Each of us hear multiple voices each day. How can know when God is speaking to us, or whether it is someone else? When we are at war with ourselves, trying to decide what course of action it might seem that this is a difficult task. Yet, there are some litmus tests that work every time. One of them is found in 2 Timothy 2:7 (AMP):
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
Paul knew that Timothy was young, sincere, and willing to please both God and man. Yet Paul wanted him to be sure if the voices he heard bore witness to God’s instruction. First of all Paul comes right out and asks Timothy what kind of spirit is ruling within him, is it fear, it is timidity? He then reminds him that the spirit that comes from God is one of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (reasoning, judgement). I love the way the Amplified continues on by explaining that this results in a personal discipline that has a calm, well-balanced and self-controlled mind.
This particular verse is particularly significant for us in this generation. Persuasive voices are everywhere, attempting to convince us to follow a way of thinking that is totally against the will of the Lord. It may be wrapped in Madison Avenue glitz and glamour and it may sound like music in your ears – but does the message bring peace in the depths of your sou? God’s plan is usually not the easy one, or the one that initially makes sense. Getting rid of problems may "seem like’ the easy way out, yet as James says:
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. James 3:17 (AMP)