How do you discern between God and the enemy?


#1

Another question to ponder and share on if you like.

:hmmm: Jesus said that the sheep (us) know their shepherd (God). How do you recognize when God is speaking to you? Likewise, how do you recognize when the enemy is speaking to you? :hmmm: Speaking here is used to represent any form of communications, whether spoken or not.

Think about it and share if you wish.


#2

At my stage in life I have a sure guide, probably the result of years of directed retreats with a Jesuit director. When the “voice” is telling me something I want to hear, something that enhances my comfort level, affirms my opinions, removes a challenge, or contradicts communication from my superiors, I know it is a false message, whether it comes from the Evil One or arises in my own heart (which James tells us is the root of sin). When the communication affirms and enlarges upon direction from my superiors, poses a challenge, disturbs my comfort level, and convicts me of my sins (especially of omission) I know it is the True Voice of my Beloved. If the communication comes in the form of a baseball bat into the side of the head, I know it is the Holy Spirit.


#3

This is such a critical question. So many people are fooled into thinking that they hear from God.

Matthew 7:13-20 (Jesus speaking)
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.

Look at what is happening and look at what happens. If it is a message somebody is speaking to you, does their life bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit? If you are leaning on your understanding of the Bible, is following it working in your life?

I’m in RCIA. When I go to Mass, it has a positive impact on my behavior and on my thinking for the rest of the day. The same thing happened when I first started reading Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s writing. I noticed that my decisions would be different for the rest of the day (if I read from one of his books).

To me, the proof is in the fruit – what happens.


#4

Dearest Thomas

Excellent question and reflection from you. Thank you.

The enemy, that old adversary, (and other words I won’t use but come to mind!!!) knows he has most chance by disguising himself as something seemingly of benefit, or seemingly for our good and for the good of others, in other words, he tries to mimmick God with the hope of drawing us away from God. He draws on our weaknesses and plants the seed of doubt or worry. He will turn you in circles until you abandon what you set out to do for the good of God and yourself and each other, he thrives on confusion.

Therefore when you are in dilemma, when you are in prayer, when you are posed with some situation, that old adversary sweeps to you with every possible option to dissuade you from the course of good, by making the road easier for yourself, this road seems good, seems an easier option, ‘What about ‘me’?’ (meaning yourself) he screams to you. …‘What about this, what about that?’ so your path is littered with options but there is only one right one to take and therefore that old adversary loves to cloud the truth with near truths or things that seem to be a truth but are not.

Beware in any situation when you feel God has spoken to you, not to test God, but to discern that it is really God, because that old adversary knows how much you long to be with God and so this is the greatest opportunity for him to deceive you, for him to try step by step to move your spirit away from God. God always works in subtlety, sometimes that subtlety has powerful effects upon a soul, but it is always subtle and always loving, never forgetful of our broken humanity, but embracing us in this. However that old adversary and the Father of lies, he builds us up beyond our broken humanity and plants seeds of vanity and pride.

How do you get past all of this and know your Father’s voice? Wait, pray and trust God will lead you, rather than rely purely on the power of your own discernment. If the path is hard yet you feel at peace, this is God. If the truth is stark, simple and bold, you feel perturbed but accepting and at peace with the harshness of truth, this is God.If despite all events and all chaos around you , you feel sheltered and secure, this is God. That old adversary cannot resist in taking claim to his works, such is his pride and so rather sooner than later it will be evident that it is his work, that is why I say wait, pray and trust God.

Laugh in that old adversaries face and despise him, run to your Father and ask for His blessing and you will know each and every time who’s hand is working on you.

God bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


#5

[quote=puzzleannie]At my stage in life I have a sure guide, probably the result of years of directed retreats with a Jesuit director. When the “voice” is telling me something I want to hear, something that enhances my comfort level, affirms my opinions, removes a challenge, or contradicts communication from my superiors, I know it is a false message, whether it comes from the Evil One or arises in my own heart (which James tells us is the root of sin). When the communication affirms and enlarges upon direction from my superiors, poses a challenge, disturbs my comfort level, and convicts me of my sins (especially of omission) I know it is the True Voice of my Beloved. If the communication comes in the form of a baseball bat into the side of the head, I know it is the Holy Spirit.
[/quote]

Puzzleannie,
You made me laugh because this is so acurrate. I have been whalloped a few times lately by the Holy Spirit convicting me of things both before and after I set out to do them.

I usually know direction and guidance is from God when I sense it comes from my heart and is difficult. These things usually stretch me and are hard to do but the right thing to do. Often it is not emotion based.

The devil plays with my emotional side. He confuses me and uses a sense of urgency to manipulate me. He uses emotions to help rationalize.

If I need to rationalize something, then it has not been Godsent.


#6

I believe it was St. Faustina who said that the enemy always puts you down, needles you, leaves you feeling horrible about yourself. God, even though He may be reprimanding you, will always leave you feeling loved and with a sense of peace.


#7

Lots of great responses.

Let me add a couple insights to those already present.

I sense God by the total love I feel from the presence/entity or within the thought.

The enemy tends to try to me to feel sorry for myself or lash out at others.


#8

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