Oh, Life, I am yours. Whatever it is you want of me, I am ready to give. – William Steig, Dominic

I haven’t answered the question yet: How can we differentiate between the whisper of sin and the whisper of the Spirit?

Sometimes it’s completely obvious, like there are counterfeit dollars and then there are counterfeit dollars. Open a board game and there’s really no question. It’s so obvious that an orange $500 bill isn’t going to be accepted as payment anywhere.

But then again, there’s a chance you’ve held a counterfeit bill at some point in your life and not even realized it. The differences are subtle. So how can you tell?

If you’re driving down the road and feel tempted to head to an adult bookstore, that’s obviously not the Holy Spirit.

What if this idea pops into your mind: Hey, this relationship isn’t really working. I should let this marriage go. But then another voice tells you, Hang on! Look for restoration. How do you know who is telling you what?

The first test is always: Does it align with Scripture? The Spirit will NEVER lead you in a direction contrary to the written Word of God.

A second question to ask yourself is this: If I obey this voice, will it bring life or death?

If one voice is telling you that you’re able and even gifted to do something, while another voice tells you a hundred others could do it better than you, then the same question applies: Which voice brings me life?

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

The Spirit brings life.

Sin brings death.

And in all your glorious freedom, you pick the whisper that leads you. Pick carefully.

Lord, will it bring life or death? I ask Your Spirit to cause this question to rise and fall in my daily life with all circumstances and all decisions, until asking it becomes as natural to me as breathing. Amen.