Thursday, 06 June 2013 12:04

Have You Heard From God Lately?

Written by  The Rev. Rusty DeMoss
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All of us who follow Jesus and are in love with Him long to hear His voice.  He promised, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (St. John 10:27).  Many times we wonder how can we hear the voice of God?  The answer lies in an obscure passage from one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament, the Book of Habakkuk: 

 

“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.   Then the Lord answered me and said, ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.’”

(Habakkuk 2:1-2)

 

Prepare:  “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart.”  Go up to your “rampart.”  The rampart was a defensive wall of the fortress surrounding the city.  You have to leave the busyness of your surroundings, where you are distracted, where e-mails and text messages and tweets are binging.  You have to leave any place where you are having to think and concentrate on something else or someone else, other than God.  Go up to the place where your soul can quiet, where you can “be still and know that I am God,” as He directs in Psalm 46:10.  This place, commonly known as your “prayer closet,” is your rampart, where you can get away from the world and be lifted into the Lord’s presence.  Prepare your soul to receive.

 

Look:  “And watch to see.”  Envision Jesus.  As you close your eyes and focus your heart on Him, is He on the throne in the courts of heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father in majesty?  Is He walking with you by the still waters?  Is He there in the room with you?  Is He with you in your favorite place:  your church, the beach, the lake, the woods, the mountains?  Is He holding you safe?  Or simply standing by your side?  As you begin to pray, ask Jesus, “What do You think of me?”  “What are You saying to me?”  Next,

 

Listen:  “what He will say to me.”  As you open your heart to Him and quiet your soul before Him, He will speak, to you. So many times we engage in only one-sided prayer, wherein we spill our soul before Him and talk to Him, in adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication [petition].  We tell Him our needs and bring before Him our concerns.  We ask Him questions.  But how often do we stop to listen?  Perhaps we should listen to Him first, certainly after we praise, adore and magnify Him and enter into His glorious presence.  He will speak.  But we must listen to hear Him.  Most of the time His words come to us as “a still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) from within.  We hear Him through the ears of our spirit, through the Holy Spirit’s quickening.  It is not our thinking, but His voice impressing on our mind and heart.

 

Record:  “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”  How quickly we may forget what Jesus has said.  Bring a journal or tablet to your prayer time, and write down the impressions, the images, the words you receive from the Lord.  There may be many; there may be only a few.  Keep track of what the Lord is saying, and be aware of patterns and trends.  The Lord is gentle and kind, yet sometimes we are dense and even stubborn, and it takes awhile for us to get the message!  But He is faithful and true (Revelation 19:11).

 

But how do I know it’s God?  God wants to speak to us, and He does.  Yet not all we “hear” may always be of the Lord.  Sometimes our flesh gets in the way, and sometimes even the enemy.  We must ask Jesus for discernment.  First and foremost, judge what you have heard against the Bible, the Word of God.  Is it consistent?  Does it line up with God’s Word, and not a proof text but the whole counsel of God?  Next, do you have a peace within your spirit, an inner witness with the Holy Spirit Who resides within you?  Or is there a “check” inside?  When you share what you have heard with close fellow believers, is there agreement?  Finally, when and as you obey, is there fruit manifested? All these are ways to keep you on the right track.

 

Jesus loves our spending time with Him...the more the better!  Really, we must “pray without ceasing” in living our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Let’s talk to Him, certainly.  But He loves to talk to us, too.  Let’s listen, that we might hear His voice. 

 

 

The Rev. Robert L. (“Rusty”) DeMoss II is Associate Rector of Christchurch on Vaughn Road in east Montgomery.  Christchurch is part of the Anglican Church in North America, in the worldwide Anglican Communion family.  Rusty thanks his friend, the Rev. Jon Holland, Christ Church, Mobile, for the inspiration for this teaching.   www.christchurchxp.net

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 06 June 2013 12:10
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