“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” –Romans 12:2-3, ESV
After lovingly warning a friend of the dangers of a particular false teacher she was going to see at a conference, she got offended with me and said something along the lines of “I have the Holy Spirit! Don’t you think I will be able to discern or sense His conviction if something’s not right??”
In this instance, my friend was putting an emphasis on what she believed the Holy Spirit was telling her by how it made her feel at the time.
Friends, we cannot rely on our feelings to always accurately direct us. Since we cannot fully depend on our feelings to determine if something is sinful or not, we also cannot depend on our feelings to determine if something is true or false either.
Studying the Bible is how our mind is renewed and how we are sanctified as believers. We must search the scriptures to be able to learn how to walk in God’s ways. Regarding discernment, are you testing what you hear people say about God against what he says about himself in the Word? That is where we gain knowledge to be able to test all things and judge righteously. We must make sure everything we are hearing preached in the name of Christ lines up with His holy written Word.
Friends, if I were just to depend on feelings, I would be wrong quite a lot. As believers we do not “sense it in our spirit” – that’s called human intuition. We don’t rely on intuition; we walk in the Spirit, dear ones. And the Spirit will use the Bible to light our path and show us how to walk in righteousness.
Unless you are testing what the Holy Spirit is guiding you into by God’s Holy Word, you can’t be certain you aren’t being misled by Satan. “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, so it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Let us stand firm upon God’s Word, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth that transforms us day by day into the image of Christ.
A Prayer to Follow God’s Word, Not Our Hearts
Father, although we live in the world, as believers, we are not of the world. The culture around us wants us to rely on our feelings, to “follow our hearts,” but Your ways are higher, and You call us to follow Your Word and walk in the Spirit. Help us to seek truth in Your Word where true transformation of our mind begins.
Spirit, we pray you would help us to lean not on our own understanding, but fill us and guide us to truth, that we would trust the Father in all of our ways. We long to say no to being conformed to the world and yes to being conformed to the image of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ. In His great name, Amen.