Tuesday, September 10, 2013
GOD SPEAKS TO US. YES, HE DOES.
Recently I heard a very fruitful servant of God say, “No. God didn’t speak to me. He doesn’t speak to me….” It got my full attention because God does speak to me and I was aghast at the thought that he thinks God does not speak to him. I realize that saying “God spoke to me about this or that” sounds very peculiar and sounds like boasting and makes some people cringe, but I think there is a great misunderstanding going on here and I thought that maybe I would try to explain a little about how I see God working in our lives.
First, let me say that I believe that God does speak to this man. But I think that he has confused the verbal heaven bound voice of God with the voice of God in our hearts and heads.
In the O.T, God did often speak verbally, and the sound sometimes carried to people who knew it was God speaking, but could not comprehend what He was saying. That was kept to the person He was speaking to, as with Abram and Moses.
Other times God spoke so exclusively to prophets that not a sound was heard by anyone else, but the prophet heard a very verbal voice. When John was taken into heaven, “whether in body or in spirit” he did not know, he literally heard the sounds of God speaking and angels speaking to him. God is verbal. He always has been verbal and He may always be verbal.
This is not the kind of speaking God does today. Though many would have you think that only the highly anointed can hear the voice of God, the truth is that we can all hear it, if we are listening. That is because that Holy Spirit dwells within us and is capable of using our own faculties to help us hear what God has to say. He is our Counselor and there is not a counselor anywhere that I know of who can counsel without words. Think about that. Words are the essence of communication; spoken, written, or even signed.
In today’s reading of Secrets of the Vine, the subject is of us abiding in Him, and He in us. We never get over the need to abide in Him and to recognize Him abiding in us. The sad thing is that many Christians have never recognized this relationship. They do their duty and show up for “devotions” and church and Bible classes; but they never quite get acquainted with their God on a personal basis. They never quite enjoy His friendship, let alone His Fatherhood. They never quite realize that the Holy Spirit within us can carry on an informal conversation with us all day, everyday, and never tire of it. They never quite realize that this is the very essence of abiding in Him, and He abiding in us.
But, the thing to remember and respect is that God uses words; the words and thoughts that He has planted in our hearts while we read and study His words. People often jest about that “light-bulb” moment or of having an epiphany when they suddenly catch on to something they have been trying to understand. In the lives of Christians these moments of understanding can be directly attributed to the Holy Spirit doing His job, using our own thoughts to bring us to realizations or discernments that we might otherwise overlook. He is our teacher. Why should we deny any level of that since He actually is teaching us as we go along?
What some do not realize is that God is a great conversationalist. The best. We do not have to depend on great revealings, light bulb moments or epiphanies. We just have to listen to Him and talk to Him and discuss, pray and watch for answers to prayer, trusting and waiting while continuing our walk with Him.
But we also have to be there, every day, to soak in what new things He has for us to discuss and think over together. We have to be there with Him as we start our day, spending time with Him. Not just a moment or two, but many, many moments, even if we have to start earlier than we would like to; even if we need to stop what we are doing and let Him know what is going on in our life that we need His help or encouragement with. It really isn’t painful. In fact it is pure Joy to be a child of the Father, a brother and friend of the Son and a student of the Holy Spirit. What more could we ever need than that.
As an example, let me share my “epiphany” moment when I realized, finally, who my Mother really was: I was in the middle of my reading and studying and got up to go in the bathroom. Suddenly, someone yelled very loudly, “So you think you had it bad? What about your Mother? What about her pain?” I actually grabbed the sides of the door to steady myself and then proceeded to sit and think for several minutes.
Was it the “Voice of God speaking from Heaven?” No! It was the Holy Spirit, within me, pushing a very loud thought into the front of my mind from the hiding place I where I had shoved it so that I didn’t need to think about that. That’s “all” it was, but that was everything. It was God speaking to me through my own heart and mind. I know it wasn’t a “sound” from Heaven, because God has told us that He will speak to us in a still, small voice (even if it has to be a “little” loud, just to get my attention.) :)
God, may we be alert to hear, and not afraid to know, your Spirit speaking to us though our own thoughts. And may we become wiser and wiser at knowing your directives over our own plans and desires. We love you, Lord. Make us a blessing to others and a light for you every single day, Lord! Amen!