31 August 2015

Hearing from God

Everyday we are faced with never ending series of choices and decisions. Many are small but some are life changing and irreversible, affecting all those around us.

Where should I live? What career should I take? Who should I marry? What investments should I put my life savings into? Which church should I be planted in? Should I wait in this season where God has me or go and follow my dreams and take on the world myself?

All of these are good questions which have different answers for all of us. The bible is silent on many things and life is a very personal journey that only we can take. Making sure we choose correctly the paths we take and being in the center of God’s will is everything as Christians.

Have you ever day dreamed about going back in time and speaking to yourself about a key moment and what you would have said? Well we serve a God who lives outside of time and sees everything in front of us and our future. Wouldn’t it then be wise and beneficial to hear from Him and to know what good plans He has for us? When God says “No” to our prayers, even they are good because they are not His complete BEST for us who sees everything that we can not see.

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Throughout our lifetime we will face hundreds of seasons of change, transition, highs and lows. But we don’t have to live this life blind and in fear of what to do with our lives. We have the Holy Spirit who is our guide, our helper and companion. God wants to speak to all of us everyday be in relationship which is what Jesus came to accomplish on the Cross.

When you pick up the phone and you hear a person’s voice, you know who it is because you recognise the voice and have had relationship and experience with them. You know what they love and what they hate and can relate to them. Even though you can not see them physically on the phone, you know that they are there and you can have conversation with them.

This is just the same with God! Just because you can’t see Him doesn’t mean you can not have relationship and conversation with Him. When we remain in Christ and His words remain in us, we are promised that we can ask whatever we desire and it will be done (John 15:7).

At times hearing from God is a very clear prompting that is unmistakable. Other times it is a still small voice like a whisper that needs us to be quiet and attentive to hear it. We need to be alert and ready to hear from Him at all times and most importantly ready to obey.

How many times have you made terrible choices in life that God was speaking to you but you didn’t listen? Often when we fail to listen or believe we know best and trust in our own understanding can be the start of our own ruin. The truth is we don’t know everything and without the grace and mercy of God in our lives, we have nothing.

John 16:33
When the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak, and will declare to you the things that are to come.

Romans 8:14
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

There are some voices we can hear that may not be God’s which are important to differentiate. The voice of our own sinful nature desires, the voice of ungodly people and the voice of the devil. Scripture, godly wisdom, accountability with good counsel and the peace of God are good filters to know if we are listening to the right voices or not. A combination of two or more of these is even better.

Every Christian will have hundreds of seasons in their lifetime of mountains and valleys. Coming boldly to God is not just a one off event... but a lifetime requirement! As the world is changing more and more, we need to be in tune with Gods voice more than ever. If not for you then for those around that you love.

Hearing from God is essential to our journey and knowing what decisions to make and what to avoid. Imagine making a key decision at work based on a word from God which in the natural made no sense but later became profitable and critical. Or meeting someone that was essential to your destiny and purpose in life because God told you to approach them and start a conversation?

I once heard a testimony where a pastor had a number of expensive shares in the stock market. He went to his accountant and said he wanted to sell them that day. The man said he was crazy and being an expert in the market he knew that they were on the rise. But following the voice of God the pastor said “No, I want them sold today”, and stormed out. That week the shares he owned dropped to almost nothing without warning in a mini recession, and he saved himself thousands of dollars.

God speaks to us through a very clear prompting in our conscience and heart. It is an impression or word of knowledge that only you know did not come from you but Someone greater.

No matter what problem you have God has an answer. Everything God does and doesn’t do for you is for your good! We need to be led by the Holy Spirit as children of God. To know His voice and obedient to His ways is what separates us from the rest of the world.

Hearing from God can happen at any time, any day and any circumstance. Being available for God means we are ready vessels that He can use for great purposes with eternal outcomes!

Hebrews 4:16 
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].