March 22, 2015

Psalm 6:8-9 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.

Here we have clear evidence that the Lord spoke to David just as He does to us today. There is no indication that David heard specific words from God, but he had an inner assurance that God had heard him and God’s salvation was in effect. This kind of thing drives some people up the wall. They say, “But how can you know?” The only answer is, you just do. Conversely, some people don’t recognize God is speaking to them precisely because He often doesn’t use words, and they have a mental image of some of the interplay between God and, say, Jeremiah. It’s not that God never talks with people like that, it’s that things such as David experienced are much more common. We tend to romanticize prophecy in much the same way, expecting it to be in thunderous “Thus sayeth the Lord” terms, when it is much more likely to be in normal, everyday language, so much so that we might not recognize that it was prophecy, particularly in terms of the person through whom it came. The best and easiest way to hear from God consistently and accurately is to be as familiar as possible with the Bible, reading it frequently and regularly, because He will bring passages to life in our hearts as we read, making them intensely personal. Also, when we are familiar with the Bible we have a yardstick by which to judge every other word, because God will never contradict Himself, and there are plenty of lying spirits that will try to fool us into thinking they speak for God.

I had the tremendous advantage of being firmly grounded in the Bible before I ever got exposed to the idea of God speaking actively to us today. As a matter of fact, though I had been taught little or nothing about the Holy Spirit, when I read such books as 9 O’clock in the Morning and They Speak with Other Tongues they immediately “clicked” as describing Biblical things. Their emphasis on the specific gift of tongues did distract me a bit, but I knew the phenomena they described were not un-Biblical. In the years since then I have been used in prophecy many times, and I don’t know that I’ve ever used the words, “Thus sayeth.” On at least one occasion I was asked, slightly later, “Did you know you were prophesying?” My response was that I knew I was speaking God’s truth. I have heard God speak most often as a sense in my heart, as with David in this passage, or as His “quickening” Scripture to me as I read, or bringing it to mind even when I didn’t have a Bible open. On only two occasions has He used specific words without a human intermediary, and both were entirely unexpected. I don’t think I heard Him with my physical ears, but it was as clear as if I had. I don’t talk about those very much, because they are certainly the exception, and demanding that God speak to us that way closes our ears to the many other ways He speaks to us. I am to keep my spiritual ears open, staying in the Word so that I won’t be led astray by lying voices, and I am to keep an obedient heart. If I just hear and don’t obey, it does me no good! (James 1:22) I am to be faithful to allow Him to speak through me to others, not just in such formal settings as sermons but in every interaction. True fellowship involves communication, and I am to be open in all ways to fellowship with my Lord.

Father, thank You for Your grace in speaking to Your children, and to me specifically. I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve it! Use me to generate an expectation of hearing from You in each of the believers, so that they may progress into ever-deepening fellowship with You. May we rejoice together to be Your children indeed, letting You speak through us to each other and walking in full obedience to You, for Your satisfaction, pleasure, and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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