re not sidestepping what is wise in favor of acting quickly on whispers. If God is indeed in the plan, it will likely not involve blatantly unwise action.
FILTER #4: Is It in Tune with Your Own Character?
I caution people against running headlong into a field that is totally foreign to their wiring patterns, their education, their expertise and their experience in life thus far. It’s not that God can’t endorse a dramatic 180-degree turn. It’s just that typically when he does so, it gets affirmed through a series of whispers, from several sources, in a variety of different ways.
FILTER #5: What Do the People You Most Trust Think about It?
Whenever you sense that God is speaking to you, find two or three veteran Christ-followers—preferably people who know you well and who are further down the spiritual path than you are—and take some time to describe the situation to them in detail. Humbly ask them, “Do you think God really did speak to me? Is this the voice of God I’m hearing, or in your estimation did I get my wires crossed?” Then, listen openly and intently to the answers you receive, because they might just save your hide.
Subject every prompting to the godly counsel test. It will save you from boatloads of heartache and just might affirm God’s best will for your life.
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HomePointe Family Activity
Big Point for Families: God’s got this!
Lesson: If you really trust that God loves you? Do you really trust that He is powerful? Do you trust that He will provide for all of your needs? If you really do then you should stop freaking out. When you put all of your faith and trust in God, act according to what scripture tells you is wise and remain obedient, you are going to get where God wants you to go and He will provide for you every step of the way.
Activity: Ask your family the following questions:
~ Where do you go to find wisdom when you need to know what to do?
~ What do you think it means to obey God?
~ Whom do you look to as an authority figure in their life?
~ Do you trust that God will provide for you wherever you go?
These four questions will help you determine if you are truly seeking God’s will the way He requires. Want to be wise? Want to be obedient to God? Read the scriptures to discover what He requires. Want to place God as the authority in your life? Submit yourself to His will daily.
Pray: Thank God for providing for all that we need.
Living It Out: **NEW** July 2011
Colossians 4:5-6 (New Living Translation)
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Living It Out
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Daily Bible Commentary compiled by Barb Roose
HomePointe Family Activity written by Chantele Henry
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DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Proverbs 23-24
23:4—God isn’t against wealthy people. It is wise, however, to consider when your efforts to generate income begin to conflict with your relationships, health or spiritual well-being.
23:6-8—How do you know when you are hoarding? Answer: When you cannot be generous toward others because you are worried about providing for yourself.
23:17-18—“Don’t envy sinners” One of the most difficult transitions for new Christians is the sense that they are missing out on “fun” when they accept Christ. Think about what you are really missing. How does it compare with what Jesus promises to do in your life?
24:6—It is wise to ask for advice from those who are more knowledgeable than you. Their opinion shouldn’t be your only source of information, but their wisdom can illuminate your situation.
24:8—“a person who plans evil” Unchecked, wrong desires can lead to sin.
24:10—When we fail to live out our faith under pressure, we can either respond by getting discouraged or we can learn from our mistakes and grow from them.