by Pastor Tim Burt
There is not one day in my life that goes by where the Lord doesn’t speak to me. I don’t mean for that to sound mystical or super spiritual. God wants to communicate with us. In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” Romans 8:16 also reveals God desire to speak to us through His Holy Spirit that lives in the heart of every believer. It says, “For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.” How does He speak to me? Sometimes He brings a verse to my remembrance that He is speaking to me through and opens my mind to its meaning. There are times where He brings a thought or picture to my mind that I need to think about or that helps me remember what I would have forgotten. Sometimes He leads me to a verse that speaks the wisdom I was seeking. Somehow because I am praying and trying to listen for His voice, He finds a way to talk with me. He always speaks to me through His Word. His Word is the gatekeeper discerning between random thoughts and God voice.
Outside of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, there is no greater privilege and honor than being able to hear or be led by the voice and spirit of Almighty God through His Holy Spirit. God wants us to embrace and learn to become thankfully confident in this privilege. Romans 8:15-16 says, “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.”
If we’ve received Jesus as Lord, then we have His Holy Spirit indwelling within us as told in 1 Cor. 6:19 “Or 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? You do not belong to yourself?”
As a young excited Christian, I wanted to break away from all my sinful ways. Romans 8:7-8 says it like this. “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.” It wasn’t easy but because my heart was determined to please God and get it right, I could sense His voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit in scripture speaking to me as well as through my Pastor’s sermons, through the counsel of Christian friend’s, and through much that I read in learning to grow in Christ. God found many ways to speak to me. As Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
It was critical then to learn to distinguish between the voices that I heard speaking within me. I had the voice of my human reasoning going on in my head. I had the voice of the Holy Spirit wanting to lead me. And then there was the voice of Satan trying to confuse and lead me into a sinful life outside of God.
God’s voice is like that of the perfect parent. I grew up with great parents. They always wanted good for me. They gave me wise counsel. They corrected me when I was headed down a wrong path or had wrong thinking or a bad attitude. They encouraged me in everything that was good and right. They helped me in any way they could whenever they could. That is how the voice and leading of God is only exceedingly beyond anything parents could feel and know. God wants good for you and knows His plan and destiny for you. Only He can reveal that to you and He does so day by day.
We are all highly capable of wondering and going astray – especially when our life is void of Christian atmospheres and environments like church, bible studies, and small groups of some kind. Isaiah 53:6 reveals, “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the guilt and sins of us all.” We will go astray without God’s voice and loving guidance. That is why God gave us the Holy Spirit – so we aren’t left to our own voice and reasoning which is limited and often flawed at best!
Over time we learn to discern Satan’s voice. Jesus described him best by saying, “…He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 And, John 10:10 “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.“
There are three voices – the Lords, the devil’s, and your own reasoning. What is each voice that is trying to influence your thinking and actions saying? Is it leading you in the instruction of God’s word to be faithful or diligent or loyal or committed? Is it telling you its okay to call in sick when you are not? Is it thinking angry, or hateful or revengeful thoughts? Is it thinking about how to lead someone to Jesus or seeking about how you can be a better Christian? Is it speaking of restraint or encouraging you to please your flesh and eat more and more? Is it telling you to check out that woman in the office that is not your wife or telling you that checking out porn on the Internet is just an innocent “guy thing?” Is it telling you that playing around on chat lines with someone you don’t know is okay? Is that voice trying to legitimize your sinful sexual life outside of marriage? In all these check what the voice says by asking the Holy Spirit about it. Check your heart, your motive, and what the Word of God says and you will know who you are listening to. There is no benefit in listening to Satan or those infected by his influence. There is little benefit in listening just to yourself. The benefit is in listening to the voice of God.
God will not accuse you, guilt you, or condemn you. He will not yell at you or raise His voice. He will not scream at you. He will speak to you, and usually through His word if you learn to listen and spend time in His Word. And this is why God says, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” Psalms 119:37(NLT) More Next week…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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