The Seven Filters

Friends, I feel led to take a break from our study of 1 Corinthians for a short time. The reason is that I am currently writing a new book titled “The Seven Filters.” I have had this on my heart for two years now and, after prayer, have decided now was the time to get started. I am planning to post a draft section from this book every weekday until I have completed it. What follows here is the preface so you will understand where I am going with this. I hope to be finished by the end of October. Then we will be back to 1 Corinthians. Blessings, Steve.


In 1983 while sitting in a Minneapolis Minnesota hotel room, the Lord saved me while reading a Bible placed by the Gideons International. It was the most glorious moment of my life. It was life changing.

I spent 33 years of my life being self-sufficient, running my own show. As I began assessing my life, I realized that in leading my own life, I did a lot of damage to myself, but even more sadly, to others. Yes, many people were hurt in my path of destruction. It was not that I intended this, but that in running my own life, it was a natural result of human wisdom.

As I sat on that bed in the hotel room, reading the Bible, the Lord revealed all this to me. Oh, I knew the gospel, that Christ died to pay the penalty of my sin and that He rose again. However, up until that moment, I did not realize how much I desperately needed a Savior. I could not save myself and I could not effectively lead my own life. So, I prayed a simple prayer.

The prayer went something like this. “Lord, I have sinned and need your forgiveness. Forgive my sin and save me. I want you in my life.” I know that it was not much of a prayer. You see the prayer did not save me. It was the Lord who did this. The prayer was the outpouring of the heart. Yet, I was not done yet. I continued, “I have been running my own life and have hurt a lot of people. I want you Jesus to be Lord of my life. Make my life a blessing. I need you to lead me in life. Amen.”

My heart’s desire was to stop leading my own life my way and to have Jesus lead my life His way. Yet, this posed a problem. How? How would Jesus lead me. Let’s face it, I made hundreds of decisions every day. How was I to know what Jesus wanted me to do?

Well, I got active in our local church. I went faithfully every week with my wife and children. I began learning things I never previously considered. It was quite glorious.

However, then I heard some things in our circle of Christian friends. Things like, “God told me to do this.” There was a young man, my age at that time, who I overheard in conversation. He had been a Vietnam Conflict veteran He was telling another believer in the church that God told him something and he immediately stopped what he was doing and wrote it down. I thought that was pretty cool, but frankly, this confused me. Yet, I was too embarrassed or proud to ask how he heard from God. Was it an audible voice? Was it a silent voice that only he could hear?

Well down the road, I began to understand a bit better. There was perhaps an inner voice where the Lord in some mysterious way communicated with believers. The only problem I had was this. How do you know for certain that this inner voice is from the Lord? Could it be from our adversary, the devil and not the Lord? Could it be from our own fleshly desires and not the Lord? To me, this posed a very serious fear.

What I discovered is that we needed discernment. We make hundreds of decisions a day and have even more thoughts. These thoughts can lead us on the right path, but they can also lead us on the wrong path. We need to be able to discern these thoughts and intents to ensure that the decisions we make and the actions we take are in line with the will of the Lord. So, I searched the Scriptures and discovered a few things that have significantly helped me in the journey to hear from the Lord and discern what I have heard.

I have written this book to help believers, new and old to understand how the Lord communicates to them and how to ensure that their resulting actions are in tune with His will.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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