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  1. I’ve been living with a set of discernment questions for some years, and they are so valuable (and some echo the ones above).

    (1) Does it bring glory to Jesus (because that’s what the Holy Spirit does, according to Jn 16:14)

    (2) Is it consistent with the character and intentions of God as revealed in Scripture (as Calvin writes, the Spirit is the author of Scripture and cannot differ from himself).

    (3) Do others who are filled with the Spirit have a confirming witness (eg: 1 Cor 14:29)

    (4) Is there any confirming evidence in objective facts (because if it truly is God speaking, then what he says will come to pass says Isa 55:10-11)

    I came across these from a ministry called PRMI, and they require all their leaders to be willing to submit to this kind of discernment. I’ve tried to help my congregation embrace them too, believing that exercising discernment then makes it safe for us to talk in terms of hearing from the Lord. Thanks for posting the article.

  2. What about when the pastor uses the God card? I’ve seen it to many times. Pastors manipulating their congregation with the “God told me” card. I just wanted to add this because though most Pastors don’t do that, it can be very confusing to a church member if their pastor does. I’ve heard preachers say – well if you question me – that’s like the children of Israel questioning God/Moses and now you won’t go into the promise land of your life if you don’t obey me. I just want people to know … There is a difference between disobeying God and disobeying the pastor. It’s okay to disobey your pastor. I say this as a pastor. People come to me all the time confused about this very thing.

    God doesn’t want you to do something because you fear Him. He wants you to do something because you trust Him.