Saturday, January 19, 2019

Experience God's Voice, pt 2

Experience God's Voice pt 2

1 Kings 19:11–12, “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. The voice was not in the fire or thunder, but in the still, gentle wind.”

Every once in a while it would be nice for us to hear God in a burning bush or some other dramatic fashion. It happened in the Old Testament; God spoke through earthquakes, fire, angels, prophets, and visible writing on the wall. Why can’t he talk to us in dramatic ways today?

Today, God speaks to us in much more subtle but no less important ways. In the New Testament, God spoke in a dramatic fashion only a few times, and most of those times, the purpose was to affirm that Jesus’ divinity. We hear reports of that still happening, especially to Muslim Background Believers who have seen Jesus in a vision or dream. Although these accounts are incredible, we are still left with the question: how we can hear God’s voice in our life on a regular basis? We know He is not silent. 

In 2013, on a mission’s trip to Argentina, I felt God speaking to me about giving part of our church’s building fund money away to the local Bible school. At first, I thought it was just my own internal voice, so I waited and prayed. When I got home, I ran it by Esther, and we prayed together. I processed the idea with our board, and we also prayed together. Because this money was designated for another purpose, I needed to ask the Centerpointe membership. In that meeting, we could sense that God was in this. We voted together to send the money. In this example, we can see a filter for us to discern if we are hearing from God:

  1. Do we have a sense that the Spirit put this decision on our hearts? We ask God for wisdom and discernment.
  2. Is it in line with Scripture? God will never go against His Word.
  3. Does it lead others and us into a closer walk with Jesus?  
  4. Is there confirmation from trusted Godly people?
  5. Is there a sense of peace? God also speaks to us in the negative, by withholding a sense of peace.

Name a time when you clearly heard God asking you to do something but you questioned whether or not it was God speaking. How did you come to the conclusion that it was God?

Besides the filters listed, what are other ways we can know if God speaking to us?

The Holy Spirit doesn’t always ask us to do the dramatic; He even speaks to us in our daily routines. How does he do this?

Based on your reading and reflection, what decisions do you need to make?  

Lord, may your people slow down enough to listen to your voice and live in obedience to it.

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