He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
We value the ability to see and hear the voice of God amidst vital relational and situational opportunities.
Comedian Lily Tomlin asks, “Why is it that when we speak to God we are said to be praying, but when God speaks to us we are said to be schizophrenic?”
Remember Stephen the crazy Irishman (my favorite character) in the movie Braveheart?
Stephen: [Speaking heavenward.] Him? That can’t be William Wallace. I’m prettier than this man. Alright Father, I’ll ask him.
Hamish: Is your father a ghost, or do you converse with the Almighty?
Stephen: In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.
The very first thing we know about God is that He has a voice and that He continues to speak. God has a whole host of ways to communicate with us and I believe God is transmitting all the time, but I will rarely say, God spoke to me.
I posture my heart and head in humility and simply say “I believe, or sense, or feel” God spoke to me. We must correct the evangelical abuse of people who take the Lord’s name in vain when they are regularly stating, “God told me.”
Notice the contextual past tense of the phrase “has shown.” God’s primary (but not sole) means of communication is by the Holy Scriptures, but he is forever speaking through Jesus.
J.B. Phillips said that while he was doing his translation of the NT that he often felt like an electrician working on the wiring of a house with the power left on.
• When you think of the Word of God, your first thought needs to be Jesus, not the Bible.
• When you read the Scriptures you should be listening for the voice of the Lord (Psalm 29).
• Bible reading will become a lifeless ritual without God speaking. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…Hear his voice but capture his heart.
• My Sheep hear my voice and they follow it. John 10:27
• Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
• Matthew 13:16 Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. (he made both the seeing eye and the hearing ear). they are both trademarks of the prophetic life.
• Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in.
Who has he shown?…You! O man, the entire human family. This is not just for the mystics. He has made it plainly visible not only in a book, but by himself becoming a man.
What does it take to be able to see God’s voice?
“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.”
• Revelation 1:12 John turns to see the voice that was speaking to him. He heard a voice and he saw Jesus. (The reason that you can see the voice is similar to God giving voice to creation. He called those things that were not as though they were and it was created. Faith sees the voice and it is manifested.)
Like Helen Keller who was deaf, mute and blind, she put her hand in the hand of her teacher and under the water (of the Word) to hear the word in her hands and therefore her life. She did not hear the words in her ears. This is at the heart of prophetic listening.
Like Moses in Exodus 3:3, I must turn aside and see why the bush is not burned up and the scriptures declare, he endured as seeing him who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes.”
Our culture is over run with noise, hurry and crowds. We must come away and turn aside to hear the God who dwells in the bush as a consuming fire. People want the certainty of answers, but we can’t live without mystery.
In solitude and silence with God we learn that, Words are the instrument of the present world and silence is the mystery of the future world. If a word is to bear fruit it must be spoken from the future world into the present world. This is the nature of the prophetic.
God’s voice is not audible to our senses. God is a Spirit and He speaks in our human spirit. Yet it is correct to say that it is audible in our spirit. The voice is so distinct that the person who hears can answer back. God speaks to each of us and yet his voice needs testing and confirmation within the communion of the Church.
We believe…In the Holy Spirit…whose presence and voice within the communion of the Church allows us to experience the forgiveness of sins and to be partakers of the divine life.
A touching story is told about Thomas Edison and his lifelong deafness. During the time that Edison was working on the concept of the phonograph, he hired a pianist to come out to his house and play for him, as loudly as possible, the world’s entire repertoire of waltzes. And there on a hot summer night, whether in frustration at not being able to hear the music or out of a desperate love for the thing he had missed all his life, the 64-year-old inventor dropped to his hands and knees and bit hard into the leg of the piano: the old man who could not hear would soon show how sound can be recreated through the vibrating tooth of a phonograph needle.
It might be best if we get down on your hands and knees and bite hard into the wood of the cross. Father grant us the needle/nail to hear your voice. He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
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