The Key to Staying on Course
The Holy Ghost will bring guidance to your life through three primary ways: the inward witness, the voice of the human conscience, and the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you through an audible voice, visions, dreams, or prophecy. The key to staying on course and not getting deceived is not relying on any single one of these as a source. Look at 2 Corinthians 13:1:
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
When God speaks to you, He’s going to establish it in the mouth of two or three witnesses. He isn’t going to say something to you one time and then you either have it or you have lost it forever. He’s going to confirm it to you and many times it’ll be a lot more than two or three times. That’s closer to the minimum you can expect.
I’ve had God hammer me over the head half a dozen times about certain issues, confirming them time and again. Safety is found in allowing God to confirm it by two or three witnesses. This simply means you shouldn’t allow any one direction to bring guidance to your life. If someone prophesies something over you, it will agree with what God has already been speaking to your heart, either in the form of the inward witness or a still, small voice. If that’s not the case, then don’t listen to it.
You also want to confirm everything by the Word of God. Renew your mind to the Word regularly to take care of weed seeds. You’ll then be able to weed out a lot of flaky prophecy by making sure it lines up with the Word of God. It’s also how you weed out a lot of things that relate to your feelings instead of the Spirit of God. You’ll be able to line up when you think is from God with what is actually in the Word of God.
Something else you need to be aware of is the circumstance in which you’re involved. God doesn’t direct you to do something and then leave the door slammed shut in your face. God doesn’t tell you that you’re going to go to Bible school at such and such a place and then not bring you a dime of financial provision or arrange the opportunity to go. God isn’t going to call you to do something and make it impossible. He is the one who opens doors no man can shut. Let providential circumstance be another source of confirmation.
So we can confirm what we hear through the Word of God and providential circumstance. Then, of course, all of the other ways—the inward witness, what my conscience says, any confirmations God has sent through a word of prophecy or a dream, etc.—will be additional witnesses to the Lord’s direction.
The best safeguard any of us have is called the human witness. We are to provide each other with the power of agreement. If you’re married and God’s telling you to do something, assuming the other person is seeking God along with you and open to the Holy Ghost, you should never do it without your spouse being in a place of agreement because that is your biggest safety valve.
If you’re not married, confirmation from a human witness will usually come through a respected friend in the Lord or a pastoral staff member or somebody like that. You go to them, share your heart, and allow them to respond what they sense in their hearts.
These are all ways that God will confirm His leading in the mouth of two or three witnesses. None of these in themselves should represent “the” way you are guided; they all can work together to confirm the Lord’s direction to you.
Now in the smaller matters of day-to-day living, don’t get super spiritual and try to get two or three confirmations on whether or not you should go to the grocery store now or wait until tomorrow. Just follow your heart (the inward witness or human spirit). Live your life normally. When you come to a decision that really needs to be right, make certain you have at least two or three witnesses confirming the direction for your life in that regard.
If you’ll take this message to heart about being led by the Spirit of God and put it into action, you’re not going to go off into a ditch or be misled. The will of God will be manifest for your life and you will be blessed.
About Mac HammondMac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Hammond also hosts the Winner's Minute and the Winner's Way television broadcasts and has authored several internationally distributed books . Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living. Mac Hammond graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1965 with a Bachelor's degree in English. Upon graduation, he entered the Air Force with a regular officer's commission and reported for pilot training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Mac received his wings in November 1966, and subsequently served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, accumulating 198 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of Captain. Between 1970 and 1980, Mac was involved in varying capacities in the general aviation industry including ownership of a successful air cargo business serving the Midwestern United States. A business acquisition brought Mac and his wife Lynne Hammond to Minneapolis where they ultimately founded Living Word Christian Center in 1980.
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Mac Hammond also hosts the Winner's Way television broadcast and has authored several internationally distributed books. Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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