How to be Led by the Spirit V God told me!
Peace is a spiritual fruit. As we saw in the previous lesson, peace is the
voice of the Holy Spirit. When He speaks to you, peace comes. Peace becomes the
guiding force of your life. You make decisions based on the peace you have. If
you donít have peace to go a certain direction, then you should not go that
Satan has a counterfeit fruit that resembles peace. Jesus
said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to
you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be
afraid" (John 14:27). The world has a form of peace, and if we are
not careful we will confuse the peace of God with the peace of the world.
A minister acquaintance of mine, Howard Pittman, tells the story of the
time he suffered an aneurysm. While he lay on the hospital bed, he could
feel his spirit start to leave him. He first fought against this, until he
heard a voice say, "Relax, and let go." He felt peace when he
heard this voice. So he concluded it was God. Consequently, he obeyed the
voice. As he was dying, he realized the voice was Satan after all. He
fought against it and came out alive. He learned not every soft voice is
The Bible says to test the spirits to see if they are from God. You canít
believe every voice, no matter how godlike the voice sounds.
"'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be
defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (Lev 19:31)
What are spiritists? They are people who try to listen to their
spirits. They live on the spiritual plane. Just like a gymnast works in
the gym, so a spiritist works in the spirit. Modern day spiritists would
be the psychics. How do they make predictions? They listen to their
intuition. The intuition is the voice of spirits. For the Christian the
intuition should be the voice of the Holy Spirit. For psychics, they often
are listening to other spirits. This is why God forbids listening to
There would be nothing wrong with spiritists if there werenít evil
spirits in the world. But since there is, it becomes dangerous to listen
to any voice. The voice of evil spirits sounds like intuition as well. The
devil will also try to deceive a child of God in this area.
As I mentioned in the previous article, a spirit, who told James Dobson
that his father was going to die, deceived him. It didnít happen. To be
fair James Dobson does not believe it was an evil spirit who told him
that; he simply attributes it to his emotions. I believe it was an evil
spirit who spoke to him.
Someone who has been through this bad experience can become very wary
of listening to the Holy Spirit. Theyíre afraid to get deceived again.
We canít let a bad experience drive us away from a godly experience. The
Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit speaks to us today. We canít
be afraid of His voice, simply because there are other spirits speaking.
At the same time, we must learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit
from the voices of deceiving spirits.
I Feel Led
How many times have we heard a Christian say, "I feel led to
do this," and when she does it, she falls flat? We rightly question
whether or not she has heard from God. There are many sincere believers
who honestly felt God leading them in a certain directionóperhaps in
ministryóbut they soon discover they were mislead. It can happen to
I have thought deeply about this issue. I wanted to find answers, so I
and others would not make the mistake of thinking God was leading us into
certain directions, only to find out we were wrong. As I was in prayer,
God showed me a powerful story in the Bible which answered my questions
about being misled.
Before we read the following scriptures let me give you some
background. David and his men were fugitives of Israel because of the
hatred of King Saul. David was afraid of Saul, so to hide, he went to the
Philistines to fight for them. That was a mistake. The Philistine king
told David to take his men and leave. So they left. This is where the
David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites
had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it,
and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and
old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on
their way. When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it
destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
David's two wives had been capturedóAhinoam of Jezreel and Abigail,
the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the
men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because
of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
(1 Sam 30:1-6)
This was one bad day for David. He had lost everythingóhis wealth,
family and now his position as leader. What was he going to do?
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel there is no where to
go. You are in trouble if you do and in trouble if you donít. You find
no answer. The problem is insurmountable. David was in this type of
When there is no way that seems right, remember, with God there is a
way! God has never met a situation in which He did not know the answer.
You see, most people make bad decisions because they see no way out. Donít
ever make a decision out of helplessness.
What is the first thing David does? He does not pray. Now
listen, the worse thing to do when you are discouraged, despondent,
confused, hurt, or betrayed is to first pray. Did I shock you? People will
tell you when you are hurting that you need to pray. Iím telling you
they are wrong. Prayer can be very dangerous when you are discouraged.
Here you are, you are very discouraged. You need Godís help. So in
the midst of your despondency you pray.
"Oh, God, please show me the way! I donít know what to do. I
need your help!" You weep.
Have you ever prayed something like this? Now in the midst of this
prayer, you are quiet. Then suddenly a thought flashes to your mind. You
begin to think it is God speaking to you. You feel good about the idea you
have. You then get up from your knees. You believe you have heard from
God. Have you really?
"Well, I feel at peace. It must be God." Are you sure? Can
you see how weak you felt? Satan does not come to you when you are strong.
He knows better. Like a roaring lion, he looks for a weak, sickly prey.
Satan did not come to Jesus until after He was hungry. At Jesus weakest
moment, Satan appeared. He even spoke the Word of God to confuse Jesus.
Satan comes to you when you are weak.
Iíve seen more believers get misled during their times of weaknesses.
They are so desperate for an answer; they will believe any impression they
Think back for moment in your own life. You felt frustrated. Then you
believed you heard from God. Often things did not turn out as plan. You
realized you missed God.
Perhaps were felt you will never find a mate. You pray and are sure God
told you someone was coming to you soon that you were to marry. Sure
enough you allow a person to sweep you off your feet. You feel good about
marrying him, why? It might be because you feel desperate, and in your
desperation you felt peace that someone was coming to your life. And it
seemed to have happened. Later you discover the big mistake you made.
Or you donít like your job. You are discouraged. Then suddenly the
idea comes across you mind to go into the ministry. You believe you heard
God tell you to enter the ministry. Years later, you still struggle. Did
you hear from God earlier? Could it be that you felt God speaking because
you were unhappy with your career? Can you see how the mistakes we make in
following Godís leading stems often from our frustrations?
Now look at David carefully. There is no mention of prayerÖyet! He
does one thing: But David found strength in the LORD his God. One
translation says, "David encouraged himself in the Lord." Prior
to this David was in no position to make any major decisions. He had wept
until he had no more strength to weep. He was not ready to hear from God.
He must, first, encourage himself in the Lord. Only then can he rightly
seek Godís direction.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech,
"Bring me the ephod." Abiathar brought it to him, and David
inquired of the LORD, "Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I
overtake them?" "Pursue them," he answered. "You
will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue." (1 Sam
David did not inquire of the LORD until he had first encouraged
himself in the Lord. Prayer came after he was encouraged. Prayer is not
the means for encouragement. The Word is the encourager. Romans 15:4 says,
"Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have
hope." After being encouraged, David sought Godís direction. David
was not desperate. He was not discouraged. He was not afraid. He knew God
was in control. From this galvanized state of mind God spoke to him. Itís
clear. Pursue them. You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the
David had truly heard from God. He did not hear from God while
discouraged. He heard after he encouraged himself and was strong in God.
Learn from him. Donít seek Godís direction while in a state of
stupor. Wake yourself up. Get encouraged about where you are now, before
you find out where you should go. You get encouraged through the
If you are fearful at your present state, you will not find out where
you should go in the future. You need to be encouraged now, before you
know what to do later.
I was in a very precarious situation (specifics are left out so as to
not offend anyone). It did not look like I could ever succeed after what I
had just gone through. I saw no hope for my situation. I knew I was going
to have to make a major decision, which would either sink me or make me. I
just did not know what to do. No decision seemed right. Thankfully, I did
not have to make a decision until about two months from then. So what did
The first thing I did was to go to every Christian meeting I could
attend. I went to hear Kenneth Hagin everyday for a week. Next I attended
Kenneth Copelandís meeting for three straight days. What was I doing? I
knew I was in no condition to make a major decision without the Word. To
tell you the truth, they never said anything specifically to give me my
answer, but the Word was still good. My life did not center on my
decision, no matter how important it was. I still needed to be strengthen
in areas I was not aware I needed strengthening. Donít think because the
minister did not preach on your situation that you did not get something
out of it. You still needed what they preached.
After those meetings, I went to the Word myself. I began to dig into
the Word concerning my situation. I looked up every reference I could find
related to my situation. What was I doing? I needed the Word of God to
keep me from hearing a wrong voice. You see, many mistakes are made, which
could have been prevented if people would have been grounded in the Word
of God. Instead, they went off into a tangent, and now they have
shipwrecked their faith.
I wanted to make sure I read nearly every reference in the Scriptures
concerning my situation. I read stories in the Bible. I studied great men
and women who went through what I went through. I found out what they did
that worked. I study what others did that did not work. I did not want to
make their mistakes.
After reading all this material, I had a good understanding of the
possible direction to take. But I did not have the specific direction. I
needed something specific. A general answer was not enough for me. I
A couple of days before the big decision I was reading scriptures when
all of a sudden I saw a verse of Scripture. This was a rhema word.
I knew specifically what to do.
The day for the decision came. I finally knelt in prayer, and told the
Lord all Iíve found in His Word. I then prayed everything would turn out
as Iíve seen it from the Word. And it did.
What seemed hopeless, turned out far better than I ever hoped it could
turn out. I looked like a genius, but really it was the Word of God that
gave me the wisdom to make the right decision.
Did God speak to me? Yes. I think that sometimes people misunderstand
me when I say God spoke to me. They think I was whistling and walking
merrily by when all of a sudden I heard God's voice. Nothing could be
further from the truth. Quick words from supposedly God, without the
grounding of the Scriptures, usually turn out to be manís own ideas, not
Great men and woman who have claimed God has spoken to them, generally
have spent consider time pondering Godís direction and looking at
Scriptures before claiming that God has spoken to them. Yes, God speaks.
He will give you peace. Make sure, however, that you are strong in the
Lord at the time you hear from God.
To avoid deceptions learn to process the Word of God. Take the
Scriptures, especially the part related to your situation. Put them into
your heart. Understand the context of the Scriptures. Donít take
isolated passages, instead, get a thorough understanding of what the Word
teaches concerning what you are going through. Those Scriptures will keep
Satan from deceiving you into hearing a voice which is not Godís. As you
process those Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will use them to speak to you.
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