(Nehemiah 4-6, Acts 2:14-47
“And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” (Nehemiah 6:12)
Be careful! Watch out!! Submission to God is more than wearing a cross, just as true prophecy is more than tacking the name of Jesus to a directive. Not everyone who comes into your life declaring the “word of the Lord” has been sent by God.
How can we discern? How can we be sure of our way? The truth is that developing discernment takes time and practice. First, we need to know the Word. We need to take time to know the Bible. Prophecy never goes against the declared and express word of the Lord. Everything new must be sifted through what has been confirmed. It takes time and effort and diligence to learn God, but the process is so, so good.
Secondly, Jesus tells us plainly that we are to judge a tree by its fruit. We are told to look at the manor and outcome of life of those who speak the word of the Lord. Do they live what they preach? Do they have the fruit of submission in their lives? This test also requires relationship and time. There are many out there who act more like hired hands than shepherds. Test everything. Weigh everything. This is right and pleasing to the Lord, and it is time well spent.