Let me introduce you to two people. I'll call them Bill and Brenda.
Bill's a recovering alcoholic. He's been sober for over a year—since God began an awesome work to break his addiction and bring true freedom in Christ.
But just lately, some of the old triggers have been firing. One day on the way home from a difficult work meeting, Bill hears a quiet voice inside:
You've had a hard day. Why don't you just stop off for a quick drink? One beer won't do any harm…
Then there's Brenda. She's sitting in an airport lounge waiting for her connection. She looks up from her magazine and sees a lady sitting opposite her who is clearly upset. Brenda hears a quiet voice inside:
See that lady? Go speak to her. Tell her she's not alone.
Two people. Two situations. Two voices.
The Bible teaches that these two voices speak to every believer. I call them the leading voice and the misleading voice. One is the voice of the Savior, and one is the voice of sin.
Sometimes they're easy to identify—like spotting Monopoly money in your wallet.
But other times, it's harder to tell the difference—like an expert counterfeit $50 bill that looks like the real deal. It's subtle. It's designed to deceive you.
So how do you tell the difference? Is it the lure of sin whispering to you, or is it the Holy Spirit?
Romans 8:2 holds the key to help you discern the Holy Spirit's leading in your life:
Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
You see, the work of the Spirit is to bring life. But the work of sin brings death. So when you need to discern if you've heard the voice of the Spirit, stop and ask this question: If I listen to this voice, will my actions bring life or death?
Remember Bill? He pulls up outside the bar. But then he stops to think: Will this drink bring life or death? Deep down he knows the answer. He remembers that Christ indwells him and quietly whispers, Jesus, get me out of here.
And how about Brenda? She doesn't want to talk to the stranger. It's just so awkward. But then Brenda stops to think: Will my speaking to her bring life or death? Deep down, she knows she needs to show God's compassion. She remembers that Christ indwells her and quietly whispers, Jesus, love her through me. She walks across to the woman, and begins speaking words of comfort.
Friend, God wants to lead you in His ways—to bring joy, hope, and transformation in your life and in the lives of those around you.
So, listen carefully to what you hear. And when the Holy Spirit prompts you, listen and ask Jesus to empower you—knowing that His voice will lead you into Life in all its fullness!