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Can A Christian Expect To Hear 
From God?

Can a Christian expect God to talk to them? Yes - and here's why!

1. The new covenant is a new covenant of COMMUNICATION where the law is personally written on the heart of each believer and each believer is instructed by God.

Hebrews 8:6-12 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. {7} For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. {8} But God found fault with the people and said : "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. {9} It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. {10} This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. {11} No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. {12} For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

To accomplish these teaching and reminding functions He must be able to communicate with us in a way we understand - IN WORDS...To this end the outpouring of the Spirit is also an outpouring of revelation.

Acts 2:14-21 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. {15} These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! {16} No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: {17} "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. {18} Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {19} I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. {20} The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. {21} And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

The early church was a church that heard God's voice and acted upon His numerous revelations. Luke, the author of Acts clearly believes that receiving revelation from God is a extraordinary part of the ordinary Christian's life.

2. Hearing God is part of the Holy Spirit's function in the life of every believer.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. {11} For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. {12} We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. {13} This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. {14} The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. {15} The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: {16} "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

God's Spirit knows God's thoughts and He (the Spirit) is the agent that communicates God's thoughts and will to our spirits so that our minds may be renewed and we may have the mind of Christ.

3. We share in Christ's anointing because we are "In Christ" and that anointing involves our being able to hear from God.

Referring to Jesus, the Christ, "the Anointed One.."

Luke 4:18 ""The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,"

Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."

Hebrews 1:9 "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.""

Referring to us as believers Scripture says....

2 Corinthians 1:21 "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

1 John 2:20 "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth."

1 John 2:27 "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him."

Jesus' anointing gave Him power in ministry and our anointing teaches us the truth and keeps us in Christ. As a teacher the Holy Spirit communicates the truths of God to us so and reminds us of where the truth lies.

What do you think...does God still speak to people today???

4. We can hear God because we are all priests of God, offering sacrifices to God and members of one body in one Spirit, part of the household of God, a kingdom of priests to our God.

There are not two types of Christians..."important" Christians such as pastors who hear from God and "unimportant" Christians who don't hear from God and just have to muddle through. Such an idea is abhorrent to the New Testament. In the New Testament the status of believers changed drastically, the temple curtain was torn up the middle, access to God for ALL who believe was granted and no longer was there a formal priesthood standing between God and the people. Elders were appointed to ensure things ran smoothly but there is no indication that they had any special access to the counsels of God. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on "all flesh" (Acts 2) both young and old, male and female, slave and free were granted access to supernatural revelation from God.

Acts 2:16 "No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy."

In Biblical times there was no-one less important than a female slave...and yet they would be granted the ability to prophesy! Perhaps this grace of God was behind the marvelous gospel songs produced by the female slaves in America and their deep spirituality during very real oppression.

That access to God's counsels is for all is stated theologically by Paul (who else?):

Ephesians 2:14-19 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. {15} He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, {16} and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. {17} So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; {18} for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. {19} So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,

Notes: i) There are not "two groups" with different privileges but one.
ii) Through Him we both HAVE ACCESS in the one Spirit to the Father.
iii) We are fellow citizens with the saints.
iv) We are members of the household of God.
 

Paul is at pains to stress the equality of access we have to God and the intimacy we can expect as "members of the household of God". Surely God talks to His household?

As I mentioned earlier we are a kingdom of priests, ruled by our great high priest - Jesus Christ , who has passed through the heavenlies. Our job as priests is not the sacrificing of bulls and goats for that ended with the death of Christ. Our job is communicating with a lost world on behalf of God and bringing worship to Him who has saved us! Lets look at the relevant bible passages regarding our priesthood and a few verses about Christ as our High Priest:

Romans 15:16 "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

Hebrews 3:1 "Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession"

Hebrews 4:14-16 "Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

1 Peter 2:5 "like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

Revelation 1:6 "and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Revelation 5:10 "you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.""

Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years."

It is clear that we are all priests!! What sort of sacrifices are we to offer that are acceptable to God?

Romans 12:1 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

Philippians 4:18 "I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God."

Hebrews 13:15 "Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name."

Hebrews 13:16 "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."

Sacrifices pleasing to God include:
1. Our bodies disciplined for the Lord. (Rom 12:1)
2. Monetary offerings to God's work. (Phillipians 4:18)
3. Praise that confesses Jesus name (Hebrews 13:15)
4. Doing good (Heb 13:16)
5. Sharing what we have (Heb 13:16)
6. Preaching the gospel and discipling others (Romans 15:16)
7. Proclaiming the mighty acts of Him who called you. (1 Peter 2:9)
 

As priests we can all go to our great high priest for grace and help in time of need. (Hebrews 4;14-16)

Our access to God is so open and available that we tend to disbelieve it. The writer of Hebrews therefore writes "Let us the approach the throne of grace with BOLDNESS.."

Our access to God is based on "sonship" as members of the household of God and as a spiritual kingdom of priests. We are asked to come to God with boldness into His personal presence. `

God does not expect us to relate merely to a book, that ended when the law was superseded by Christ.

We now relate personally to God through the abundance of God's personal outpouring of Himself now that the Spirit has come upon all flesh and all can receive revelation from Him.

We are His priests taking our instructions from our great High Priest and hearing His voice as we carry out His work. The boundaries are broken down and now revelation belongs to all who believe - for we have all received the one Spirit.

How To Hear From God

The following is a simple procedure for hearing from God and tuning in to His voice:

  1. Find a quite place and spend some time in worship.

  2. Read a scene from the gospels.

  3. Sit quietly, create an inner picture of peace and of you being with Jesus.

  4. Talk to God and ask Him a question. Listen carefully and sense His reply.

  5. If you have a notebook at hand write down His answer.

The notebook is your way of saying to God "I value what you will say to me and I will write it down and treasure it." It also is a faith step showing you expect Him to turn up. Because I enjoy writing this method works for me. Another friend places a towel on the floor and pretends that it is the face of Jesus looking at Him. Others tune in via dance or music. Ask God to show you how to hear His voice.

Testing

A few people have done crazy things and said "God told me to". This has given a bad name to hearing from God. If you think God is giving you an instruction check with the following tests:

a) Is it biblical - does it line up with Scripture ?

b) Is it wise? Is it participating in the wisdom and nature and character of God?

c) Is it free? Christ has come to set us free. Voices which are full of compulsion and seem to "push, push, push" are generally of the Devil. The Devil hurries and harries people and enslaves them, Jesus leads and guides people and His yoke is light.

d) Is it a voice of love or a voice of fear? God has not given us a spirit of fear and He has told us to be "anxious for nothing" so fear and anxiety, and alarming "revelations" are not of God. God's word is a word of love, holiness, wisdom, faith and hope.

e) Is it convicting or is it condemning? God may speak to us about our sin, He may convict, but the word from Him is stern but loving and aims at repentance, forgiveness and restoration. On the other hand the Devil condemns and shames and crushes. The voice that accuses and crushes is not from God!

f) How does the voice cause us to relate to others? Does it fill us with pride? Does it say that we have a "special revelation" that sets us apart from others? Does set us against our brothers and sisters in Christ? Such a voice is the voice of spiritual pride and division and is not of God. God will cause us to forgive our brothers and sisters and to pray for them and to be in unity in the bond of the Spirit.

g) Is the voice glorifying Jesus and reminding you of Him? The Holy Spirit will cause you to glorify Jesus and to love Him. It will not lead you into bizarre theological speculations.

h) Is the voice holy? Or is it beautiful, sensual, alluring and dulling to your morality? Does it sweetly seduce you and lead you to moral disaster or is it strong and holy and good and leading you into righteousness? The Holy Spirit is holy and is definitely not a spirit of seduction.

If listening to God results in a major decision then consult Scripture and wise Christians before proceeding. Do not be in a hurry. Take time, be wise, relax.

Listening to God is a great joy. Learn to hear Him.

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph. Source: http://www.globalchristians.org/starterkit/gospel1.htm. Used with permission from John Edmiston - www.globalchristians.org

 

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