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Monday, February 10, 2014

Discerning God's Voice

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I was talking with a close friend and we were having great conversation about the Lord and about all the ways He speaks to us in our life. He proceeded to tell me how he and his wife were having a disagreement over something. She wanted him to take a trip somewhere but it was to a place he had no desire or interest in going. He said, “I went to bed thinking No way, I am not going. I don’t want to and this is one time I am putting my foot down. She can go if she wants but I’m not going.” He told me they weren't fighting about it. They just weren't in agreement about it but he could feel the pressure of her really wanting to go. As he laid down in his bed that night, he began to thank God for the day. As he did, he said the Lord suddenly reminded him of the verse where the angel spoke to Joseph and told him that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. In His heart, he knew the Lord was speaking to him. He knew that the Lord was telling him to change his mind and go along with what his wife wanted. He said to me, “Just like that I did a 180 degree turn in my mind and told her I would come with her. She was shocked and blessed.” God settled their dispute through the leading of His Word and Spirit!

This is the advantage Christians can have over people who have not received Jesus as their Lord. We have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling within us to help us and direct our heart in every situation! The Bible says in 1 Cor. 6:19 “...don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the temple of God was the same place Jesus chased out the money-changers. At that time, Jesus told them, “My house is the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46) Now take note of this: Jesus called the temple they were standing in, “My house of prayer.” Then later after His death and resurrection, the Apostle Paul tells us, that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. The temple used to be a building He called a house of prayer. Now we are the temple of the Holy Ghost and we are first and foremost in our lives to be “A house of prayer.” You are a temple of God indwelled by the Holy Spirit and now assigned to be a House of Prayer!

The Holy Spirit teaches about God, His ways, His heart and attitude, and His love. He also leads us in our life. Jesus told us of the Holy Spirit that would come and be a part of our lives saying, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him not or understand Him: but you know Him because He will dwell within you and be with you. “ (John 14:16-17)  Jesus continued telling us more about the Holy Spirit and how He would work in us saying, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.“ John 16:13-14

People imagine all sorts of things about God. That is what makes reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God so important. When the Holy Spirit teaches and speaks to us, He uses scripture. He brings scriptures to our remembrance that have a way of speaking to our heart. That way, you aren't confusing God’s voice with your imagination. Over time you become familiar with God’s voice. Since you are the house of prayer, you learn to let the Holy Spirit speak to you and give you guidance in every area of your life. For example, let’s say in a moment of weakness, you are thinking about looking at or engaging in something that is in appropriate. The Holy Spirit may bring a scripture to your remembrance that says, “Be holy for I am holy.” At that point, you know that God has spoken to you and is trying to help strengthen you; not condemn you. Hopefully then you will make the right choice. Imagine you were getting in an argument with someone and getting a little hot. Suddenly the scripture comes to your remembrance, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11) At that point you know the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, trying to help you calm down.

As we grow and mature spiritually, we learn to hear the voice of God through the many scriptures we’ve meditated on over time. The Word of God does speak. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes the very thoughts and attitudes of our heart.”

My friend is a seasoned and mature Christian. Any mature Christian experiences God bringing verses to their heart to speak to them. This one powerful way God speaks to us. If we are mature and truly love God, and if we know and are aware that we are a house of prayer, then we will pay attention when we sense God speaking to our heart through His Word. My friend's mind was made up until God spoke to him and changed it in a heartbeat. He immediately yielded to the voice of the Holy Spirit – much to the joy of His wife.

This is just one way God speaks to our heart and helps us grow and mature. Over time He helps us really get and understand that He already knows what we need to know. Hopefully we grow more and more dependent upon His word and voice every day. It takes spending time in God's word and prayer. But in time, you begin to experience the rich life of knowing God, hearing His voice, and yielding to the one you call Lord and Savior of your life. If you do, He will lead you into all truth and right actions and you’ll be blessed. It produces spiritual maturity. Something God wants for us all to work toward!

Psalms 119:103 (NLT) "How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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