Who Do You Hear?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 30, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Who do you hear? Who are the ones who are drawing your attention and giving you the food for your soul? When I teach on Biblical worldviews, I ask five questions regarding Origins, Purpose, Identity, Destination, and Authority. The question on authority is, “Who do I listen to?” There are many different voices out there, however you can boil them all down to two: the voice of God and the voice of the world. Take a moment to read 1 John 4:1-6.

John opens this passage by telling us to test the spirits. Test everything we hear. My pastor makes a comment I can confirm: “You can pick up a book, good or bad, and read it without risking danger if you listen to the Holy Spirit about that book. If he says it is a good book, you can read and soak it in. If he says it is a bad book, you can read it and know it is a bad book and not be affected by it.” I have been able to do this. I have read books where I really thought the author was trying to say some good stuff, but there was a check in my spirit saying, “Something is wrong.” And when I dug deeper, I saw it was very wrong. I have read others where I was sick to my stomach before getting through the intro because it was so Satanic. I have read others where it was solid, and I have read others still where I did not sense a spirit of evil behind it, but at the same time, I didn’t get God’s approval of it either. I could do that because I was testing the spirit behind the writing if it was of God or not. And I’ve read books where I simply pity the author because of how spiritually blind he is and has chosen to be.

Now do not get me wrong; I am not suggesting any book we write is of the level of Scripture. However, there are books which are truly glorifying of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit was upon the author as it was being written. And while there are many good books out there, there are many others which are put in Christian bookstores and yet are nothing but pagan ideas decorated in Christian language. How can you tell which is which? 1 John tells us how.

John boils is down so simply. Those who are of the world and of the world system hear what the world and its leaders have to say. We who are Christians hear from God. What is more is those who are of God will also hear those who are of God. Those who are not of God will not hear us, because they will not hear those who sent us. John wraps up verse 6 by telling us this is how we know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.

“But who are you to be so arrogant to know that you are right?” I’ve had that thrown at me so many times I’ve lost count. In some ways the skeptic is right because they will hear some lunatic claiming to speak from God when God had not spoken. Why should they trust us? First, we have to make sure we really are hearing and listening to God, not to the world, and not to our emotions. Here are some guidelines we can use to test this:
1) How does what we are saying glorify God?
2) Does what we are saying magnify man in any regard?
3) Is God the end goal and the means, or just a means for man’s pleasure and happiness?
4) Is the nature of sin and the work of the cross given their just due?
5) Is Jesus glorified as not just Savior but God himself in the flesh?

There are other tests, but these are some good core basics. Those of the world will always elevate man to some degree, diminish God, diminish Christ and the cross, and take sin lightly. Those of God will glorify God alone, never take glory for themselves, raise Christ and the cross high, and take sin very seriously.

Another test is to examine how the world acts. A good way to know the will of God is to take any situation you are in, determine how you in your natural mind would do it (or how the average person would do it), and then do the opposite. Why? Because God and the world are at enmity with each other. Throughout the whole Bible, God purposes to make his people look weak, helpless, and foolish so no one could boast in their own skills.

The world and its system are of the Antichrist. John is not merely talking about the one man who will try to play Jesus in a very public setting at the end times and lead the final rebellion against God. He is talking about a spirit which is “contra-Christ.” Any voice which resists Christ is an anti-Christ, and there are many such voices. When Adam and Eve sinned, they gave dominion that was rightfully theirs over to Satan because they chose to listen to his voice instead of God’s. And ever since, Satan has done a great job at exerting his authority over this world.

But while Satan rules over the governments, the educational systems, the businesses, etc., his rule is still under a higher rule. Jesus has overcome the world, so as long as we are in Christ, we do not have to fear this world nor its system. We are in it, but we are not to be of it. We are not citizens of this world. We are actually enemies of it—enemies with a mission—to rescue the lost from it. Satan knows he can’t have us, so as long as we are not advancing on his turf, he’ll leave us alone. But if we are not advancing on enemy territory, we are useless to God in this world.

Greater in He who is in you than he who is in the world. The real reason why a typical young earth creationist (YEC) can crush PhD evolutionists in debates is not because YEC are smarter (though they typically are far better researched) but because they have the Spirit of Truth in them. The Evolutionists know absolutely nothing but lies, some due to ignorance but some due to intentional rejection of truth. The reason entire nations have risen and fallen is often due to the prayers of the saints. Rees Howells, among others, literally prayed the European front of WWII to victory by praying as though he was on the front lines. He did not listen to the reports from the media as the final declaration, but he listened to God. Many missionaries came face to face with witch doctors, pagan leaders, jungle warriors, no food, no money, no resources, and yet they all made it through to the end because their trust was not in this world but in Christ who overcame it.

Who do you listen to—God or this world? God promises suffering in this world but true paradise in the next life. The world promises pleasure now but nothing positive when you die. I have been a Christian for nearly 28 years, spent 22 of those years on the mission field (on and off in seasons), and I am now working to take my faith to another level. As I have grown particularly in the last couple years, my interests in the world have been fading. Movies hardly gather my interest any more. The only TV I ever watch is when my parents have it on and I just pass through the living room. My interest in video games is dying. The world is dying to me. And the closer I get to God, the more it will die. Listen to God. It will come with a cost, but what you will lose is not worth keeping and what you will gain is beyond priceless. Pay attention to who you are listening to and who they are listen to. Are they of God or of the world? Whichever voice you heed is the voice that will dictate who you become. Let it be God’s voice.

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