I have always had a high discernment for the voice of God, and often times can communicate with Him very easily. I have had many times where I hear His voice and I obey (whether I argue about it first or not is another story) and I have had many times where I could ask Him a question and hear His answer easily. I do not hear God speak audibly, but I hear Him speak in my mind. It took some time for me to grow discernment to know God’s voice apart from others, and a big part of that was trusting that I was actually hearing from God. Truthfully, I had some moments where I thought I was really crazy if I thought I was “hearing” God talk to me.
Through trust and faith I began to believe I could hear from God, and learned to trust Him. Through hearing His voice I began to understand more about the character and nature of our wonderful and loving Father. Through my healing journey I have really relied on my ability to hear God speaking to me to lead me through some dark places into His truths. Yet it was also through my healing journey that I realized I still have parts of me that are aligned with darkness. After being abused in satanic rituals for countless years as a child, I had little choice but to comply with allowing many demonic spirits to invade my being. I am going through a weekly process of healing these places, giving them to God, and allowing Him to bring light to the remaining darkness. It is a long process and I am glad that I have Jesus to bring me this level of freedom.
To be honest with you, I only starting recognizing that testing spirits was an important part of my relationship with God recently. I have had many moments when I struggle to hear from God. There are times I have prayed because I needed an answer to see what His will was in a particular situation, and I would get answers that made me feel very unsure. They didn’t sound quite right to me. So I would pray again and get a different answer. Often times the answer would conflict with the first answer. I started to get frustrated and confused, because I was no longer so sure about my accuracy with hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me. Finally I realized I had times where I was being deceived by false spirits posing as Jesus, or even by my own self.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
I knew of testing spirits and I had seen it done before. But I have gotten too comfortable in my own abilities, to see that I could be deceived. From that time on I began testing spirits when I would pray for God’s will or for His discernment, and I got that feeling that something was not right. Or if I was praying about something pretty big, I would always pray to make sure I was hearing from God. We must be aware because even Peter, who had a close relationship with Jesus, was led astray by the lies of the devil.
It is possible for any person to be deceived by false prophets and lies of the devil. We know that the devil disguises himself as an angel of light, posing as something good and attempting to lure us away from God’s truth. That is exactly the way he worked Adam and Eve. The devil has been around for a very long time. He knows the weaknesses of human beings and puts a lot of hours into finding out each person’s weakness. And because he knows the call each of us has on our lives, he knows how to get to us so he can steal that from us. The devil is a liar, and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That is why testing spirits is not only important, but necessary. We must protect our relationship with God above all, because that is the sole target where the devil sets his aim.
We also have parts of ourselves that want to go against God, and even be like God. Just like Adam and Eve, we fall prey to our own selfish desires, and listen to unwise counsel (aka the devil). So when we are praying for the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit, we sometimes allow those parts of ourselves to pose as God, leading us into temptation. We can become very good at deceiving ourselves when it comes to gratifying to soul over the spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
What exactly does it mean to test the spirits? According to the Bible, we need to test every spirit that comes to us to see whether it is from God or not. When the Bible says spirit, it means the spirit of a man and the spirits that come through man. We will come into contact with Christians who are aligned with darkness purposefully, and are set to deceive us; but we will also come into contact with Christians who have aligned with darkness and have no idea. It is through the darkness within them that they will attempt to deceive us, because there are evil spirits that are using them for this purpose.
When people have areas of themselves they have given over to darkness, this does not mean they are evil or bad. It means they have been deceived and have given over the truth for a lie. It happens to everyone at some point, and we cannot judge others by their actions, but only by the spirit. It is our job to continue to surrender our hearts to God, and work towards letting more and more of His Spirit into our persons. It is through this submission that we can be in alignment with God and His will for our lives.
How can we begin to test the spirits? Testing the spirits is going to be something that most people are going to have to learn and work on as they pray. For many it will not be a simple process, because there is so much coming against us from the world, the devil, our own motivations, etc. To begin we need to grow in our intimacy with Jesus Christ. It is through knowing God we can become familiar with His voice, His character, and His nature. It is also through our relationship with Jesus that we can begin to submit every part of ourselves to Him, allowing Him to bring freedom to places that want to come against His will for us. Submission is never an easy thing. As soon as we think we have completely surrendered, the Lord will always show us another area that we have hidden even from ourselves.
According to 1 John, here is how we test the spirits:
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 1 John 4:2-3
So when you are seeking after the Lord for His wisdom and guidance and you hear an answer, you can ask the voice some questions. You want to make sure that this answer is coming from the Most High, so obviously if you are hearing the Holy Spirit, it will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Here are some questions to ask: Is this a false prophet? Do you confess Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God?
As you are listening for an answer, remember that God will never answer inconsistently with His character or nature. As you are learning to distinguish His voice from others, be sure to compare your answer with scripture. God does not change who He is, and His word will always remain a strong testament to His character and nature. And any answer from God is going to bear the fruit of the Spirit with it. Therefore if the things you are hearing don’t produce love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in you or those around you, then that is not the voice of God.
You can also take your question and answer to a reliable person who is strong in their relationship with the Lord for an outside opinion. But in the end, you must never rely on others for advice, because it could dampen your own growth in your discernment for the Lord.
If you are able to hear the Lord in prayer, then you can hear answers to these questions. If you are hearing answers to these questions that don’t line up with Jesus Christ being the Son of God, then you know it is not Him. If you feel strongly you are up against a false prophet, then simply ask angels of the Lord to remove them from your presence, or tell the spirit that it needs to loose and leave you, in Jesus Name.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Every single person has the ability to hear the voice of God. I have written a post about it here because it is a gift from the Lord for every one of us. If you are struggling to hear the voice of the Lord, there are many reasons that might be a problem. The first step is to just seek Him with all of your heart and soul and mind, developing your relationship with Him. You must trust that no matter what you feel, He is there, His presence is available, that He loves you, and He has never left you. I know many people do struggle with this issue, and I will continue to teach about it.
I want to be clear, that while the process of testing the spirits is very simple, it is a process of learning and growing as well. We need to be in the presence of the Lord as often as possible so we can know Him more. We need to keep giving ourselves and our lives to Him, so we can be aligned with His will. When we do not submit every part of ourselves to Jesus Christ, we are keeping them locked away from the Lord, making it impossible for Him to bring us freedom there.
He is our loving Father. He wants to be with us, to let His love heal us and move us. We were created because of love, and for no other purpose or reason. All we have to do is ask, and He is there. All He wants in return is our love. Nothing more. No works, no good deeds, no service, no certain behavior: just our love. Our love for God is our ticket to true freedom, joy and hope. We belong to Him, and with Him. Let us surrender, and taste and see that the Lord is good.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17