Have you ever heard a speaker, or read a Christian blog post and something just felt a little bit off?
Like, the message was good, and it made sense and SOUNDED biblical, but for some reason you have this unsettled feeling that you aren’t quite sure that what you are hearing is God’s truth?
I’m sure this has happened to all of us at some point, and I’m sure that it will happen again very soon! There is so much information out there, and so many people trying to get you to hear them, that sometimes it can become a little foggy trying to discern the noise from the good and honest truth of God’s Word.
So what are we supposed to do with that?
Everything we hear or read should be able to withstand the test of God’s Word.
We have so much information at our fingertips, so let’s take some of that and use it to narrow down our search and get us in the Bible even faster!
Before you begin your search, pray, asking God to show you through His Word the truth. You need to clear your mind of any preconceived notions about what you are studying and open your heart to hearing only His truth. So ask Him to help you with that.
Seek truth about the topic directly from God’s Word. I know, the Bible is a REALLY big book. And it can be super intimidating to sit down and know where to start. But with our access to technology, we can use some tools to help guide us to the right places in our Bibles, making the search much simpler.
- Start with a simple google search of the idea that you want to test. For the sake of this post, I’m going to choose “Should Christians blend in with the culture?”
- When you get your results, you’ll likely see hundreds of articles on the topic you want to study. Click on a few and see what scripture references they use on the topic. Don’t necessarily even read the post, just pull the scripture.
- When you have your list of scripture references, put away your phone or computer and get out your bible and a journal.
- Look up each of the scripture references that you wrote down and start reading each one. But don’t just read the individual verse, read the whole chapter that it is in so that you can grasp the entire context.
- If your Bible has cross reference verses, use those to see other parts of the Bible that may speak of the same ideas. (See this article if you need to understand cross reference verses) Cross referencing the Bible allows the Bible to interpret itself, rather than you interpreting what you are reading to fit your own ideas.
- Write down in your journal what you learned from each passage.
- Re-read any passages that confused you and don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper into those. Use reputable online bible tools to seek out answers to give you a little bit of a boost when you are stuck. A few that I like are: www.biblestudytool.com and www.bible.org and www.biblegateway.com
When you dig into God’s Word for yourself and really take the time to understand what He was saying, you’ll be able to look back at what you learned and truly understand whether that teaching is biblically sound.
And if you are still left with questions, don’t be afraid to ask! If you are able, ask the person who did the teaching directly. If you can’t do that, ask a trusted friend who is rooted in the Word to read or listen to the teaching you are questioning. Then ask them whether or not they agree, then ask why or why not. Start a conversation!
If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable asking these questions to, please check out my private Facebook group, “Time in the Word Made Simple” It’s full of women like you who want to get in the Word and grow their faith. We have conversations in there, and you can even get hooked up to a mentor if you’d like more one on one attention. It’s a safe place to get answers and even opinions as you explore God’s Word.
God has so much to teach us that we will never be done learning on this side of heaven.
So don’t feel embarrassed if you aren’t sure of something. None of us know all of the answers! We are all choosing to take what we know and build on it each day. Someone may be further along than you are, but don’t let that stop you! Choose to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Time spent in God’s Word is time spent with HIM. And it’s the most important relationship you can invest in, friend.
Even if you’ve studied God’s Word for your whole life, you are likely barely scratching the surface of what God wants you to know. How exciting is that?!?!
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In the comments below, share any tips that you may have when you are looking for answers.
How do you tell if what you are hearing is Biblically true? Do you go by feeling? Experience? Knowledge of God’s Word? There are no wrong answers, but I’d love to hear what makes you dig deeper!
Bible Journaling Prompts
Apply what you’ve learned
♡ To grow in our faith and stay in line with God’s truth, it’s super important that we know and understand that not everything we hear or read may be Biblically accurate. And when I say Biblically accurate, what I mean is that God’s Word is true, and we can trust it. Read the following passages which relate to God’s Word. In your journal, write a summary of each passage and answer this question about each one: How does this remind me that I can trust God’s Word above all other sources? If you can’t think of an answer to write, go straight to the source and pray about it.
- John 17:6-10
- John 17:17
- Psalm 119:160
- John 8:31-32
- 2 Timothy 3:16
- John 10:27
- John 1:1
As believers, we need to hold each other accountable to be sure that we are building God’s kingdom up, not tearing it down or diluting it in worldly truth.
Knowing this, I have an exercise for you. In your journal, answer the following question: How will I respond in love if I hear someone teaching a version of God’s Word that isn’t Biblical? Spend some time really thinking about how you would approach someone if you were seeing them teaching a word contrary to God’s truth.