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God Likes To Talk To Us
We all need wisdom and direction, which God offers through His Word. The Bible itself is a supernatural, God-breathed gift. He communicated it and controlled those who recorded it. Naturally, we must be wary of misguided interpretations and blatant abuses, but the Word itself can be trusted.
We must also realize that the God who inspired the written Word desires to communicate with each one of us in a very personal way. You can hear God.
Jesus made it clear that His sheep hear and know His voice. At creation in Genesis, God talked with Adam and Eve, not only giving them divine direction, but also confronting their ineffective attempt to cover their nakedness by asking why they were hiding. He then followed with a very clear explanation of the consequences of their actions. God talked to people.
Throughout the Old Testament, God communicated with the patriarchs and the prophets. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit spoke to and through several people. He did not love Moses, Abraham, Samuel, David, Peter, John, Paul or any other person in the past any more than He loves us today.
In recent days, as people have become more keenly aware of Holy Spirit power and a meaningful, personal relationship with God, we will often hear someone commenting, “I received a word from God!” Perhaps more frequently than is best, someone will comment, “I have a word for you.” Sometimes they do. Sometimes the best advice is to beware. Frequently, people will ask, “Do you have a word for me?” They do this when they perceive that someone else has a meaningful, personal relationship with God.
It is perfectly appropriate to share a word with others, but we must be very careful how we present it. None of us are infallible and the closer we get to God, we are tempted to believe that we always hear clearly or even perfectly. Often this is not the case. It does not mean we should live with fearful unrest or distrust. It does imply, however, that we walk in continuous humility and legitimate meekness, perhaps expressing a thought that is most appropriate, “Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change. When we are right, make us easy to live with.” Sometimes when we’ve been dead on, we will soon find ourselves puffed up and then dead wrong.
I have enjoyed a conversational relationship with God for extended periods of time. I am heartbroken to know how few Christians even believe such a relationship is possible. I am convinced it is what God wants for all of His children. It is, in some ways, an expression of what Paul exhorted New Testament Christians to do: “Pray without ceasing.” We are to live continually communicating with God. We share our heart and then listen to hear His heart. I am quite a talker, but as I have gotten older, most of my praying consists of listening.
Scripture reveals, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The ability to live a life of faith comes from hearing God and hearing comes from the Word. If you’re not a student of His Word, your ears will not be open to hear clearly and you will have limited faith. Your confidence will be lacking. If you do not know His Word, you will not be able to discern the sounds in the realm of the Spirit.
Years ago, I learned you will almost always hear the enemy – Satan – speaking at the same level you hear God. If you merely feel impressions from God, like a gentle nudge, you will have similar counterfeit, deceptive, distracting impressions coming from the realm of darkness. If you honestly believe you hear God speaking audibly, you will likely hear the enemy the same way. Simply consider the great confession of Simon Peter when Jesus asked, “Whom do you say that I am?” Peter announced, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in Heaven. Upon this rock [this revelation – this ability to hear the voice of the Father] I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:13-19, paraphrased) This clearly indicates the church that withstands the forces of hellish destruction and deception are the people who hear God, recognize His voice and respond appropriately to it.
When Peter opened his mouth again it was pure Satan. He went from quoting the Father, to quoting the enemy (the prince of darkness). He emphatically disagreed with Jesus saying that what Christ had predicted would not come to pass. Jesus then spoke to Peter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan!” He was rebuking the enemy that so negatively influenced Peter, leading him to speak deceptive words in the very same conversation. We can see in this passage, there is no room for arrogance, but in humility, trust and confidence we can hear God’s voice. (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Matthew 11:15, Matthew 13:19, Matthew 13:43, John 10:3, John 10:16, Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 13:9, Hebrews 3:7.)
Let me give you an example of “a word” in light of “the Word.” If you want “a word” from God concerning a situation, direction, person, or something important, you need to go first to “the Word.” You can always trust “the Word” to help you find “a word” for a particular situation. Keep in mind the word to some other person in the scriptures is not necessarily “a word” to you. For example, God told Joshua and Israel to march around Jericho seven days and on the seventh day to blow a trumpet and the walls would come down. You may face your own “Jericho” – some serious problem. The word for you is not necessarily to spend the next seven days marching around that person or that problem and then blow a trumpet. That was direction for Israel clearly teaching that we can also get direction for now. But God’s way for them is not necessarily the way for you.
Consider the fact that it is possible to walk on the water. You can read the truth of this supernatural possibility in the scriptures. Peter walked on the water. Study that passage until you are pickled in scriptures and then go try to walk across the lake or a local neighborhood swimming pool. Jesus told Peter, “Come to Me on the water.” Until you hear Him speaking that word to you, the word to Peter is not necessarily the word to you. God will give you a word, though it’s not always what we want to hear or delivered in our time frame.
God has communicated that He loves to talk to those who love to hear Him. My challenge to you is to respond to His invitation to live in fellowship with Him. I began to experience this sweet fellowship as a boy when I found that God wanted to talk with me even before I had trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. After I entered into a personal, life-giving relationship with the Lord, it inspired the sweetest little church girl – Betty, who became my wife - to recognize that she had “religion” and church membership without relationship. It was my conversational, personal relationship that inspired the most beautiful person and Christian I’ve ever known to trust our wonderful Lord.
You can be assured our great God and Father wants conversational fellowship with you. If you will seek to know His Word, you will begin to know Him and hear Him in ways you’ve never imagined.
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional
LIFE Outreach International
P.O. Box 982000
Fort Worth, TX 76182-8000
HOSANNA - Phil Driscoll
Words to Warm The Heart
Look to the Lord and be strong; at all times seek his presence. Psalm 105:4
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15 NRSV
The promise to enter the place of rest is still good, and we must take care that none of you miss out . . . Only people who have faith will enter the place of rest . . . God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come. On that day God's people will rest from their work, just as God rested from his work. We should do our best to enter that place of rest, so that none of us will disobey and miss going there, as they did. Hebrews 4:1, 11 CEV
What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself! Thomas a Kempis
The most important thought that I ever had was that of my individual responsibility to God. Daniel Webster
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live." John 11:24-25
He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule. Philippians 3:21
Man cannot cover what God would reveal. Thomas Campbell
Revelation consists of the initiative of God who personally came to meet man, in order to open with him a dialogue of salvation. It was God who began to talk, and it is God who carries it forward. John Paul II