Again and again we hear of groups who claim to be doing things in God’s name yet don’t seem to be truly serving Him. For instance, we see cults rising up—groups that are headed by a leader with personal magnetism, who draws people to himself with promises, claiming to have special knowledge from God.

To avoid being carried away by this kind of person, it might be helpful to look closely at the suggestions of Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian writer. He said God will bless:

• what He initiates
• what depends on Him for its success
• what is done according to His Word
• what is done for His glory

The work of Paul and Barnabas in their first missionary journey met those guidelines. As we read Acts 13, we see that God initiated it (v.2), the people depended on God (v.3), it was done according to the Word of God (v.5), and God received the glory (v.12).

Whenever we wonder whether some work we hear about is done with God’s blessing, we need to apply this four-step test. It’s the best way to make sure things are done God’s way, not man’s.