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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Today we continue our series titled Finding and Following God’s Guidelines.

In times like these, we are in need of God’s guidance more than ever.

Today we are talking about Testing God’s Guidance.


Father, you do not leave us alone to manage your affairs, and we are grateful.

Even now your spirit seeks room within us to be our Helper with each and every detail.

Give us the grace to see our need for His encouragement and the wisdom to follow your guidance in any areas that we have made off limits to you.

Grant that our stewardship may be strengthened as we give our tithes and offerings to you.

In Jesus name we pray.



Ephesians 5:10 AMP

10 trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him—your behavior expressing gratitude to God for your salvation].

Scripture Reading

Ephesians 5:6-14 AMP

6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin], for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience [those who habitually sin]. 

7 So do not participate or even associate with them [in the rebelliousness of sin]. 

8 For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [live as those who are native-born to the Light] 

9 (for the fruit [the effect, the result] of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 

10 trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him—your behavior expressing gratitude to God for your salvation]. 

11 Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character]; 

12 for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that such people practice in secret. 

13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light [of God’s precepts], for it is light that makes everything visible. 

14 For this reason He says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.”


God’s guidance is available.

We can seek it, receive it, and trust it.

Information about His guidances available in His Guidebook.

We can check our understanding through the Faithful Guide who is present to instruct us.

And we can develop a submissive spirit to His guidance through prayer.

But having followed these steps, we may still lack confidence and clarity in doing God’s will.

Like a do it yourself craft kit, or a flat pack, some of the instructions are not clear.

The process is confusing and frustrating.

There is more to it than you originally thought.

Determining God’s will can sometimes be confusing, for example, when some people seem to have differing interpretations of the truth.

Suppose a new Christian is working as a labourer in a company whose employees are part of a union.

He works diligently, but a foreman from the same company who is also a professing Christian takes the hard worker aside and says, “Slow down. If you work too hard it will make the other workers look bad.”

But the labourer remembers what the Bible says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,”

What should he do?

He’s confused.

Confusion in determining God’s will may also result from untested principles.

A person may feel that the biblical teaching about temperance  with food and drink does not mean total abstinence from alcohol.

That person has grown up around people who regularly drank.

He has experienced non of the family heartache associated  with alcohol abuse.

It just doesn’t seem wrong to him to drink moderately.

As time passes, his teenage son observes his conduct and begins drinking secretly, only not in moderation.

The phone rings one Saturday night and the father learns the price of the influence he has had on his son.

“There has been a car accident and,” well you can fill in the next part.

The father then thinks to himself, “If only I had considered the power of my influence on my son, but now its too late.”

The father had heard about the principle of influence, but it hadn’t been tested in his life until a tragedy happened.

How can we overcome confusion and respond to God’s guidance with clear obedience to His will? 

  1. We can walk in the light we already have.

Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [live as those who are native-born to the Light]”

It is important to remember that all of us have been exposed to the darkness of sin and have walked in that darkness.

Because we previously were in darkness, it is required that we now live in the light, listening to and following Jesus Christ.

We must develop a curious and a quick mind in Him.

We must recognise that we do not have all the answers but that we are committed to Him who does.

Otherwise we will be deceived by our enemy, satan.

Walk in the light that you have.

Isn’t this logical?

If you wanted to become a long distance runner, wouldn’t yo first begin to run short distances?

If your goal is to be able to speak a foreign language fluently, doesn’t it follow that you first learn to speak short sentences?

Our walking in the light does not mean that we always walk with as much stability as we might like.

But the child learning how to walk doesn’t stop if some of the walking means falling down.

In walking poorly, we begin to walk with stability.

2. We can test in order to approve what is acceptable to the Lord. 

In any school, students are tested.

Though it may not always seem so, the purpose of the test is to aid the approving process.

Likewise, new machinery is tested on proving grounds so the defects can be eliminated.

Our conduct is to be subject to the testing process for the purpose of being acceptable to the Lord.

By this testing we experience clarity in guidance.

Where does this happen?

Right out in the world where the darkness is.

And out here in the world we are to rely on all the testing devices we can, beginning with the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

How comforting and strengthening it is to know that “God is at work in you, both to will and work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

In addition to the Word and the Spirit, there are at least four other testing devices.

  1. The conscience of the person being tested.

Our conscience is like an inner computer that stores information we have received from other resources about right and wrong.

As we make decisions, our conscience either affirms or puts down the attitudes or actions we are about to take.

Though the conscience that has been exposed to the darkness is not fully trustworthy, Titus 1:15 says, To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted.

When we have been taught the truth, the consigns will bear witness in the Holy Spirit, Romans 9:1, “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit,”

B. The counsel of other Christians.

Believers are instructed to teach and admonish each other, Colossians 3:16 says, Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

No believer is to become our highest authority on truth, yet more experienced believers who who by their lives obedience to the Word should be sought for advice in these confusing issues.

C. Common sense.

Titus 2:12 tells us that we are to “live soberly” that is, we are to have a sound, healthy mind.

Common sense is never to be accepted as complete sense, for God frequently leads us in ways that do not seem sensible.

At the same time, we are to use our minds in the testing ground.

D. Circumstances.

Let’s say that from your relationships with your children and with children in the church you think you should be a school teacher.

Yet your education has not equiped you to teach, you cannot obtain a teaching certificate.

Your circumstances show that you either have to go to school again or forget this as a vocational choice.

Yet circumstances alone are never sufficient as a testing device.

These four aids together, The conscience of the person being tested, The counsel of other Christians, Common sense, and Circumstances, plus the inspiration of God’s Word may verify and clarify God’s guidance.

3. We can reprove the unfruitful works of darkness.

To reprove means to rebuke or to silence so as to bring out conviction or confession of guilt.

We may do this by our words but more significantly by our conduct.

Some may become uncomfortable by what we say or do, but that is the way of God in reaching the hearts of those who are in darkness.

The point is that God’s guidance is not offered to enable us to live sheltered lives free from contact with people who are motivated by evil.

Rather, God’s guidance is offered to show us how to live and influence people in an evil world.


Every person receiving God’s guidance does so in the protection of the heavenly habitations.

We discover God to be our refuge.

Likewise, we discover that the church serves as a shelter from storms.

But God’s guidance must be tested in the world.

This is where the light and the darkness meet.

We may be frightened by the conflict, but all that God provides is more than enough as we walk I the light we have, as we test for the purpose of approving what is acceptable to God, and as we reprove the unfruitful works of darkness by our words and deeds.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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