Friday, December 22, 2017

Intimate Fellowship with God

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 
(James 1:22)

The moment we hear the voice of God and do not abide by it, we separate ourselves from God.  We find this to be true as we read the account of Adam and Eve.  

Genesis l-3 records the creation of the world and of the first human beings, Adam and Eve. From the time of creation, God communicated His will to mankind. He gave specific instructions to Adam and Eve. They were to

 → Be fruitful, and multiply, and 
 → replenish the earth,
 → tend the Garden, 
 → have companionship with each other, and 

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  Genesis 1:28

Most importantly, they were to maintain intimate fellowship with God. This intimate fellowship with God enabled them to know God's voice. When God spoke, He communicated His plan to them:  

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
(Genesis 2:16-17)

By the voice of God the will of God was revealed to Adam and Eve. They could freely eat of every tree in the garden, with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam and Eve did not follow God's plan. They listened to the voice of Satan and ate of the forbidden tree. When they realized what they had done, they hid themselves from God: 

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Genesis 3:8-9)

From this one account, we see how it is sin which separates man from God. God did not remove His presence from man. Because of sin, man hid himself from the presence of God. Sin results in a hardened heart. The Bible warns: 

While it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation.  (Hebrews 3:15)

God wants to communicate with man, but communication requires a vertical relationship.  

Sin separates man from intimate relationship with God, 
hardens his heart, and hinders him from knowing the voice of God.

Believers often ask, "What is God’s will for me?" What does it actually mean when we say we want to know the will of God? It means:

     *    We want to know His general plan for our lives.
   *    We want His guidance in specific decisions so we can make wise choices.
   *    We desire His direction in the circumstances of life.

The question we should be asking is, "How can I know the voice of God?" Knowing God’s voice results in finding the will of God.

God wants you to know His will:  

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17)

If you know His voice then you will understand His will as He speaks it to you. Learning to receive divine guidance is learning to walk in intimate fellowship with God. The Bible says:  

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

The word "proceedeth" speaks of a continuing function. It means something that happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will continue in the future. God speaks to communicate His will to mankind. This is why it is important to know the voice of God.

There are two Greek words translated as "word" in the Bible. These 2 Greek words are "logos" and "rhema.":

"Logos" refers to the written Word of God. 
"Rhema" refers to the living or life-giving Word of God. 

It was said of believers in the city of Berea:  

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word [rhema] with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures [logos] daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

The Bible speaks of two main divisions of listeners: 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. . .

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. . .     (Matthew 7:24,26)

A foolish listener hears the voice of God, but does not act upon it. A wise listener hears and acts upon the message of God. One listener is a "hearer of the Word" only. The other is both a "hearer and a doer."

You must not only come to know the voice of God, you must learn to respond in obedience to that voice:  

But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
 (James 1:22-25)

Jesus also told a parable about seed sown in several types of soil which illustrates various types of listeners Matthew 13:1-9. Jesus explains the account in Matthew 13:18-23. He compares the different soils to listeners and their response to the Word of God:

Ø    Some seed fell by the wayside and were snatched up by birds before it could take root. This is an example of a man who hears the voice of God but the words do not take root in his heart. Satan snatches away God's Word.

Ø    Some seed fell in stony places and sprang up quickly. But when the heat of the sun came, the plant withered and died because it had no roots. This is the listener who hears God's Word and receives it with joy, but it does not really take root in his life. When circumstances get tough, he is offended and ceases to respond to God's voice.

Ø    Some seed fell among thorns which choked out growth of the plants. This is an example of the voice of God being choked out by the cares of the world, materialism, etc.

Ø    Some seed fell on good ground and brought forth a rich harvest. This is an example of the listener who receives God's Word, listens to His voice, and roots himself in that revelation. This person will mature spiritually and become a reproducing, fruitful believer.

Do you want to be able to know God's voice? Do you want to know His will for your life?  There are requirements which prepare you to hear the voice of God and discover His will for your life.  Let your attitude be that of the Psalmist David who was a hearer and doer of God's word:  

I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. (Psalms 85:8)

Biblical Studies


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