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Learning to Avoid the Pitfalls of Deception and Grow in Discernment

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James W. Goll

Who is it that you're hearing from, God, Satan or yourself?

“But evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

On numerous occasions, the apostle Paul warns us in the New Testament not to be deceived. The days in which we live increasingly require us to accurately discern the source of the voices that constantly bombard us. As we grow in hearing God, there is one central question that is critical to ponder:

How do I know it’s God?

Not everything we hear or see has divine origin.


Another way of asking the question could be, “Is what I have received from God, myself or the enemy?” To avoid the pitfalls of deception and grow in discernment, there are some key questions that need to be asked.

Does the revelation feed my ego or exalt Jesus? Does it seem destructive? Who is being lifted up—self or Jesus? Is it negative, pushy, fearful or accusative? Is it a violation of God’s nature or the Word of God? Is it instructive, uplifting and comforting? Does it encourage me to continue in my walk with God? And several more …

Learning to consistently hear from God requires that we apply some important filters. We must:

1. Find the origin


2. Examine the content

3. See the fruit

Scripture outlines some very clear tests for determining whether revelation is from God. Applying these tests consistently and correctly requires practice, but we can learn to hear God and trust whether the revelation is from Him. {eoa}

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