As a Christian, it is important to have a strong relationship with God and to be able to discern His voice. However, it is also important to be aware that the devil can also speak to us and try to deceive us. In this article, we will discuss how to recognize when it isn’t the spirit of God speaking to you, but rather the devil’s.
In 1 John 4:1, it says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” This verse emphasizes the importance of discerning spirits and not blindly believing everything we hear.
Spiritual warfare is the ongoing battle between good and evil, and it is important to be able to discern the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s in this battle. The devil will often try to deceive us and lead us astray, while God’s spirit will guide us towards truth and righteousness.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This verse reminds us that our battle is not against other people, but against the spiritual forces of evil. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to discern the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s in spiritual warfare.
There are several signs that can indicate that it isn’t the spirit of God speaking to you, but rather the devil’s. These signs include:
- 1) CONTRADICTING GOD’S WORD
The devil is known as the father of lies and will often try to deceive us by contradicting God’s word. If what you are hearing or feeling goes against what is written in the Bible, then it is likely not the spirit of God speaking to you.
- 2) PROMOTING SINFUL BEHAVIOR
The devil will often try to tempt us into sin and lead us away from God’s will. If what you are hearing or feeling is promoting sinful behavior, then it is not the spirit of God speaking to you.
- 3) CAUSING FEAR OR CONFUSION
The devil will often use fear and confusion to try and deceive us. If what you are hearing or feeling is causing fear or confusion, then it is not the spirit of God speaking to you. God’s spirit brings peace and clarity, not fear and confusion.
- 4) FOCUSING ON SELF-INTEREST
The devil will often try to tempt us with things that appeal to our own self-interests. If what you are hearing or feeling is focused solely on your own desires and not on God’s will, then it is not the spirit of God speaking to you.
HOW TO DISCERN THE SPIRIT’S VOICE VS THE DEVIL’S
- 1) KNOW GOD’S WORD
The best way to discern the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s is to know God’s word. The Bible is our ultimate guide and source of truth. By studying and meditating on God’s word, we can become more familiar with His voice and be able to recognize when it is Him speaking to us.
- 2) PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT
In James 1:5, it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” If you are unsure about whether it is the spirit of God speaking to you, pray for discernment. God will give you wisdom and help you to recognize His voice.
- SEEK WISE COUNSEL
Proverbs 11:14 says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Seeking wise counsel from other Christians can also help you to discern the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s. They may be able to offer insight and guidance based on their own experiences and knowledge of God’s word.
- LISTEN TO YOUR CONSCIENCE
Our conscience is a gift from God and can help us to discern right from wrong. If something doesn’t feel right in your spirit, it may be a sign that it isn’t the spirit of God speaking to you. Pay attention to your conscience and seek God’s guidance in those moments.
In the Bible, there are several examples of people discerning the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s. One example is when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The devil tried to deceive Jesus by offering Him power and authority in exchange for worship.
However, Jesus was able to discern the devil’s voice and respond with the truth of God’s word.
Another example is when Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He would suffer and die (Matthew 16:21-23). Jesus recognized that it was the devil speaking through Peter and rebuked him, saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
As Christians, we are not meant to navigate this spiritual battle alone. God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and other believers to support and encourage us. If you are struggling to discern the spirit’s voice vs the devil’s, reach out to your pastor, a trusted Christian friend, or a mentor for guidance and prayer.
Discerning spirits is an important skill for Christians to have, especially in the midst of spiritual warfare. By knowing God’s word, praying for discernment, seeking wise counsel, and listening to our conscience, we can better recognize when it isn’t the spirit of God speaking to us, but rather the devil’s. Remember to always test the spirits and rely on God’s guidance in discerning the truth.
AqDiscerning spirits is the ability to recognize and distinguish between the different spirits that may be speaking to us. This is an important skill to have as a Christian because it allows us to know when it is God speaking to us and when it is the devil trying to deceive us.