I was watching TV this week and I was struck by a commercial that I have seen about a million times. There's a good chance that you have seen it too. It's AT&T's "Hey Marcel!" U-verse commercial. Poor Marcel, he's sitting there trying to watch his show and all the other shows are literally screaming for his attention. The premise of this commercial is that you don't have to choose who to listen too because you can view multiple channels at one time so you don't miss a thing. I've included it below.
What jumped out at me wasn't that this is a great commercial, but how true it is that we have so many things in our lives that are screaming for our attention. They want to be heard and they will make their presence known. Last week we talked about hearing God, but how can you be sure that you are really hearing God when there are so many other voices calling out for your attention? That's what I want to talk about today.
I call this "Check Your Hearing". What I mean by that is that the third and often most vital step in seeking God's will for your life, is checking that you are hearing God correctly when He speaks to you.
How to Check that You are Hearing God Correctly:
Checking what you are hearing from God is called using discernment (to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend). There are a couple of ways that you can discern whether what you are really hearing is from God, and I recommend using more than one.
- Reading Scripture
- Talking to Older Christian friends and mentors (it's best if you talk to more than one person even)
- Circumstances in your life
- What you feel God is telling you through time in prayer
Most importantly, take the time to find out what God is really saying and what is really going on. Very rarely does God lead us into the biggest decisions in our lives on the spur of the moment or a mere whim. God is a god of order. He has a plan and He has known it from the very beginning. He has been using the circumstances over the course of your whole life to prepare you for where you are right now. He isn't just going to throw things at you blindly.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What am I learning from God's Word about this situation?
- What do I feel like God is telling me when I pray?
- What are the older Christians in my life telling me about this situation/decision?
- Have there been any circumstances in my life that have confirmed what I have been learning in scripture and what I have been hearing in prayer and what my Christian mentors are saying to me?
- Have a really prayed about this?