Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Speak Lord











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










In  a discussion with a friend of mine, He was very troubled that God was not speaking to Him.  I let him know that he would continue to be disappointed as long as he waited for God to physically raise the roof of his house and begin a conversation with him.  I explained to him that he should not be so rigid in his expectation of how God speaks to us.  The Bible is a history of methods by which God communicated to man and the response of mankind to the voice of God. There are a number of methods recorded in the Bible:

  The Written Word   

God speaks to man through His written Word. God does not need to speak to you concerning things already revealed in the Scriptures. When God uses other methods to communicate, they will never conflict with His written Word.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  2 Timothy 3:16

 Prayer  

There are many Biblical examples of God speaking as a result of prayer. Prayer and fasting (going without food for spiritual reasons) resulted in God speaking to Paul and Barnabas:

And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate unto me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them.  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:2-3)

Prayer is to include the request for the fulfillment of God's will on earth. Jesus taught His followers to pray:  

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Jesus prayed for direction from God prior to the selection of His disciples:  

And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples; and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)

Jesus prayed for God's will prior to His death:  

. . . Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:42)
    Counselors  

God communicates His will through Christian counselors. There are many Biblical examples of people seeking guidance from men of God.

The Bible states:  

Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)
    Circumstances 

God communicates His plan through circumstances. One excellent Old Testament example of this is the life of Joseph recorded in Genesis 37-50.

Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt but he viewed this as the direction of God:

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life. . .    And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God. (Genesis 45:5-8)

Through circumstances over which Joseph had no personal control, he was used of God to save the lives of thousands of people in a time of severe famine.

Apostle Paul wrote some interesting words

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.  I Thessalonians 2:18. 

He told believers at Thessalonica he was prevented from visiting them because Satan hindered. Since he could not go to them, he wrote to the church at Thessalonica. Satan’s hindering resulted in the book of I Thessalonians and the important message Paul shared had greater impact than would have resulted from a visit. It has been passed down through the centuries for the benefit of all believers.

Nothing occurs apart from God's knowledge. Even when circumstances block what you might perceive to be God's will, God is still in control. God can take any deed, whether of Satan or man, and use it for His own purposes. We have a wonderful promise from God regarding circumstances:  

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

    Open And Closed Doors  

Circumstances of life result in what has come to be called "open and closed doors."  Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians:  

But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. (I Corinthians 16:8-9)

Apostle Paul decided to stay at Ephesus because through circumstances arranged by God, there was a great opportunity for Christian service open to him. He called this an open door.

On another occasion Apostle Paul records his desire to minister in certain areas, but the doors there were closed:  

Now when they had gone throughout Phrgia and the region of Galatia and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:6-7)

A closed door does not mean you have missed God's will. It does not mean it is not His will to do something. Paul later evangelized Asia. God is directing you by closing a door. He leads through closed as well as open doors. Sometimes a door is closed because it is not the right timing in the plan of God. Later, that same door may open to you.

    Angels  

Lot was given direction by angels who appeared at his home in Sodom. He was told to leave Sodom because the judgment of God was going to fall on the city (Genesis 19). An angel spoke to Philip and told him to go to Samaria (Acts 8:26). The births of John the Baptist and Jesus were announced by angels (Luke l).

There are numerous Biblical records of angels appearing to communicate the will of God to man. 

    Miracles  

A miracle is a supernatural event which is beyond the power of man to perform.

God spoke through a miracle in an event recorded in I Kings 18. The prophet Elijah was told to prepare an altar before the Lord. Elijah prepared the altar and cried:  

. . . Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. . .  Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, He is God; the Lord He is God. (I Kings 18:36,38-39)

God used this miracle to speak to men who worshiped idols and reveal Himself as the true and living God.

God has also revealed His will through miracles in nature. A pillar of fire and a cloud in the sky gave direction to the nation of Israel by night and day as they traveled through the desert:  

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them in the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exodus 13:21-22)

You can find many other Biblical examples of God communicating to men through miracles.

    Dreams

God desires so much to communicate with us that He even speaks while we sleep! God speaks in dreams. These are not the normal dreams experienced by everyone. They are supernatural dreams given by God. They are detailed, specific, and reveal His will.

The following are a few of many Biblical examples:

  • God warned Abimelech in a dream about his sin of taking Abraham's wife, Sarah. Genesis 20:3
  • An angel spoke to Jacob in a dream to remind him of his vow to God. Genesis 31:11-13
  • God used dreams to reveal His will to Joseph. Genesis 37.
  • God appeared to Solomon in a dream and gave him the opportunity to ask for whatever he desired. I Kings 3:5
  • A dream was used to direct shepherds to return to their country by a different route because of an evil king. Matthew 2:12-13
These are just a few of the many examples of how God communicates through dreams. 

    VISIONS

A vision is similar to a dream but differs because you are awake. It is like having a dream without being asleep. Visions may be seen with spiritual eyes as well as the physical eyes. This means you might not actually see it with your natural eye, but God gives you a picture of something in your spirit.  The following are a few of many Biblical examples where visions were used by God to communicate with man:
  •       God appeared to Abraham in a vision and made him a great promise. Genesis 15
  •       The book of Daniel is filled with visions (as well as dreams). God used these to reveal many things about the future of the world. He spoke to many other Old Testament prophets through visions.
  •            God gave Peter a vision concerning the need to take the Gospel to the Gentile nations. Acts 10
  •            God called Apostle Paul to Macedonia through a vision. Acts 16:9
  •            God spoke to ApostlePaul in the night through a vision. Acts 18:9-10
  •       The final book in the Bible, Revelation, is based on a vision seen by the Apostle John.
    An Audible Voice  

God spoke to Paul in an audible voice during a journey along the Damascus road:  

And he fell to the earth and head a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:4-5)

God also spoke to Samuel in an audible voice:  

And the Lord came, and stood and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. The Samuel answered, Speak: for thy servant heareth. (I Samuel 3:10)


Be open and receptive to the voice of God no matter what method He selects to communicate with you.


Biblical Studies

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