by Pastor Tim Burt
When you want to better understand hearing God's voice, it's critical to understand who God is to us! Almighty God is our God. Almighty God is our Heavenly Father. Almighty God is our friend. When you truly press in to know God and you prayerfully study His Word (meaning you sincerely ask God to reveal Himself and what His Word means,) you will discover that God is Almighty God, He is our Heavenly Father, and He is our friend. There is a balance important to our relationship with God if we hold these three truths in appropriate perspective.
Almighty God is our God.
If you could imagine a personal meeting with the President of the United States in his oval office, you might imagine the protocol, formality, and honor to such an event. You’d only walk in and say, Hey Prez, how’s it going? if you were totally clueless to respect for authority and irreverent toward it. If you did appropriately understand, you would probably dress your best, prepare your greeting, and try with honor and respect to make the most of the limited time you had. With God, our reverence and respect for Him should be magnified far above any humanly respect toward man. Psalm 113:4-5 (NLT) says, “For the Lord is high above the nations; His glory is far greater than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high?”
Almighty God is our Heavenly Father.
Jesus reveals that God is our Heavenly Father. Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT) says, “So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day-to-day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
If you've ever been a good father, then you know the depth of love you have for your child or children. You want to love them and take care of them and bless them! Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to
those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)
As we discover and come to know God as our Heavenly Father—the perfect father that none of us every had, we can experience greater intimacy between us and Him. It doesn't mean we should become less reverent toward Him. It means that we see His majesty and reverence Him, but also realize that the most powerful being in the universe—perfect and Holy in nature, has a deep, sincere, fatherly love toward us. How awesome is that and how much more would it elevate our faith and trust in Him to watch over us?
Almighty God is our friend.
There are some people who would be overwhelmed to have a close intimate relationship with a prominent figure or celebrity. If Billy Graham called me and said, Tim, can you and I have lunch and catch up? and he spoke those words as dear friend, well, it would be extraordinary to have such a friendship. How much more mind-boggling to have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe? Moses did. In Exodus 33:11 (NIV) we read, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.’’
He called those who would become Jesus’ disciples, His friends, John 15:15-16 (NIV) says, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
In true intimate friendship, friends know each other. Friends share the deep things of the heart. They don't hide things from each other. That is how God wants it between Him and us! God reveals Himself, His ways, His love for us, and His plan to save and help us through Jesus and His Word. He declares friendship! Amazing!
When we understand God in all three of these revelations, and reverence and honor Him with the respect due to Him as God, we prepare our hearts to speak to and hear back from God—our Almighty Father who loves us as a child and friend. When you have this heart and you read His Word asking God to speak to you and lead you through it, I promise you He will. It's the primary way He chooses to speak to us so we much give His Word first place in our life.
As we just read, Jesus declared, “I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants. Now you are my friends…” God is our friend. We must approach Him with reverence for who He is. But, He is also our loving heavenly Father—the perfect Father who loves and deeply cares for us, and the friend we can and must converse with, expecting Him to speak to us through His Word!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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