March 26, 2015

Psalm 27:8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.

I have a real dilemma when it comes to writing on one verse of this Psalm, because it is so rich. However, this verse strikes me yet again this morning, so here goes. Even in English it is powerful to me, speaking of the longing for God that is certainly in my heart. However, the Japanese gives even a touch more insight. At first glance it causes a bit of a double-take, because it says, “My heart says in Your place, ‘Long for Me’” I think David was experiencing the reality of prophecy, recognizing that thoughts in his mind and heart did not originate with himself, but with God. Frankly, this is not something a lot of people are comfortable with. However, all sorts of voices come to us, and that is why we need discernment. If we expect God to speak to us we are far more likely to recognize it when He does, but we must also recognize that the devil speaks to us as well, and firmly resist him. Familiarity with the Bible is a major safeguard in discerning where ideas come from, because the Holy Spirit is not going to contradict what He caused to be written in the first place! Also, God is not going to say things to us that drive us from Him, and the devil is not going to tell is to draw closer to God. The Holy Spirit will put His finger on specific sins and tell us to repent, but the devil will issue blanket condemnation and tell us we are no good and might as well give up. One of the trickiest areas is that the Holy Spirit will tell us, “God can do that through you,” where the devil will tell us “You can do that on your own.” To a third person they might look like the same thing, but the motivation is entirely different. Someone who is really listening to God will probably have great assurance that might even look brash or foolhardy, but they won’t be relying on their own ability but God’s. Conversely, someone who is deceived by the devil will be self-confident, not listening to God or really anyone else. We need to learn what God sounds like, and listen to Him.

Going back to David’s experience, many times I have heard God speak to me through my own voice, either in a sermon or in specific prophecy. Sometimes I have been virtually knocked off my feet by it! In recent years I haven’t been involved in conscious prophecy very much, and I feel the Lord wants to revive that in me. I haven’t been used much in predictive prophecy, but rather in admonishing and encouraging. That can be delightful, especially the encouraging! I need to keep myself available and not quench or suppress what the Lord wants to say through me, especially not out of fear of what the response might be. The response will not always be what I would like, any more than Jesus always got a good response, but I’m not to fear that. Rather, I am to love people enough to communicate what God is saying to them, even if they reject the messenger. That can be a hard choice to make, but obedience to God is always the best course.

Father, thank You for this Word. I can think of several people who need “course correction” right now, not to mention the countless numbers of people who need to repent and believe in the first place. Keep me from spouting off out of my own mind, but keep me also from holding back when You want to speak to someone through me. May I be effective because of my obedience, so that Your Name may be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

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